How to Treat Dry Eyes

Millions of people suffer from dry eyes. And it’s an important thing to treat. Treating dry eyes not only improves your quality of life, but keeping your eyes hydrated help protect eyes from infection and injury to the surfaces of the eye. I hope this article will help people be well equipped to choose an over the counter product to treat dry eyes and to understand some of the prescription options available. What Causes It? We all know the saying, “prevention is the best form of treatment.” So if we could identify what’s causing your eyes to be dry and have that addressed, that would be ideal. Here are the most common causes of dry eyes: dry environments high altitude wearing contact lenses prolonged computer use hormonal diseases and postmenopausal estrogen smoking eye surgeries (e.g. Lasik) prolonged use of artificial tears that contain preservatives Vitamin A deficiency medications- birth control, diuretics, beta blockers, anticholinergics, antihistamines, and antidepressants   Treatment Over the Counter (OTC) Artificial tears are the go to OTC option for treating dry eyes. The following are important information to know before picking one up at the pharmacy: There’s a bunch of these and it can get confusing. There is no [...]

By | 2017-10-02T21:01:51+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Health|Comments Off on How to Treat Dry Eyes

Managing Acid Reflux (Heartburn)

Here are the best ways to deal with heartburn, formally known as acid reflux, more formally known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, but most simply known as GERD Prevention/Lifestyle Changes We all know the saying, “the best form of treatment is prevention.” Nothing new here. Prevention and lifestyle changes are imperative to best managing acid reflux. The following are tips and tricks to prevent acid reflux: Avoid triggers — specific foods and drinks can cause it in certain people and everyone is different. A trigger could be a bad for you but not for me. So what are this triggers? Well, for some it can be chocolate (yes i know terrible news. But it gets worse.) Caffeine is also a trigger, one of my favorite things ever. It can also be spicy/acidic foods, some dairy products and carbonated beverages. Weight loss has been shown to be the best lifestyle modification for preventing symptoms. Avoid eating before bedtime (2–3 hours) especially high fatty foods. Quit smoking. Avoid lying down after meals. Bed elevation — might be better for treatment (6 inches) Not just the head cuz then you’ll be sleeping like this (demonstrate). But the entire bed. Can’t help you with how though. I’m a pharmacist, not an [...]

By | 2017-09-25T03:15:43+00:00 September 25th, 2017|Health|Comments Off on Managing Acid Reflux (Heartburn)

Smoking Cessation

The biggest struggle in preparing this topic was to decide on how much information I should provide on the importance of quitting. I do think there has been a great job done by organizations like Truth by educating people on the dangers smoking and of the importance of quitting. So I’ve chosen to do just one sentence on it. Smoking causes multiple cancers, heart disease, stroke, complications of pregnancy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and many other diseases that, on average, shorten a smoker’s lifespan by 14 years. Oh…one more thing. Sorry, it has turned into 2 sentences. But, smoking can increase risk for stroke and heart attack in women taking birth control! So be careful ladies! For the visual learners. I’m mainly going to talk about the different ways to quit and what products to use. Your options for quitting are trying it cold turkey, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, behavioral therapy, medications, and counseling. I usually only recommend medications and counseling as studies have been proven that these are the most effective. And in combination, counseling with a healthcare provider and medications have been proven to be the superior of all the different ways to quit. Quitting is hard. A lot of [...]

By | 2017-09-25T03:12:14+00:00 September 25th, 2017|Health|Comments Off on Smoking Cessation

Crohn’s Disease: What is it and how is it managed?

Crohn’s Disease is when you have inflammation of your digestive system, also know as the GI tract. It can happen anywhere in your GI tract, but its usually at the end of the small intestine. It is considered a type of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, not to be confused with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. IBD is much more severe. It is a chronic disease than can have pretty severe symptoms, but sometimes people don’t feel any symptoms at all. Classic symptoms include severe diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal pain (there can be many others but these are the most common). Some healthcare providers refer to three different stages of Crohn’s Disease: Flare ups- presence of severe symptoms Maintenance- presence of symptoms, but less severe Remission- symptom free with little to no inflammation Diagnosis can involve blood tests, MRIs and, unfortunately, some pretty uncomfortable procedures like a colonoscopy, to name a few. But, your physician may require or prefer additional tests. What causes Crohn’s Disease? The exact cause of Crohn’s is still unknown. But it is believed it could be genetic (send a thank you letter to mom and dad). Or it could also be caused by environmental factors or [...]

By | 2017-09-25T03:08:04+00:00 September 25th, 2017|Health|Comments Off on Crohn’s Disease: What is it and how is it managed?

How To Cut a Pill

Cutting pills can be a great way to save money, but how do you split those tiny things?! In a previous article, I mentioned how cutting pills can help you save money on your medication costs (click here to read that one). But how do you split a pill? First of all, it is very important to first find out if you’re able to cut the pill you’re taking. Not all pills can be cut. A medication can be EXTREMELY dangerous if taken after the pill is cut and it wasn’t suppose to be. What can result? Death. Yes. DEATH. Or, you may experience very serious side effects to that medication. So please, be careful. In general, pills cannot be cut if: Your medication is an extended release, delayed release, XR, ER, or any similar formulation It has an enteric coating, is a capsule, or contain granules But again, always check with a pharmacist or your prescriber before cutting any of your pills. On to the cutting. For best results, make sure to use a product specifically intended to cut a pill. It makes it super easy to do, and can be fairly accurate in getting the intended dosage. They also work really [...]

By | 2017-07-14T03:30:27+00:00 July 14th, 2017|Health|Comments Off on How To Cut a Pill

Dealing with Sleep Issues.

Sleep is important, as demonstrated by the owl above. Or, maybe it’s just focusing really hard, who knows. Anyway…Here’s my take on how to best deal with sleep issues. I want to start by saying, PLEASE do not take sleep issues lightly. If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, it’s something that I think should be addressed immediately. If you’re someone having sleep issues, before trying any medications it’s best to try and see if something that’s causing it can be addressed. A couple things to immediately assess are exercise, caffeine and alcohol intake in the evening. It’s important to try and keep an account of the things you do leading up to bedtime as pre-sleep habits are imperative to getting a good night’s rest. It is a common misconception that alcohol helps people go to sleep. While it is true alcohol helps people fall asleep quicker, it does not provide a good night’s rest and can actually cause you to wake up more often at night. So yes, if you’re having trouble staying awake at night, you might have to put down that glass of wine. The following are my best tips for good pre-sleep habits: Try to [...]

By | 2017-06-28T04:09:27+00:00 June 28th, 2017|Health|Comments Off on Dealing with Sleep Issues.

Brand vs Generic

I’m pumped to address this age-old debate. Are you curious about the difference between brand and generics? Wondering which should you take? I got you. First of all, why is there even the option? Well, when a drug company creates a drug and gets that drug to market, which often involves billions of dollars, yes with a ‘B’, in research, they own a patent to that medication for 20 years. When that patent ends, generic manufacturers can then produce the equivalent generics after proving bioequivalence with the FDA. But are they really the same? In general, the answer is yes. According to the FDA: Generic drugs are required to have the same active ingredient, strength, dosage form, and route of administration as the brand name product. Generic drugs do not need to contain the same inactive ingredients as the brand name product. They usually only differ in just the inactive fillers, an unlikely factor to cause differences in the way the medication works or how you feel. In addition, generics can appear very different in color, shape, and size, in comparison to the brand, even though its the exact same medication. But in general, they are the same and work [...]

By | 2017-06-14T02:57:08+00:00 June 14th, 2017|Health|Comments Off on Brand vs Generic

High Blood Pressure and OTC Pain Relief Options

It's very common to have high blood pressure. One in three adults in America to be precise. And who doesn’t have aches and pains? At some point you might need help with aches and pains, but some over the counter medications available may not be safe to take if you have high blood pressure. It’s a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aka NSAIDS), which include: Advil (Ibuprofen) Motrin (Ibuprofen) Aleve (Naproxen) Aspirin Not only can taking these medications increase your blood pressure, but it can also prevent your blood pressure medications from working. The good news is, taking these once in awhile is usually okay. But taking one of these daily for periods longer than a week may be an issue. Because of this, the preferred over the counter medication to use for aches and pains is Tylenol (acetaminophen), but as always, make sure to check with your pharmacist or your primary care provider before starting or stopping any medications. If you have any other questions feel free to email me at Take care.

By | 2017-05-30T03:34:30+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Health|Comments Off on High Blood Pressure and OTC Pain Relief Options

How can I get off these medications?

Have you ever asked yourself, “How can I get off these medications?” It’s no secret that U.S. citizens, on average, take more medications than the citizens of any other country in the world.  But is our health that much better as a result? Short answer – no. Even though the true answer to this question involves many complicated issues, there is one thing you can be doing right now if your goal is to get off your medications – talk to your pharmacist – and here’s why. Pharmacists are drug experts. Having to take multiple medications can be confusing, expensive, or just plain inconvenient. Your pharmacist spent countless hours of intense study and clinical practice learning what drugs you should take, why you should take them, and what that drug can to do to help you.  Pharmacists are drug experts.  They also get huge amounts of training on things you can do to improve your health, aside from taking medications. Can’t seem to get your diabetes under control? Worried about your blood pressure? As drug experts, your pharmacist is in a unique position to help you figure out what changes you can make in your daily life that [...]

By | 2017-05-19T02:44:12+00:00 May 19th, 2017|Health|Comments Off on How can I get off these medications?

How to save money on medications

Here are eight strategies to significantly lower the cost of your medications: Shop around. Yes, I know you love your Pharmacist at XYZ Pharmacy, but hey, if you need to pick up a medicine or two at a different pharmacy because it could help you pay your bills or buy more coffee, that’s exactly what you should do. However, make sure your regular Pharmacist knows the name of the medication you are picking up at another pharmacy, just so they can make sure there are no drug interactions. Switch to a generic. In most situations, taking a generic medication instead of the brand will have the same exact effect in your body. There are some exceptions and cases where your body can respond differently, but it is rare and usually only relates to hormone-type medications. What if switching from a brand name medication to a generic one can saves you $50/month? That’s an extra $600 in your pocket per year! Stop the combo tablets. Sometimes your doctor will prescribe a medication for you that has two medications in one tablet. I mean, who doesn’t like a 2-for-1. Even though it’s more convenient, combination pills usually come at a price. [...]

By | 2017-05-19T03:22:11+00:00 May 5th, 2017|Health|Comments Off on How to save money on medications