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Posts Tagged ‘John Bishel’

Personal Medication Record (PMR). By Pharmacy Intern, John Bishel (JB).

Hello, everyone. This is John, the intern, again blogging to you. Today, I wanted to talk about something important to everyone taking multiple medications. Many times, when I am asked about an over-the-counter therapy or a medication, the question of what other medications you are taking comes up. Whenever you go to the physician or hospital, one of the first things they will ask is what medications you are taking. An easy way to answer the questions is by providing a personal medication record (or PMR for short).

What is a PMR?

A PMR is a list of medications, including herbal supplements and vitamins, that you take. The PMR can also include other information such as allergies, who your primary care physician is, and other items that would be important upon a hospital admission or a visit to a new physician. The PMR can be a quick reference for the physician or pharmacist to help them make the best decision for you and avoid drug interactions that could cause you to not get the most out of your drugs or possibly put you at risk for harm.

Why have a PMR?

A PMR is a quick way to inform your healthcare practitioners of what you are taking, what you have taken, and what may be best for you. A common situation in today’s world is to have many doctors taking care of you. Many people have a cardiologist for heart health, a nephrologist for kidney health, a neurologist, oncologist, or endocrinologist. The list of specialists goes on and on. If your cardiologist places you on a drug, this could potentially effect what antibiotic your primary care doctor will prescribe, or what your endocrinologist will evaluate you for. One way to help inform your physicians and pharmacists quickly and easily is through a personal medication record, because we all know that healthcare professionals have limited time.

Where do I get a PMR?

There are many places to get a PMR. An easy way would be to print off and fill out a form from AARP, the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons.  Another option is to create one in Excel on the computer or ask one of your healthcare providers if they can print off a template for you. It takes a few minutes to fill out and can save you time and confusion whenever you go to the doctor.

Thanks, again, and feel free to stop in the drugstore with questions.

AARP Personal Medication Record:


Zostavax Vaccine for Shingles. By Pharmacy Intern John Bishel (You Can Call Him J. B.).

Hello, everyone. This is John Bishel, the intern at Plain City Druggist for the month of March, writing this blog posting. If you have not met me, I am currently in my last year of pharmacy school at Ohio State (Go, Buckeyes!) and I have been helping Joe around the pharmacy. I have the opportunity of reaching out to you to talk about the shingles vaccine with this post.

What is shingles?

Shingles is a painful, blistering skin rash due to a virus called varicella-zoster, the same virus that causes chickenpox.  Shingles occurs when the chickenpox virus reactivates.

What is in the shingles vaccine?

The shingles vaccine known as Zostavax® contains a weakened form of the chickenpox virus. The vaccine can help prevent you from getting shingles. As with all things in medicine, the vaccine is not 100% effective, but is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to help prevent shingles in patients 60 years of age and older who have a history of chickenpox.

Who is recommended to get the shingles vaccine?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that patients with a history of chickenpox (about 9 out of 10 of us) and older than 60 years old receive the Zostavax® vaccine. Zostavax® is not recommended, though, in patients who are currently immunosuppressed, taking immunosuppressive medications such as steroids, pregnant, allergic to gelatin or neomycin (an old antibiotic commonly found in Neosporin®), or allergic to any ingredient in the vaccine. Feel free to ask Joe, Robin, or any of the pharmacists if they believe the vaccine is right for you.

Do I need a prescription from my doctor?

In the state of Ohio, a prescription written within the last 30 days from your physician is required to give you the Zostavax® vaccine in the pharmacy.

Why do pharmacists administer the vaccine?

Because of the cost of the vaccine (~$225) and the restriction that it be administered within 30 minutes of mixing, many doctors’ offices have refrained from providing the vaccine.

Are there side effects?

About 50% of people experience redness, pain, or swelling around the injection site. Other common reactions include itching, warmth, and headache. Most other reactions are rare and can be discussed with your physician or pharmacist.

How much does it cost and is it covered by my insurance?

That is a great question and we can always process a prescription for you to find out. I would recommend calling your insurance company’s 800 number to ask them to estimate the cost for you. Zostavax® is covered for most patients over 60 years old and for those covered by Medicare Part D.

Please feel free to ask any questions that you think of to the wonderful pharmacists at Plain City Druggist. Also ask your doctor at your next visit if they think Zostavax® is right for you.

To read more about shingles or the vaccine please visit these websites:



Welcome John Bishel, Our Fourth Year Pharmacy Student for the Month of March!

We’d like to ask everyone to welcome our pharmacy student for the month of March, John Bishel. John is a fourth year pharmacy student who will be graduating from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy this year. He’ll be working with us during a very busy month as we prepare to set up new web sites, implement a new computer system, and keep everyone from having breakdowns due to all the changes! Whew! We know John is up for the task.

How do we know? Because on the first of the month, we always get in our large order and this entails unloading tons of totes (today, it was our own version of March Madness). John jumped right in and by 9:30 this morning, had to take off his lab coat, because he was working so hard. If we have him working this hard on his first day, we hope we won’t wear him out by the end of the month!

Please stop in and say hi to John and make him welcome as you get to know him throughout the month of March.