Showing posts with label trade secrets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trade secrets. Show all posts

Thursday, January 13, 2011

trade secrets: beauty is skin deep {moisturizers}

Whether you're browsing the cosmetics counters in your favorite department store or strolling through the aisles at your local pharmacy, the number of facial soaps, creams and moisturizers can be overwhelming. So many options..so many pretty bottles...so many promises..but let's be honest, it can be difficult to distinguish truth from hype.
But I am not hear to discuss which option is the best. That concept is better off as a one on one consult. What I am here is to tell you a little secret about moisturizing.

First thing {and you already know this}, you should moisturize at least twice a day..especially during these dry winter months. Dermatologists recommend using a daily facial moisturizer as part of a skin care routine.

We all wash our face, and this activity not only removes dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria, but it also strips the skin of needed hydration. Water -- not oil -- in the skin keeps it plump and smooth, whereas dry skin loses elasticity, making it more prone to developing wrinkles. And we all would pay a pretty penny to avoid wrinkles, but why not stop them before they start.


So what is my trade secret?

It doesn't matter how expensive or how cheap the moisturizer is...the real deal is mastering the "how to apply."

Just remember when applying anything to your face, use your ring and middle fingers. We love our pointer finger, but that finger can tend to be rough on delicate skin....especially around the eye. Plus the pads of the other fingers are usually more soft. {so that 1st pic in my post is all wrong, but I liked it....oh well}


Finally, after you have applied your moisturizer....let it "set" before doing anything. Don't do anything with your face. No touching. No makeup...nada.Go make your bed if its in the AM or put on your jammies if  it is close to bedtime. Just let that moisturizer "soak" into your skin. This is so key...especially in the morning before putting on makeup. If you don't allow it to "set" more than likely when you apply makeup, you will "push" off your moisturizer. Try it and you will notice a difference, I guarantee it. {as for how long...play with it because it is all based on individual skin chemistry.}

There you have it. Two simple and easy ways to improve the moisture of your skin, but many people don't do it.

Hope you like my little secret..

Cheers~
e

Thursday, January 6, 2011

trade secrets: how safe are popular energy drinks?

The buzz about alcoholic energy drinks (Four Loko, Joose, etc) is raising questions about whether any of the energy drinks are safe.

Many people don't realize how much caffeine and other stimulants these drinks contain...and it's often not specified on the label. Caffeine amount varies...

about 80 mg for Red Bull



 about 100 mg for 5-Hour Energy


and over 300 mg for some kinds of Rockstar.

Most healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 mg/day of caffeine...about three 8 oz cups of coffee.

For children, suggest keeping it under about 45 mg/day for 4 year-olds...sliding up to about 85 mg/day for 12 year-olds. Be careful...caffeine and children are in my opinion a true contraindication.

Other ingredients that sneak in there are that you need to know about:
Guarana often appears on labels, but let me explain that it's just another source of caffeine...like coffee beans, cola nuts, and tea or mate leaves. Unfortunately though guarana is usually not counted as caffeine on labels.

Taurine is often added...supposedly to improve performance. But the amount in energy drinks has no proven benefit.

B vitamins are also added to supposedly increase energy. Your body needs there for cellular energy metabolism...but there's no proof that supplements boost energy.

Just be careful NOT to combine energy drinks with stimulants (methylphenidate, pseudoephedrine, etc)...due to additive effects. Also be careful not to use energy drinks for rehydration...caffeine can be dehydrating if you are use to it.

When in doubt...grab a glass of water if your thirsty and just think twice before opening a can loaded with caffeience. And as always...feel free to share my info away with friends and family or not. Either way, it will be our little secret.

Cheers~
e

Thursday, December 16, 2010

trade secrets: managing pain the otc way

How often do you find yourself at the pharmacy staring at an overwhelming number of pain relievers? As you look down the aisle, you realize there are so many different brands. How will you find the one that works best for you? With so many over-the-counter (OTC) (ie, drugs that do not require a prescription) choices, it is not that easy to find the one that will take care of your aches and pains.


Lots of people turn to oral OTC pain relievers to help relieve pain. Pain is often associated with inflammation, which is an irritation of tissues that can also cause redness, swelling, and heat in the affected area. Conditions that can be treated using OTC pain relievers include:

• Minor arthritis pain and other joint pain. Approximately 46 million adults in the United States have been told they have some form of arthritis. People with arthritis may complain of pain, stiffness, and swelling in their joints—typically in the hands, knees, and hips. Although a doctor should manage arthritis treatment, OTC pain relievers can help with minor arthritis pain and other joint pain.
• Pain from injury. In 2006, nearly 15% of visits to the emergency department or doctors’ offices in the United States were related to musculoskeletal injuries (ie, injuries related to muscles, bones, and joints). Common types include strains, sprains, or muscle bruises, and they can be caused by falling down, playing sports, or from making repetitive movements. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, redness, warmth, and/or swelling near a joint or muscle group.
• Other causes. Pain due to headache, muscular aches, backache, toothache, menstrual cramps, and the common cold or flu.

What OTC Pain Relievers Are Available?

Although there are many different brands available, there are only 2 different types of OTC pain relievers— nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. For all of these products, it is important to read the label and use as directed.

NSAIDs

NSAIDs are medications that can reduce pain and fever. NSAIDs work by limiting the production of certain substances in your body called prostaglandins, which are released when your tissues are injured, resulting in inflammation and pain. There are several NSAIDs available by prescription, but only 3 are available OTC: ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and aspirin. While prescription NSAIDs are used to treat more severe conditions, OTC NSAIDs such as ibuprofen are used to relieve minor pain due to headache, toothache, backache, menstrual cramps, muscle aches, and the common cold, and pain associated with minor arthritis and other joint pain. They are also used to temporarily reduce fever.

Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen (the active ingredient in several products including Advil) is an NSAID that was first approved by the FDA for prescription use in 1974. It gained OTC status in 1984 with the launch of Advil. OTC doses of ibuprofen are both safe and effective for the treatment of pain and fever when used as directed. OTC ibuprofen is recommended for the temporary reduction of fever and relief of minor aches and pains associated with arthritis, headache, muscular aches, toothache, backache, the common cold, and menstrual cramps.

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol and other products) is another pain reliever that can be obtained OTC; it has been available since 1950. Acetaminophen is recommended for the temporary reduction of fever and relief of minor aches and pains associated with arthritis, headache, muscular aches, toothache, backache, the common cold, and menstrual cramps.

Comparing Ibuprofen With Acetaminophen

Clinical studies have demonstrated that quickly absorbed forms of ibuprofen, such as Advil Liqui-Gels, relieve pain faster than acetaminophen tablets. In addition, ibuprofen lasts longer (ie, fewer doses may be needed per day) and is more effective (ie, stronger) than acetaminophen for relieving many types of acute pain. Clinical studies support that OTC doses of ibuprofen are better than acetaminophen in relieving postsurgical dental pain, tension-type headache, sore throat pain, and muscle soreness.

Summary/Recommendations

OTC products containing ibuprofen, such as Advil, are a reasonable choice when considering options for self-care of acute pain. When choosing a pain reliever, keep in mind the symptoms you want to treat, other drugs you may be taking, and your general health. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions, and always be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist what OTC medications, vitamins, or dietary supplements you are taking.

Feel free to share away with friends and family or not. Either way, it will be our little secret.

Cheers~
e

Thursday, December 2, 2010

trade secrets: generic vs brand {part 2 - Birth Control}

Women everywhere are concerned about the cost of prescription medications, but none are willing to compromise on quality or safety, particularly when it comes to oral contraceptives (also known as the pill). In the past, physicians were limited to prescribing brand name oral contraceptives. Now, a number of generic equivalents pills that contain identical ingredients to the brand name oral contraceptives and the exact doses are available at lower costs.


So...the question you come back to is: Can I trust a generic birth control?
As I have stated in part 1, The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) takes the quality of generic medications seriously. Remember generic drugs must prove their active ingredients are "therapeutically equivalent" to the original product.

In fact each generic medication is laboratory-tested to ensure that the same amount of drug is absorbed into the bloodstream as with the brand name medication. Generic medications can, however, contain different inactive ingredients, such as preservatives, dyes, and binders. These inactive ingredients are combined with the active ingredients for a number of reasons, including to keep tablets from breaking in the bottle or to ensure that the medicine dissolves properly once in the body. Thus, the generic oral contraceptive may be a different shape or color, but the quality and effectiveness are the same as the original medicine...and at a lower cost.

What else should I know about my oral contraceptive?


Whether generic or brand name, most oral contraceptives are supplied in a pack: a cardboard or foil blister pack or a plastic dispenser containing a 28-day supply of medication. The packaging is designed to help you keep track of your daily dose. Most oral contraceptive packs have 21 active pills and 7 "dummy" or placebo pills.

The pills for the last 7 days of the pack usually contain no active ingredients in order to allow you to have your period and to help you remember to take a pill each day. A few oral contraceptive packs contain only 21 active pills. When using these oral contraceptives, you must remember to start a new pack after you have been off the pills for 7 days. Some of the oral contraceptives with 28 pills contain an iron supplement to be taken during the last week of each month (an example of an oral contraceptive containing an iron supplement is Loestrin Fe). Others provide very small doses of estrogen during some of the usual placebo-pill days (Mircette and Kariva). Some pill packs may contain more than 1 color tablet. Even though several of the pills are a different color, they are not necessarily placebos (dummy pills). These packs, known as biphasic or triphasic oral contraceptives, contain different combinations of the same hormones. Examples of triphasic pills are Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Enpresse, and Triphasil.

Regardless of the type of oral contraceptive pill your physician has prescribed, it is essential to take all the pills in the correct order. Each pack of oral contraceptives comes with a patient information leaflet that provides you with information on how to take your pills safely and what to do in case you miss pills -- this is a big one. Do yourself a favor and save one leaflet of your BC pills. Put it in your medicine cabinet, your jewelry box, your Target receipt basket {am I the only one?}...just keep it. And anytime you have a question, you should also contact your health care provider or a pharmacist.


As with all medications, oral contraceptives may interact with other drugs and with nutritional supplements. Because generic products are equivalent to brand name products, these warnings apply to all oral contraceptives. Always ask your pharmacist or health care provider about potential drug interactions when starting any new medicine. The following medications should be used carefully when taking oral contraceptives:

-Antibiotics {careful here....this one interaction extends the family tree most often}

-Antituberculosis agents

-Antifungal agents

-Antiseizure medications

*Hmm....lots of "A" groups of meds*

Lastly...here is an incomplete list of a few generic examples for you. I will add to these once I find my notes. I have SOOO many notes. :)

Examples of Generic Oral Contraceptives

Apri (same as Desogen and Ortho-Cept 28)
Aviane (same as Alesse-28)
Lessina (same as Levlite 28)
Necon (same as Ortho-Novum 1/35)
Ogestrel (same as Ovral)
Sprintec (same as Ortho-Cyclen-28)
Microgestin Fe (same as Loestrin Fe)
Kariva (same as Mircette)
Enpresse (same as Triphasil-28)

Feel free to share away with friends and family or not. Either way, it will be our little secret.
Cheers~
e

Thursday, November 18, 2010

trade secrets: Q&A about the flu vaccine

Right now, I am the the flu vaccine queen at Walgreens. People always ask lots of questions and so I thought I would make this my topic this week for trade secrets. This is great info for those of you who have yet to get vaccine OR hear people discuss myths as facts with the vaccine. And as always, Walgreens gives shots EVERY day ALL day long. Come see me if you can. :) I promise it will not hurt.


Q: What is influenza?
A: Influenza (also referred to as the flu) is an infectious respiratory illness caused by a set of viruses. Complications from infection can result in hospitalization and death.

Q: What is the difference between seasonal and novel flu?
A: Seasonal flu infections are caused by viruses that are common from year to year. Novel flu infections are caused by new viruses that have evolved, and there is little existing immunity to them.

Q: What is the seasonal flu vaccine?
A: The seasonal flu vaccine is composed of the 3 most likely strains of influenza virus for the coming year. Administration of a flu vaccine increases the likelihood of protection against seasonal influenza infection by causing the body to develop antibodies to the viruses.

Q: Will the 2010 seasonal flu vaccine protect against the novel 2009 H1N1 virus?
A: Yes, the 2010 seasonal flu vaccine will provide coverage against the novel 2009 H1N1 virus, as well as 2 other common strains of the flu.


Q: Who should get a seasonal flu vaccination?
A: Anyone 6 months of age and older should receive a seasonal flu vaccination. For children under the age of 8 years, 2 doses may be needed depending on previous flu vaccination status. For healthy individuals aged 2 years to 49 years, the nasal vaccine is safe and effective. Health care workers, elderly persons, children, pregnant women, and those with chronic conditions are at the highest risk of contracting the flu and should be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Q: What if I’m pregnant or nursing?
A: Pregnant women are considered a high-risk group and should receive a flu shot as early as possible. You should coordinate this with your obstetrician/gynecologist. The flu shot is also safe and effective for nursing mothers. However, be sure that you only receive an injection and not the nasal version.

Q: When should I get a flu vaccination?
A: Because immunity takes up to 2 weeks to develop, it is important to get your vaccination as soon as possible.

Q: Will there be enough flu vaccine to go around?
A: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has worked very hard with vaccine manufacturers to ensure that there will be an adequate supply of the 2010 seasonal influenza vaccine. Two newer formulations of the vaccine will be available this flu season. In addition, 2 formulations of the flu shot (already available in the market) were approved by the FDA for use in young children.

Q: Who should not get a flu vaccination?
A: People with a history of severe allergy to eggs or any component of the vaccine should not receive the flu shot or the nasal vaccine. Also, children and adolescents taking aspirin should not receive the nasal vaccine. Patients should consult their health care provider to determine if they have a condition that precludes them from receiving the vaccine.

Q: What are the risks associated with a flu vaccination?
A: The risk of a flu vaccine causing serious harm is extremely small. Almost all people who get a flu vaccine experience no serious problems. The most common side effect of the flu shot is soreness at the site of injection. The most common side effect associated with the nasal vaccine is a mild runny nose and congestion, which lasts a very short time. Like any medicine, however, the vaccine may rarely cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. If you experience a severe reaction, promptly report it to your health care provider.

Q: Can the flu vaccine give me the flu? {my #1 question or reason for NOT getting the vaccine}
A: No!!! The viruses in the flu shot are killed and purified. The viruses in the nasal vaccine are severely weakened and cannot produce an infection. They can not multiply and make more baby viruses...soyou can not get the flu from the vaccine. Now because it takes up to 2 weeks to obtain full immunity, it is possible to be exposed to influenza during this time period and develop the illness. Additionally, the flu vaccine only protects against specific seasonal strains, not all viruses.

Q: Why do I need to get vaccinated each year?
A: Flu viruses change often. Viruses that are common one year can be different than the year before. Therefore, the vaccine in the flu shot changes every year. Also, you can be infected more than once in your life, so previous immunity may not provide protection against another infection.

Q: Do I have to go to my physician to be vaccinated?
A: While you can certainly get a flu vaccine in your physician’s office, many pharmacies offer this service, as do local health departments and walk-in clinics. So once again...come see me. :)


There you have it. You are now experts on the flu vaccine, but you are not the queen. I am not giving up my throne that easy.


This commercial is just sooo cute. Had to share a pic of it with you.

Feel free to share away with friends and family or not. Either way, it will be our little secret.


Cheers~
e

Thursday, November 11, 2010

trade secrets: to flush or not to flush

What do you do with your old, expired medications? Flush them down the toilet, right? Out of sight, out of mind.
Every day we get a phone call at the pharmacy that asks -- Can I flush old meds down the toilet?


To  reduce the amount of drugs that end up in your drinking water and the environment, The US Fish and Wildlife Service, the American Pharmacists Association, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America have banded together to develop

SMARxT DISPOSAL: A Prescription for a Healthy Planet.

The following steps can make a huge difference in protecting our environment. If you are unsure how to dispose of a specific medication, contact your local pharmacist and ask for directions.

SMARxT DISPOSAL Guidelines:

1. For most medications: DO NOT FLUSH unused medications or POUR them down a sink or drain.

2. Be Proactive and Dispose of Unused Medication in Household Trash. When discarding unused medications, ensure you protect children and pets from potentially negative effects:

a. Pour medication into a sealable plastic bag. If medication is a solid (pill, liquid capsule, etc), crush it or add water to dissolve it.

b. Pour kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds (or any material that mixes with the medication and makes it less appealing for pets and children to eat) into the plastic bag.

c. Seal the plastic bag and put it in the trash.

d. Remove and destroy ALL identifying personal information {prescription label} from all medication containers before recycling them or throwing them in the trash.

3. Check for Approved State and Local Collection Programs. {hospitals often do medication disposals/take backs with the state police}

4. Another option is to check for approved state and local collection alternatives such as community-based household hazardous wastes collection programs. In certain states, you may be able to take your unused medications to your community pharmacy or other location for disposal.

5. When in doubt...call the pharmacy or state police. I guarantee you they {mainly the police}will collect a control rather than let it make its way into the wrong hands.

-------------

So you followed everything above, but you notice the medication says to FLUSH any leftover old medication or after usage.What do you do?

When a drug contains instructions to flush it down the toilet,  it is because  the FDA, working with the manufacturer, has determined this method to be the most appropriate route of disposal that presents the least risk to safety.

About a dozen drugs, such as powerful narcotic pain relievers and other controlled substances, carry instructions for flushing to reduce the danger of unintentional use or overdose and illegal abuse.

For example, the fentanyl patch, an adhesive patch that delivers a potent pain medicine through the skin, comes with instructions to flush used or leftover patches. Too much fentanyl can cause severe breathing problems and lead to death in babies, children, pets, and even adults, especially those who have not been prescribed the drug. Even after a patch is used, a lot of the drug remains in the patch, so you wouldn’t want to throw something in the trash that contains a powerful and potentially dangerous narcotic that could harm others.

***Please note the reason a lot of pharmacies do NOT want to take meds back for disposal is because the cost of destroying the meds is $$$. They get no money for this. So the cost-benefit analysis does not weigh in their favor to do it.

Feel free to share away with friends and family or not. Either way, it will be our little secret.

Cheers~
e

Thursday, October 28, 2010

trade secrets: "must haves" for the medicine cabinet

Does your medicine cabinet seem like a black hole cluttered with prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications? How frequently do you think your medicine cabinet should get a check-up? Where should medications be stored? What kinds of medicines and first aid products should you have on hand to treat minor ailments and injuries? These are important questions to answer to prevent taking outdated medications and avoid potential complications.



Medicine Cabinet Check-ups
It is recommended that you give your medicine a check-up every 6 months or at least once a year. The first step is to take a look at all the medicines (prescription and OTC) and supplies that you have. Check the expiration date on every medication. You don’t want to take chances with a medicine that no longer works the way it’s supposed to or has become a breeding ground for bacteria or fungus. Look for medicines that are discolored, dried out, crumbling, or show other signs that they are past their prime. Discard outdated medications and supplies (including sunscreens) and medications you are no longer taking. Restock supplies that are low or are missing as needed.

Safe Storage for Your Medications
Contrary to popular belief, medications should not be stored in the bathroom medicine cabinet. Showers and baths create heat and humidity that can cause some drugs to deteriorate. It is best to keep your medications in an area that is convenient, cool, and dry. Other first aid products (such as bandages, tweezers, gauze, cotton balls, etc) may be stored in your bathroom medicine cabinet because they are not affected by heat and humidity. Keep all items in their original containers so that no one takes the wrong medicine. Accidental overdoses can occur in children of all ages. Medications should be kept out of the reach of young children, locked up in a drawer or cabinet or on a shelf that they cannot reach. It is important that parents talk with their teenagers about the negative effects (accidental overdose, death) of using OTC medications and other household products.

Here is a list from Pharmacy Times for "must haves" {You can enlarge by clicking on the picture}:























Feel free to share away with friends and family or not. Either way, it will be our little secret.

Cheers~
e

Thursday, October 21, 2010

trade secrets: thinking pink


Pink has always been one of my favorite colors. It stands for many things in my life..giggles, Easter dresses, cotton candy, ballet shoes and tutus, blushing lemonade, stargazer lillies...but it also reminds me that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


The National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates that each year, over 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and over 40,000 die. One woman in eight either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. If detected early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer exceeds 96%. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet 13 million U.S. women 40 years of age or older have never had a mammogram.

I know there has been a HUGE DISPUTE over the starting age of mamograms. A govenment panel from this Spring stated that mammograms need to be started at 50 versus 40.

As much as I wanted to personally speak with some of these "medical" experts on GMA, Today, etc who jumped on this bandwagon causing even MORE confusion to women and their MDs...I did not. I just waited patiently knowing they would soon retract their words. Which they did -- especially when the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists snubbed the panel's recommendation.

I encourage you if you are over 40 {or younger if you are at high risk -- mother, sister, etc had breast cancer} to make your appointment and mark it on the calendar for your mammogram. Though they are usually dreaded, you can make the day fun by scheduling something you really enjoy immediately following your appointment. Indulge...Get a massage or a facial. Treat yourself to a lunch with mimosas. Better yet, schedule your mammogram back to back with a girlfriend and then spend the rest of the afternoon together having some fun as a way to celebrate your healthy choices. This could be your annual tradition to protect your health.

If you can't find anyone...I will go with you. {I mean this from the bottom of my heart...I will go with you.}

I had the priviledge of being a part of a breast cancer research team from 1995 to 2001 at Indiana University {from the age of 16 to the time I graduated with my undergraduate}, and if there is anything I can do to save another woman's life...I will do it. If that means coming to your corner of the world to go with you -- my goodness...YOU are worth it.

In 2008 I found a lump in my breast after a self exam. I went to my OB/GYN who then sent me to a specialist who then sent me to have an ultrasound. I remember all the fear of that time waiting. Waiting. Worrying. At the end of the journey...everything came out fine. But I was never more scared or even worse...silently scared of the unknown.

Few people know that little secret about my lump. But I want you to know. I want you to know so that you check yourself monthly. I would be glad with a Christmas/Easter check. Just check. And when you are 40...give me a call if you need me....I make great mimosas.

Cheers~
e

This is for Teresa..you are my mom's best friend. You will beat this!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

trade secrets: generic vs brand {part 1 – OTC}

The world of pharmacy sometimes relishes in that few people completely understand what does go on behind the counter. Let me assure you though I want you to know what goes on behind the counter. I believe if you understand then you are better equipped to make better decisions in regards to your health.

So after reviewing all the great questions {keep them coming..I need LOTS if I am going to do this weekly}, I thought it would be best to hit a big concern straight on.

Are generic OTC {over the counter} meds better, the same, or less than Brand meds?


My personal opinion: Generic OTC meds are better because not only are they effective but they are cheaper. Let me state it this way: I take generic OTC meds, my husband takes generic OTC meds, and I give generic OTC meds to my son.

The reality is that over the counter medications must be approved by the FDA, just like the brand names. While there is no physician’s prescription needed to get medications like pain relievers, headache medicine, and cold pills, over the counter medications are still held up to strict guidelines for usage and interaction information as all other medication, OTC or otherwise.

The FDA has been working to get consumers more access to medications and have changed some medications such as Zyrtec and Prilosec from prescription only medications to over the counter brands {and we can get into this even in more detail later}.

Yet I should note, this can actually be a disadvantage to insured consumers who will end up paying more money for over the counter medications than they normally would for a prescription with a co-pay {I see it all the time with children’s allergy medicines. Patients may only have a $5 copay for 120 oz but are forced to pay more for a smaller quantity}. This is a prime example why consumers need to pay more attention than ever to prices and alternatives for buying medications.

So how do you compare? Check out the ingredients.

Next time you go to the pharmacy or health and beauty section of the store, do a comparison yourself. Read the labels and see just how similar the medications are. Most labels have a standard format that manufacturers follow, so comparing labels should not be very difficult. Pay attention to the active ingredients and recommended dosage amounts for comparison purposes.

Here is a good example:



So, how does a generic get approval? To gain FDA approval, a generic drug MUST:
•contain the same active ingredients as the innovator drug {inactive ingredients may vary – this is where constant debate lies, but see below with bioequivalent}
•be identical in strength, dosage form, and route of administration
•have the same use indications
•be bioequivalent {note: study of OTC or Rx, showed the average difference in absorption into the body was only 3.5 percent – and this has a 12 yr clinical study to support it}
•meet the same batch requirements for identity, strength, purity, and quality
•be manufactured under the same strict standards of FDA's good manufacturing practice regulations required for innovator products

Now I know this is a lot of information.

So let me remind you of the famous saying, “Don’t buy groceries when you are hungry.” Well this is great advice for medications too. Be proactive in your health. We all know how miserable it is to walk into a store when you are sick or have a sick child. Then you find yourself trying to read all the information on the boxes, let alone process the information, and then make a purchase.

Doesn't this look intimidating?


Now imagine looking at it and you are sick -- or you have a sick kiddo.

So my advice, stock up BEFORE you get sick. Have your arsenal ready for: headaches, body aches, cold/sinus, allergies, etc. Martha's 1st aid drawer is quaint, but I have a few issues we can touch on later. But the idea is there:



Finally, if you have a difficult time understanding labels, do not hesitate to talk to your {yours is key} pharmacist.

They’ll be able to help you understand what the labels mean and direct you to a less expensive alternative. You should always consult with a pharmacist if you are not sure about using a new medication, especially if you are already taking prescription medications that may react with other drugs.

Feel free to share away with friends and family or not. Either way, it will be our little secret.

Cheers~
e {Have you entered my giveaway?...Go on -- do it. :) }

As for a pleasant sidenote:

I would love to transform the traditional pharmacy


into this pharmacy

Thursday, October 7, 2010

behind the counter - pharmacy trade secrets

Ok so I have been thinking...here I am in pharmacy school and here I have met so many wonderful people thru blogging, it is a shame to NOT share with you some of my pharmacy knowledge.

So...

I am going to dedicate the 1st Thursday of the month to trade secrets.

I will cover topics from medicines (new & old) to beauty (afterall, the pharmacy has access to so many products) to herbals to random health questions.

Most importantly, I want to hear from you.

I want to learn from you on how to be a better pharmacist..and I can only do that if you help me. So ask away.

What do you want to know more about?

What are you unsure of?

What confuses you?

What do you want to learn more about?

I think the best health starts with communication and comfort.


{small disclaimer} Now since I am the daughter of an attorney, please note I will not be diagnosing or prescribing. I am just merely opening the lines of communication and want to share with you some insight I have gained in my education and neophyte profession. {whew...got that out of the way.}


So where to begin?


For fun, let's start with a cheap beauty secret. Eye makeup remover.


Women can spend anywhere from $5-25 on this product.

There is no need.

Let me introduce you to the best eye makeup remover.



It gently removes eye makeup. It is most often called upon by MDs when you have an infection near the eye or lash area (like a sty) as a means to clean the eye without stinging the eye. (ahem..beware of waterproof mascara. We can go there later. Mascara is a topic all by itself.)

It is also an amazing face wash.

It is almost equivalent to anything for sensitive skin like Cetaphil, except cheaper. A 15 oz bottle costs less than $4 at most stores. It is non-irritating and reduces inflammation so it works even on acne prone skins. Also due to its mildly acidic properties it gets the skin clean & refreshed without that "tighting."

Best of all, you are being gentle on the delicate eye skin area.
No scrubbing = fewer dark circles (those come from blood vessel damage..damage from wear & tear of contact).

As my Lola would say -- "Don't rub your eyes! You are ruining them."

So there you have it. Go out and try it if you haven't. It will cost you less than a trip to Starbucks (you have to have a treat with your Pumpkin Spice Latte).

Fall in love with baby shampoo. I highly recommend it.

Feel free to share away with friends and family or not. Either way, it will be our little secret.

Cheers~
e

FYI - I personally use the Walmart generic brand (ahhh..generics, another great topic) of J & J's Sleepy Time.

PS Please note these are recommendations. If you do have a question or concern that would fall in line with my Trade Secret series, please drop me a line. Drop me a line even if you don't. I love chatting! :)

Now all I need is a button or cute picture for my series.

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