Health Tips

Know the Risks of Taking Expired Drugs

Know the Risks of Taking Expired Drugs

By on May 4, 2017 in Health Tips | 0 comments

You Can imagine the surprise I got when I read a Harvard Health Publication that said that expiration dates on prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don’t “really indicate a point at which the medication is no longer effective or has become unsafe to use.” They go on to say that some medicines are safe to take years after the indicated expiration date on the bottle. Of course this stirred up my own curiosity so I decided to do more investigation. When and why expiration dates came into use Expiration dates on prescription and OTC drugs came about from a requirement established in 1979 from the FDA. The purpose is explained in an FDA resource publication: “The medicine expiration date is a critical part of deciding if the product is safe to use and will work as intended,” says Ilisa Bernstein, Pharm.D., J.D., Deputy Director of the Office of Compliance in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Some might say it is for consumer protections, both physically and financially. In other words, to protect you from taking something that could be harmful to your health and also to ensure that you are getting everything you paid for. An article at NPR.org gives more in depth explanation of how drugs could become harmful, if their strength is weakened: The general rule, says pharmacist Mike Fossler, with the American College of Clinical Pharmacology, is that once a drug is degraded by 10 percent it has reached “the end of its useful life.” If you take it months or even years past the expiration date, it’s unlikely to do you any harm, he says; it just might not do you much good. Pharmacist Mohamed Jalloh, a spokesman for the American Pharmacists Association, says there’s an even bigger reason not to rely on old drugs: antibiotic resistance. When you inadvertently “underdose” yourself by taking antibiotics that aren’t full strength, he says, you run the risk that the bacteria you’re battling will figure out not only how to defeat this weakened drug, but other antibiotics, too. Why take the chance? Some people might look at the expiration date simply as the last date the manufacturer will guarantee the full potency and effectiveness of the...

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Do You Think You Are Developing Allergies?

Do You Think You Are Developing Allergies?

By on Apr 5, 2017 in Health Tips | 0 comments

Ah, spring! It’s a wonderful time of year – at least for some of us. For others, that ahhhh turns into a never-ending series of ah-choos! Yes, spring foliage is popping up and so are allergies. It’s not just in spring that allergy sufferers contend with their condition. It follows them throughout the year. Most of what you read to find relief tells you that the best strategy is to avoid the things that trigger the allergy. That really limits life for some people. Although the medical community can’t pinpoint the reason, some people develop allergies later in life to things that they have never reacted to previously. It could be a change in the environment, their personal health, or the molecular make-up of a different strain, variety, or type of allergen. In other words, there is something that shifts – and it could be only a slight shift, but enough to trigger an allergic reaction in your body. What are allergies? The immune system protects our body from what it deems invaders. The white blood cells (lymphocytes) are the basic component of that system and when the white cells make a mistake, an allergic response is the result. The lymphocytes encounter a particle and identify it as an invader, it then produces antibodies that are specifically engineered to attack that specific menace. Allergies can affect nearly every area of the body and the Cleveland Clinic explains … When allergens are airborne such as pollen, dust and molds, the allergic reaction generally occurs in the eyes, nose, and/or lungs. If the allergen is ingested, such as foods or drugs, the allergic reaction may occur primarily in the mouth, stomach, and intestines. The antibodies that are produced to fight off the threat attach to the suspect molecule on one side and then attach its other side to a mast cell, which contain histamine and other allergy mediators. When that happens, it results in immediate responses such as runny nose, itchy eyes, skin rashes, and indigestion. What are the most common allergens? Pollen Dust Pet dander Mold Dust mites Wheat Colorants, additives and preservatives Grass Cow products Different people are affected by different allergens and in varying degrees. Identifying the triggers...

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Dangerous Drug Interactions Can Be Prevented with Careful Review

Dangerous Drug Interactions Can Be Prevented with Careful Review

By on Mar 8, 2017 in Health Tips | 0 comments

At some time in your life, you’ve probably taken more than one drug at the same time. You may be taking a prescription drug for high blood pressure and want to buy an over-the-counter drug for something like a cold or the flu. But if you’re not careful, you might take something that would adversely interact with the first drug and cause serious and dangerous side effects. Three categories of drug interactions On its website, the FDA says that there are three common categories of drug interactions: Drug-drug interactions occur when two or more drugs react with each other. This drug-drug interaction may cause you to experience an unexpected side effect. For example, mixing a drug you take to help you sleep (a sedative) and a drug you take for allergies (an antihistamine) can slow your reactions and make driving a car or operating machinery dangerous. Drug-food/beverage interactions result from drugs reacting with foods or beverages. For example, mixing alcohol with some drugs may cause you to feel tired or slow your reactions. Drug-condition interactions may occur when an existing medical condition makes certain drugs potentially harmful. For example, if you have high blood pressure you could experience an unwanted reaction if you take a nasal decongestant. Common Sense and Questions  Here at Medical Center Pharmacy, we want you to be healthy and safe. Take steps to protect yourself from such interactions. Some precautions are just common sense. Read the labels of all prescription and over the counter drugs each time you take them or have them refilled. Drug labels include a lot of information. Read the sections on active ingredients and purposes, the uses, the warnings and the directions. Drugs do change from time to time or new information has been learned about how they might react to other drugs. Don’t assume that because there was no side effect before that this will always be the case. Ask questions of both your doctor and pharmacist when receiving medications. The FDA lists some pertinent questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist: Can I take it with other drugs? Should I avoid certain foods, beverages or other products? What are possible drug interaction signs I should know about? How will...

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How to Tell the Difference between a Cold and the Flu

How to Tell the Difference between a Cold and the Flu

By on Feb 16, 2017 in Health Tips | 0 comments

You wake up feeling tired and achy with a sore throat and a runny nose. You know you aren’t well, but is it “just a cold” or is it THE FLU? Here at Medical Center Pharmacy, we see a lot of people come in with that question on the tip of their tongue. When it’s a cold … Cold symptoms may include: Sore throat Runny nose Cough Fever (most common in children) Cold symptoms usually last for about a week. If the symptoms last longer than a week, you might have a bacterial infection or a sinus infection. It’s best to see a doctor for medication at that point. Sometimes people mistake an allergy for a cold, too. If the symptoms go away after a week, it is probably a cold, not allergies. When it’s the flu … Flu symptoms usually are more severe and come on quickly and may include: Sore throat Fever Headache Muscle aches and soreness Congestion Cough Some strains may include vomiting and diarrhea Flu symptoms commonly get better over two to five days, but the flu can last for a week or more as well. Flu can lead to other complications include pneumonia, so it is particularly hard on people with heart or lung ailments or those who are elderly. If breathing becomes difficult, you should see a physician. The flu often leads to bronchitis, sinusitis and ear infections. How to prevent colds and flu Just as several of the symptoms between a cold and flu are similar, cold and flu viruses both enter the body through the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, or mouth. You can prevent contracting either by washing hands frequently with soap and water and by keeping hands away from the nose, eyes, and mouth. The medical community suggests that people get an annual flu vaccination. While the vaccination does not prevent or protect against all strains of flu, it is intended to battle the most common strains at the time. The other thing about the flu is that it generally runs its course from fall to spring. Colds generally occur all throughout the year. Protect your general health People are more prone to illness when their immunity is...

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Long-term Multivitamin Use Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease for Women

Long-term Multivitamin Use Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease for Women

By on Jan 3, 2017 in Health Tips | 0 comments

A June, 2016 statement from the CDC once again confirmed that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. The CDC noted that 289,758 women died in 2013 from heart disease, accounting for 1 in every 4 female deaths. So what can women do to reduce the risk of heart disease? We are reminded of the common suggestions: Stop or never start smoking cigarettes. Consistently eat a healthy diet filled with fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables. Stay active and in motion. Exercise should include activity that makes you sweat. In other words, gets you heart pumping and blood moving. Reduce stress. Engage in activities like Yoga, Tai Chi, or meditation to cope with the daily stresses. These are all great suggestions, but a recent study indicated that there is something else women can do to reduce their heart disease risk over the long-term: Take a multi-vitamin with minerals. In an article, Dr. Tori Hudson shared that “There have been only 2 randomized clinical trials addressing whether or not vitamin and mineral supplements are effective for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.” She said that while one study found no association between cardiovascular disease and the use of a multivitamin-mineral (MVM) in males, the other study studied both men and women and again, found no association for either gender during the study time frame. However, in 2010, a Swedish study of women found that “… multi vitamins, (MV) without minerals, were associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction, and if they used them greater than 5 years, the association was even stronger … when they looked at the length of time of use, there was indeed a significant inverse association for MVM use of > 3 years with a more than 35% reduced risk of CVD mortality in women, but not men.” This would suggest that long-term use of MVM can be a significant factor in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease for women – and that is, indeed, good news. Searcy Pharmacy is the place in Searcy to find multivitamins with minerals as well as other supplements for healthy living. Stop in to find the best options available at great prices, too.  ...

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Tips for Living with Plantar Fasciitis from Searcy Pharmacy

Tips for Living with Plantar Fasciitis from Searcy Pharmacy

By on Dec 19, 2016 in Health Tips | 0 comments

Whether or not you spent the night restlessly tossing and turning or in a deep restorative sleep, anyone that suffers with plantar fasciitis will tell you they don’t jump out of bed ready to take on the day. Plantar fasciitis is, well, a real pain in the foot. What is plantar fasciitis? The condition most commonly creeps up on its victims. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes. Although the exact cause is unknown, the ligament gets inflamed and small tears results in the pain in the foot. Similar to the way it gradually gets worse, improving the condition takes time, too. How to treat plantar fasciitis Everyone knows it is impossible to stay off your feet and still meet all the demands of your life, which makes treating plantar fasciitis a challenge. Doctors will diagnose the condition and before suggesting pharmaceutical or other medical treatments, they often suggest you treat the condition at home with one or more the following: Exercises Stretching and strengthening the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia will increase flexibility and the ability of the foot to support the ankle. Jarring motion like running or jogging will aggravate the condition as will lots of walking. Stretching and strengthening are the best options. Flex your foot up and down 10 times before getting out of bed or standing after sitting. Place a towel beneath the ball of the foot, hold each end of the towel and flex your foot and leg by pushing the foot into the towel. Engage calf muscles in a stretch 3 to 6 times per day. Lean forward against a wall, keep the knee of one leg straight and the heel of the foot planted on the floor while bending at the knee of the other leg. Hold this position for a count of 8 to 10 seconds. Do NOT bounce. Stretch both the plantar fascia and the calf with a stretch on a step. Stand on the step with the front part of your feet while letting the back hang off the edge. Slowly lower the heels while holding onto the rail. Once your heels are as low as possible, hold for a count...

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