We hear much about antibiotic-resistant infections. There was a survey done in England in 2018 that found 165 patients contracted antibiotic-resistant infections each day that year. Also that same year, the number of antibiotic prescriptions dispensed in the community reduced by 16.7 per cent in the four years between 2014 and 2018. And that’s a good thing because overuse of antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic resistance.
Medication and alcohol
There are some drugs that just shouldn’t be taken with alcohol. These include some antibiotics which may not work like they are supposed to or create side effects that can be uncomfortable. Combining alcohol with antidepressants can increase the symptoms of depression. Heavy drinking can also increase blood pressure and can interact with non-prescription drugs (OTCs). Pharmacists will alert you if alcohol is not advisable with certain prescriptions. Also read the fine print on all OTC drug packages.
There have been many shortages and some recalls of medications during the past year. Your prescription refill may look different from what you had last time. Pharmacists will alert you about these changes telling you why it was changed. However, if you have any concerns, be sure to ask the pharmacist for more information.
Knowledge is key
Your pharmacist is a great source of knowledge about medications. Before you leave the pharmacy make sure you get answers to questions like: is it okay to take with food? Is alcohol okay with the drug? Will it make me drowsy? Does it interact with non-prescription medicines? These are important answers you should have.
With an increase in the number of people consuming marijuana products for medical purposes, many questions arise about compatibility with other drugs they are taking. Pharmacists are available to answer any questions about drug interactions with marijuana and the various uses for which the drug is said to be helpful. By the way, hempseed oil and cannabidiol (CBD) oil are not the same. CBD oil is made from the stalks, leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant and do not contain the same levels of compounds as other parts of the plant. Hemp seed oil is often used for skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis with varying degrees of success.
About one in 10 North American adults are affected by diabetes and many of them aren’t aware they have it. Diabetes can be diagnosed through a special blood test. Some symptoms of diabetes include unusual thirst, frequent urination, tingling or numbness in hands or feet, extreme fatigue, blurred vision and others. Familiar symptoms? See your physician soon to see if you might be a diabetic.
Most oral medications contain inactive ingredients besides the actual medication. These non-medical ingredients are used as fillers, stabilizers, colouring agents and lubricants to allow more efficient manufacturing. Some contain peanut oil to help keep the drug in solution. If you have any questions about what is in any of the drugs you are taking, ask your pharmacist.
Use of drones
The use of drones is often controversial in today’s world. But a drone was used recently to deliver an Epi-Pen, a product to counteract the effects of a severe allergy, from a pharmacy on Vancouver Island to a rural area of the Gulf Islands. This heralds a new future for drone technology, delivering medications to communities not served by a local pharmacy.
Doctors in Australia are looking into light therapy as a method of slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Using pulsing red or near-infrared wavelengths of this light has begun to show promise in relieving some of the symptoms of the disease. It is currently in the experimental stage but may show some promise.
Pregnancy and coffee
Pregnant women are often told not to consume alcohol and medications that might harm the baby. But what about coffee? A good cup of coffee can be a real treat. The good news is that moderate coffee consumption will not cause pre-term births or miscarriages. “Moderate” means less than 200 mg per day of caffeine. A 12 oz cup can have 140 mg or more in it so limit consumption to one cup a day or use decaffeinated coffee. Remember that cola drinks and tea also contain caffeine.
New Year’s resolution on track?
How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? Many say they were going to increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables they eat each day. However it is known that only one in three people actually eat at least 5 servings per day. If that’s you, it’s never too late to start.
Bill Coon graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto in 1984, and was the Faculty’s Centennial Scholar that same year. Bill and his pharmacist wife, Barbara, along with Paul Whitehead, opened Muskoka Medical Centre Pharmacy in 1990. The understanding that medications are only part of the health solution has lead to Bill’s interest in fitness and health, both personally and professionally. Bill’s Capsule Comments provide a full range of up to date health information.
Muskoka Medical Centre Pharmacy is conveniently located in the Huntsville Professional Building ~ 348 Muskoka Road 3 North, Huntsville Phone:(705) 789-1785