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Archive for the ‘Plain City Health’ Category

Support Your Bones, Support Yourself. By Our July Student Pharmacist, Kevin Wenceslao.


Our bones are responsible for many functions. They are the framework for our bodies, providing support. They protect our organs, allow us to move, and even produce red and white blood cells which help provide our bodies with oxygen and the ability to fight off infections.

Unfortunately, over time or without proper care, our bones can weaken, which can lead to a disease called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis occurs when the body loses too much bone and becomes frail, which can lead to painful breaks or fractures. Fortunately, there are ways to take care of your bones to prevent this condition and also ways to manage your life if you have weak bones.

Osteoporosis is a common type of bone disease. Our body maintains a balance between breaking down old bone and making new bone. If this balance is disrupted, and we lose too much bone, this leads to osteoporosis. Unfortunately, as we age, our bones sometimes break down more than we can create, which leads to a natural loss of bone as we get older. If we do not take proper steps to maintain our bones, we can become more susceptible to developing osteoporosis.

A bone density test conducted by your doctor can help diagnose osteoporosis and determine how severe it may be. In some cases, the doctor may order specific bone medicine in order to help the bones.

How do you know if you are at risk for osteoporosis? Well, there are two types of risk factors: controllable and uncontrollable. As mentioned above, getting older increases our chances of getting this disease. Other uncontrollable factors include:

  • Gender: Women are at higher risk than men due to smaller bones and hormone changes during menopause.
  • Ethnicity: White and Asian women are at greater risk than other races.
  • Family history: People with family members who also have osteoporosis or a history of fractures can be at risk.

If you fall into those categories above, it is especially important to take extra care to maintain your bones. The risk factors that every person can control are listed below:

  • Diet: Low calcium or Vitamin D supplementation from your diet contributes to greater risks.
  • Physical activity: Getting too little exercise or having an inactive lifestyle also increases your risk factors.
  • Alcohol: Drinking can increase your risk of developing bone disease, as well as falling and breaking your bones.
  • Body Weight: Being underweight can lead to frailty.
  • Smoking: Cigarettes can cause early menopause and prevent your body from utilizing calcium properly which leads to earlier development of bone disease.
  • Medications: Some medications can cause bone loss such as glucocorticoids, cancer treatment medicines, and seizure treatment. It is important to discuss the risk/benefit of your medications with your doctor if you are concerned.

Diet is a key factor in keeping your bones healthy. It is important to have your calcium and Vitamin D levels regularly checked at your doctor’s visits.

Many foods can be good sources of calcium and Vitamin D. Calcium is an important mineral that is necessary for your bones and teeth. Calcium can be found in most dairy products.

Vitamin D is found in small amounts in food, but most of it is provided by getting enough sunlight.

Listed below are the different foods to look for if you need more calcium and Vitamin D in your diet:


If diet is not enough or not an option, your doctor may recommend getting over-the-counter Vitamin D and calcium supplements. At Plain City Druggist, we offer a wide variety of supplements in different strengths to meet your daily needs. These supplements can come in a multiple forms ranging from traditional tablets to chewable gummies and liquids. Ask your pharmacist for more information next time you come visit.

Daily intake of Vitamin D and calcium can vary depending on your age, current health condition, or diet. It is possible to get too much calcium and Vitamin D, so it is important to consult your doctor to determine your individual needs.

The chart shown below represents recommended daily intake and maximum intake for an average person.


By adjusting your daily lifestyle, you can reduce your risks of developing bone disease. Even if you already live with osteoporosis, taking these steps can help prevent it from getting worse and ultimately prevent falls and fractures.

Sharing this information is a great first step in helping yourself and those you care about.

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Bone Health For Life. (2014, July). National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Retrieved July 28, 2017, from https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Bone_Health/bone_health_for_life.asp#2
Learn What Osteoporosis Is and What It’s Caused by. National Osteoporosis
Foundation. Retrieved July 28, 2017, from https://www.nof.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis/

Stay Cool and Stay Hydrated. By Our July Student Pharmacist, Kevin Wenceslao.


As longtime Columbus meteorologist Marshall McPeek would say, this summer has been “hazy, hot, and humid.”

This past week alone, the average temperature was 84℉ with the humidity around 97%. Not only does the high temperature and humidity lower the air quality, these factors also put many people at risk for dehydration and heat-related illness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 618 people in the U.S. are killed by extreme heat each year despite the fact that heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable.

By understanding the warning signs of dehydration and learning how to treat and prevent those symptoms, we can help reduce the number of heat-related incidents.

To start off, dehydration is defined by excess loss of water from the body. Water is required by the body to function normally. Typically, there should be a balance between water intake and output, but that can be disrupted by various factors:

  • Excessive heat
  • Physical activity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sickness/High Fever
  • Medications, like diuretics (cause urination) or laxatives (cause watery bowel movements)
  • Barriers to fluid intake (sore throat or upset stomach)

In order to recognize if someone is dehydrated, there are symptoms that you can watch out for.

Mild symptoms include:

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Urinating less often
  • Having dark urine
  • Having a dry mouth.

As dehydration becomes more severe, other symptoms may develop such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Feeling light-headed.

The best way to treat dehydration is with fluids. Mild dehydration can often be self-treated by drinking water, sports drinks, or rehydration liquids such as Pedialyte, which all can be found here at Plain City Druggist. If symptoms continue or worsen over a few days, it is important to call your doctor to get help. In cases of severe dehydration, people are given intravenous fluids through an IV at the hospital.


In summers like these, the extreme heat makes us more prone to dehydration. Not only does the hot weather directly increase our body temperatures, but it also causes us to sweat profusely and lose water more quickly.

Sweating is an important cooling mechanism for the body. As the water droplets evaporate from our skin, they also take away heat. When we are dehydrated, we lose that ability to produce sweat and cool ourselves down. If the body’s core temperature is too high, the vital organs and brain can be damaged, which leads to heat exhaustion, and, in extreme cases, heat stroke. In these severe cases, it is important to cool the affected person down and get the appropriate emergency help.


Fortunately, dehydration is a preventable condition. Proper hydration is key, and it is important to drink throughout the day even if you’re not feeling thirsty. In hot weather or during times of physical activity, you should also drink more than you think is actually necessary.

Staying cool is also a great way to avoid dehydration. Stay indoors and avoid doing outdoor work during the hottest parts of the day from noon to 3 PM.

If being outside is unavoidable, make sure to wear a hat and loose-fitting clothing, apply sunscreen, and plan frequent breaks to drink water and cool down.

More importantly, certain people are also at greater risk of dehydration and of developing heat related illness. These include older adults over the age of 65, people with chronic medical conditions, children, and infants. Keep a close eye on friends and family during these hot and humid days, and encourage each other to stay cool and stay hydrated. If you have more questions, the CDC website is a great place to visit for tips or pop into our air-conditioned pharmacy to talk to your local pharmacist!


Natural Disasters and Severe Weather. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, June 19). Retrieved July 21, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html

Patient Education: Dehydration (The Basics). UpToDate. Retrieved July 21, 2017, from https://www-uptodate-com.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/contents/dehydration-the-basics?source=see_link

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Unused, Unwanted, and Unsafe: What To Do with Old Medications? By Our July Student Pharmacist, Kevin Wenceslao.

Blog 2 Medicine Cabinet

Do you have unused medications sitting around in your medicine cabinet? Are you afraid that a family member or loved one might accidentally take or use that medicine? Do you know how to properly dispose of those medications?

For this week’s topic, Plain City Druggist is here to explain why it’s important to get rid of old prescription medications and to also educate on how to dispose of them properly.

To start off, there are a number of reasons why people may have old medications laying around.

  • Medications are often stopped or changed for a variety of reasons: allergic reactions, side effects, or lack of effectiveness.
  • Other medicines, such as painkillers or rescue inhalers, are taken only “as needed” and may not be completely used up by the time they expire.
  • Someone in the family may have died and other family members are not sure what to do with those medications.

In any case, holding on to these old medications can lead to problems such as overdose, accidental poisoning, or even drug abuse.

Medications do not last forever; all medicine has an expiration date. Typically, all prescription drugs have a “discard by” date on the label, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications have an expiration on the original container. After a drug expires, it can lose effectiveness or become harmful. Simply having an expired medicine in your house can increase the risk of you or your family member taking it by mistake which could lead to accidental poisoning. If you are ever unsure if a drug is expired, don’t hesitate to call your local pharmacist at Plain City Druggist to ask.

Another potential hazard of keeping unused medications, especially controlled substances like opiates, is the risk of misuse and abuse. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mentions that studies have shown that many abused prescription drugs are often obtained from friends and family. These drugs are easily accessible because they are commonly kept in a place like the medicine cabinet where they can quickly be found. The potential for abuse is why it is important to discard any unused medicine when you no longer need it. By getting rid of these drugs in a proper manner, you can help prevent abuse.

So now the question is, how do I get rid of these old medicines in a safe and responsible manner?

Luckily, there are a number of options available for you right here in Plain City. First and foremost, if you ever need help with disposing of a medication, Plain City Druggist is a great place to start. We are always happy to answer questions and provide information about local drug take back facilities and programs. Every year, Madison County hosts a Drug Take Back Day in April. This event serves to educate the public and encourage the community to bring back expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications. Furthermore, this process is anonymous and no questions will be asked at the event.

In addition to this event, there are three local sites that have permanent drop off boxes that can be used throughout the year:

Blog 2 Fire Department

  • Union County Sheriff’s Office:
    221 West 5th St, Marysville, OH 43040
  • Pleasant Valley Fire Deparment:
    650 West Main St. Plain City, OH 43064
  • Richwood Police Department:
    153 North Franklin St. Richwood, OH 43344

If these options are not accessible to you, there are also ways to dispose of medicines at home. In order to prevent harming others or the environment, and to reduce the risk of abuse, there are specific instructions when it comes to disposing of medications at home.

The FDA recommends following these steps when disposing of drugs in the trash:

  • Mix the medicine with unpalatable substances like used coffee grounds, kitten litter, or dirt and placing it in a sealable container before throwing it out in the trash.
  • The original bottle should be thrown away separately with all the information scratched out.
  • Some medications are especially harmful if taken by mistake or have a high potential for abuse, and the FDA actually recommends flushing these medicines down the toilet to reduce those risks.

Click HERE for the FDA list of medications that should be disposed by flushing.

As you can see, keeping expired, unused, or unwanted medications in the household can lead to many problems. Proper disposal of these medicines can help keep you and your family safe. In addition to having a local pharmacy like Plain City Druggist as a resource, the FDA website also has great sources with more in-depth information about drug disposal.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to come in to the pharmacy to ask!

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Drug Disposal Information. (n.d.). U.S. Department
of Justice. Drug Enforcement Administration. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov /drug_disposal/index.html

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.).
Special Features – Don’t Be Tempted to Use Expired Medicines. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/specialfeatures/ucm481139.htm

Commissioner, O. O. (n.d.). Consumer Updates – How
to Dispose of Unused Medicines. .S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm101653.htm

Press, M. (2017, April 11). Drug ‘Take-Back’ in
Plain City this month. AIM Media West Operating. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from http://www.madison-press.com/news/249995/drug-take-back-in-plain-city-this-month

Opioids. By Our Student Pharmacist, Mackenzie Piché.


In a statement issued by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, he accused five leading drug manufacturers of providing a dishonest and misleading representation of the true risks of taking opioid painkiller medications.

“We believe the evidence will also show that these companies got thousands and thousands of Ohioans — our friends, our family members, our co-workers, our kids — addicted to opioid pain medications, which has all too often led to use of the cheaper alternatives of heroin and synthetic opioids.  These drug manufacturers led prescribers to believe that opioids were not addictive, that addiction was an easy thing to overcome, or that addiction could actually be treated by taking even more opioids. They knew they were wrong, but they did it anyway — and they continue to do it.  Despite all evidence to the contrary about the addictive nature of these pain medications, they are doing precious little to take responsibility for their actions and to tell the public the truth.” – Mike DeWine

Ohio’s legal action against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Purdue Pharma, Allergen, and Endo Health Solutions comes shortly after a lawsuit issued by the Attorney General of Mississippi with similar implications. More states are following suit. Missouri announced on June 21 that it will also be suing drug manufacturers of opioid analgesics. Ohio’s lawsuit suggests that these manufacturers misinformed doctors regarding the potential dangers of prescription opioids in order to increase sales.

The lawsuit could result in the drug companies being required to pay a huge sum of money. Aside from the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on prescription opioids in the past decade by state-funded programs like The Ohio Bureau of Workman’s Compensation and Medicaid, there are additional substantial costs associated with the opioid epidemic. For example, about $45 million are spent to transition children of addicted parents into foster care. Even more costly, is the $105 million used to treat babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, which occurs when a child is born addicted to opioids due to exposure during gestation. Lastly, about $110 million is spent on treatment centers for those recovering from opioid addiction. Ohio argues that many of these costs would have been preventable if the drug companies had been more upfront about the potential risks of prescription painkillers.

Ohio is considered to be a frontrunner in the opioid epidemic and, according to The Columbus Dispatch, had the most fatal drug overdoses of all 50 states in 2016. Montgomery County in Ohio is among the hardest hit. So far this year, 365 individuals have died due to drug overdoses. Montgomery County’s Sheriff reported that they are on track to have 800 overdose deaths this year, which is more than double the county’s total amount in all of 2016. The majority of the opioid-related overdoses are due to heroin or fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. These substances are often snorted or injected to cause a rapid high, and can quickly cause physical and emotional dependence.

Four out of five heroin users began by misusing prescription opioids. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines medication misuse as “the intentional or unintentional use of medication without a prescription, in a way other than prescribed, or for the experience or feeling it causes.”

Despite many different opinions circulating on the lawsuit, all we can hope for is a brighter tomorrow, with a better balance between adequate pain relief for those who need it and support and recovery for those in the community struggling with addiction.


Ohio Attorney General DeWine Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers for Fraudulent Marketing; Fueling Opioid Epidemic. Ohio Attorney General News Releases. May 31, 2017. http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Media/News-Releases/May-2017/Attorney-General-DeWine-Files-Lawsuit-Against-Opio

Borchardt, J. Ohio’s opioid lawsuit against 5 pharma companies: 6 things to know. Cleveland. com. June 16, 2017. http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/05/ohios_opioid_lawsuit_against_5.html

Dwyer, C. Ohio Sues 5 Major Drug Companies For ‘Fueling Opioid Epidemic’. National Public Radio. May 31, 2017. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/31/530929307/ohio-sues-5-major-drug-companies-for-fueling-opioid-epidemic

Johnson, A., Candisky, C. Overdose Deaths Continue to Soar in Ohio. The Columbus Dispatch. May 28, 2017. http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170528/overdose-deaths-continue-to-soar-in-ohio

Llorente, E. Ohio Drug Overdose Deaths in One County Already Top Last Year’s Total. Fox News. June 5, 2017. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/06/05/ohio-drug-overdose-deaths-in-one-county-already-top-last-years-total.html

Opioid Addiction: 2016 Facts and Figures. American Society of Addiction Medicine. https://www.asam.org/docs/default-source/advocacy/opioid-addiction-disease-facts-figures.pdf

Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. October 18, 2015. https://www.samhsa.gov/prescription-drug-misuse-abuse

Soboroff, J., Koss, M., Heikkila, A. ‘Mass-Casualty Event’: Ohio County Now Tops U.S. in Overdose Deaths. NBC News. June 19, 2017. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mass-casualty-event-ohio-county-now-tops-u-s-overdose-n773936

Seasonal Allergies. By Our June Student Pharmacist, Mackenzie Piché.


Allergy season is in full-swing in Central Ohio. If you’re one of the 50 million Americans plagued by seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, you may be dealing with one or more of the following bothersome symptoms:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Itchy/watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Sore or Itchy Throat

Experts agree that avoiding your allergy triggers is the most important thing you can do to decrease symptoms. Here are some tips to keep your outdoor allergies under control this season:

  1. Stay indoors during periods of high pollen or mold counts (you can check your local weather stations for reports on counts: go HERE to do that).
  2. Shower and wash clothing after spending time outdoors.
  3. Avoid hanging clothing and bedding outside to dry.
  4. Keep windows closed, instead use air conditioning.
  5. If your doctor has prescribed an allergy medication for you, be sure to take or use it every day, as directed.

allergy free

Looking for Relief?

Overview of Over-the-Counter Treatment Options for Adults

Treatment selection can be made based on symptoms and individual preference, while also taking into consideration any other conditions you may have. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to discuss which treatment is best for you.

Saline Nasal Spray


  • Simply Saline (Sterile Saline Solution)
  • Ayr (Sterile Saline Solution)

How they work: Help to remove dried, crusted mucus from the nose.

Glucocorticoid Nasal Spray


  • Flonase Allergy Relief (Fluticasone)
  • Nasacort Allergy 24 HR (Triamcinolone)
  • Rhinocort Allergy Spray (Budesonide)

How these sprays work: Decrease inflammation and congestion to alleviate sneezing and runny or stuffy nose.

  • Patient Note: May take 3 to 7 days for maximum symptom relief to occur.

When to Avoid: If you have glaucoma or cataracts.

Oral Antihistamines


  • Claritin (Loratadine)
  • Zyrtec (Cetirizine)
  • Allegra (Fexofenadine)
  • Xyzal (Levocetirizine)

How they work: Prevent histamine release, which is responsible for symptoms like itching, runny nose, and sneezing.

  • Patient Note: These products do not cause drowsiness in most patients. Of the available products, cetirizine has the highest incidence of drowsiness, affecting about 14% of adults.

When to avoid: If breastfeeding; Consult a doctor before taking if you have liver or kidney problems

Decongestant Nasal Sprays


  • Afrin (Oxymetazoline)
  • Neo-Synephrine (Phenylephrine)

How these sprays work: Constrict vessels in the nose to stimulate clearing of mucus from the nasal passages.

  • Patient Note: These products should be used for short-term allergy relief only. Using for more than 2 or 3 days can cause “rebound” congestion and return of symptoms.

Oral Decongestants


  • Sudafed PE (Phenylephrine)
  • Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)

*Also available in combination with antihistamines (i.e. Claritin-D, Zyrtec-D, Allegra-D).

How these products work: Constrict vessels in the nose to stimulate clearing of mucus from the nasal passages.

  • Patient Note: Pseudoephedrine products are only available for sale from behind the pharmacy counter.

When to avoid: If you have high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate, or glaucoma.

Nasal Cromolyn


  • NasalCrom (Cromolyn)

How it works: Decreases histamine release in the nose, leading to less mucus release, itching, and sneezing.

  • Patient Note: May take 3 to 7 days to begin working and 2 to 4 weeks to see the full effect.

Drug of choice for: Older adults and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


When to see a doctor:

  • Children <12 years old
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Symptoms of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), like shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Symptoms of an ear infection (pain, hearing loss)
  • Symptoms of a sinus infection (sinus pressure or headache, tooth pain, congestion lasting 7-10 days that does not respond to treatment with OTC decongestants)
  • Side effects experienced with over-the-counter (OTC) treatment
  • Symptoms not improved with OTC treatment

Note: Always consult your doctor or pharmacist before beginning a new over-the-counter medication.