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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Hammond’

Over-The-Counter Cough Treatments. By Our Pharmacy Student, Matt Hammond.

Hi, everyone, it’s Matt, the student pharmacist here at Plain City Druggist for the month of November. Cold season is upon us and few things can be more frustrating than dealing with a pesky cough. Since there are numerous over-the-counter (OTC) formulations available, picking the right medicine to treat your cough can be a chore in and of itself! Cough medications available over-the-counter can be separated into two main categories: expectorants and suppressants.

After reading this post, you’ll be able to make an informed decision to choose the appropriate medicine to treat your nagging cough.

Expectorants are cough medications used to thin mucus present in the airway so that coughing may more easily remove the mucus. Thus, expectorants help to make coughs more “productive”–meaning coughs can get rid of the accumulated mucus. If it feels like you have a lot of congestion in your lungs and throat but can’t seem to cough it up, choose a cough remedy containing guaifenesin. Common products with guaifenesin include Mucinex® and Robitussin®. However, several “store brand” generic formulations are also available and are usually placed right next to the comparable name brand products.

Antitussives are cough medications used for suppressing non-productive coughs. Coughing that is dry and hacking in nature is considered non-productive.  To stop that annoying cough, look for products containing dextromethorphan. Common products containing dextromethorphan include Delsym®, a 12-hour extended-release formulation, and Robitussin DM®. Generic formulations of these products are also available. Benadryl® or its generic, diphenhydramine, is another medication which may be used to help stop coughs. This medication is best used at night around bedtime, as it tends to increase drowsiness. Cough drops containing menthol, as well as applying Vicks VapoRub® around the nose, can help to soothe the throat and lower the urge to cough.

There are also several alternative treatments that don’t use medication which you can try alone or together with the above remedies to help relieve your cough. Hard candy can help stimulate saliva production, reduce throat irritation, and may reduce coughing. Some new OTC cough treatments use honey as the active ingredient and may be especially useful to children between one and two years of age who cannot take expectorants and antitussives. Humidifiers and vaporizers work to increase the amount of moisture in the air of a room and can help to soothe irritated airways. Finally, simply increasing your fluid intake, especially water, can help to loosen phlegm and make coughs more productive.

If you still have questions about the best way to treat your cough after reading this article, please stop in and talk to one of our pharmacists here at Plain City Druggist!

Pharmacy Immunization Offerings. By Our November Pharmacy Student, Matt Hammond.

With temperatures steadily dropping and winter just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to talk about getting immunized for this year’s flu season. We also want to take the time to let you know about all of the other vaccinations we offer here at Plain City Druggist.

Vaccinations provide the blueprint for a variety of infectious diseases and, therefore, allow the body to analyze and produce antibodies against that disease. This built-up immune response prevents the body from getting infected from future contact with that particular disease. Introduction and advancement of immunizations over the past 50+ years has led to an extreme reduction and, even (in some cases), eradication of rates of infection and death from various diseases.

At Plain City Druggist, we offer the following immunizations to keep you and your loved ones healthy:

Influenza (Flu) – The most common strains of the influenza virus frequently morph or change from year to year, and, thus, the influenza vaccine is unusual in that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all persons receive one dose of influenza vaccine each year during flu season. Here at Plain City Druggist, we offer an intra-dermal (through the skin) vaccine with a 90% shorter needle versus the traditional vaccine. We also offer a high-dose formulation as an option for those 65 years of age and older. It’s important to note that, despite the popular myth, the inactivated influenza vaccine cannot cause influenza!

Pneumonia – Pneumonia causes the hospitalization of about 175,000 adults each year in the United States.  The CDC recommends that all children receive vaccination for pneumonia. However, for those who were never vaccinated when younger, the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is indicated for patients aged 65 years or older, or those aged 19-64 who smoke cigarettes, have asthma, or have certain other chronic illnesses (diabetes and congestive heart failure, among others).

Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis – The CDC recommends a vaccination schedule against these bacteria starting early in childhood.  Since pertussis is not well controlled in the US, it is recommended that all people aged 11 to 64 years old receive a one-time dose of Tdap (providing protection against all 3 bacteria), as well as those aged 65 and older who anticipate having close contact with an infant less than 12 months of age. After a person has received Tdap, they should receive a booster Td dose (containing protection from tetanus and diphtheria) every 10 years.

Hepatitis A & B – Hepatitis A and B are infections of the liver which can lead to liver failure and death in advanced cases. Vaccination schedules have been released by the CDC for all children. Those who were not vaccinated as children are recommended to receive these vaccinations as adults. For Hepatitis A, adults (18 years of age and older) should receive an initial dose followed by a booster dose 6 to 18 months later. For Hepatitis B, adults should receive a 3-dose series of hepatitis B, with the 2nd and 3rd doses received 1 and 6 months after the first dose.

Meningitis – This vaccine series is recommended in adolescents starting at age 11. It is also indicated for adults up to 55 years old at high risk for the disease. Those at high risk include college freshman living in dorms, military personnel, people with certain immunodeficiencies, and those traveling to sub-Saharan Africa or Saudi Arabia.

Zoster (Shingles) – This vaccination is recommended for adults aged 60 years or older who had chickenpox as a child or received the live varicella vaccination in the past. Once the body is exposed to the chickenpox virus, it lies dormant in the body and can become reactivated later in life, causing herpes zoster, also known as shingles. Shingles is described by a painful inflammation of the nerves infected by the virus, which is often followed by a rash. The pain caused by shingles can persist for months or even years after the rash appears.

Vaccinations can be given here at Plain City Druggist to all those 18 years of age and older. Children who are 14 years and older can receive the influenza vaccine under parent/guardian approval. In many cases, we can bill your insurance directly, covering most or all of the cost of your vaccinations! Please call us at (614) 873-0880 or stop in and talk with any of our pharmacists to determine which vaccinations are appropriate for you.

Source: American Pharmacists Association. Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery, Twelfth Edition. Washington, DC: American Pharmacists Association, 2011. Print.

Welcome to Our Fourth Year Pharmacy Student for November, Matt Hammond!

We’d like to introduce you to our fourth year pharmacy student for the month of November, Matt Hammond. Here is what Matt has to say about himself:

“Hi, everyone, my name is Matt Hammond and I am a fourth year pharmacy student from The Ohio State University. I’ll be working here at Plain City Druggist for the next month and just wanted to take the time to introduce myself!

Although I’ve lived in Columbus for the last three years, I’m originally from Valparaiso, Indiana. The original home of Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn is about about an hour around Lake Michigan from downtown Chicago.  I graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a degree in biochemistry in 2008 and worked full-time in a community pharmacy for a year before starting my pharmacy degree here at Ohio State in September 2009. I was drawn to pharmacy school not only due to my interest in how medications work, but also to the active role pharmacists have in working to optimize the medication regimens of patients and improve their quality of life. If you ever have any questions regarding how to get the most out of your medications during my stay here, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Outside of pharmacy, I enjoy running, disc golf, and hanging out with friends. I’m also attempting to become a better poker player (a risky proposition with the new casino having opened up recently!).

I look forward to seeing you around the pharmacy at Plain City Druggist!”

Please stop in and say hello to Matt this month!