The winter months come with a lack of natural light, viruses spreading and all the social obligations that are being met, or not, can be a gloomy time of year for some. Feelings of depression and low energy might signify Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It can strike women more than men and young people more than older persons. Light therapy can relieve this condition. It involves sitting near a special light source for about 30 minutes per day. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about it.
About 4 per cent of pregnant North American women have used marijuana during pregnancy. The professional opinion is that pregnant women should not use marijuana. Fetuses exposed to cannabis can be born pre-term and may need to be put into a neonatal ward due to their small size. It is still to be determined if the drug has an adverse effect on the child’s learning ability. Best advice: Don’t use marijuana while pregnant.
It’s been proven that chronic cannabis use by those under the age of 25 can have detrimental effects on the brain. However, the use by seniors is not as well-known. Because cannabis is used by many seniors to reduce pain and help sleep, much research is going on to see if there are any negative effects on the senior brain.
Some people say they have developed a tolerance to heavy alcohol drinking. But just because they don’t slur their words, their driving skills may still be compromised. Reaction times may be slower and vision may be clouded. And consider what effect a drunk-driving conviction will have on your personal and work life. Drink responsibly.
Dementia is a scary diagnosis. There are many screening tests available to help in this diagnosis. One is called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). In fact, this one was used on one very high-ranking politician a while back. It includes drawing a stick figure, connecting numbers and letters in order, naming animals, remembering five words and repeating them back in five minutes and of course numerical tests, like subtracting seven from 60 down. The test is a screen only and may tell the doctor and family what they already suspect.
The two most popular pain-killers in Canada are acetaminophen and ibuprofen. It’s probably not surprising that someone would come up with one product containing both drugs. The product will be called Combogesic and contains 325mg of acetaminophen and 97.5mg of ibuprofen. The same precautions apply to this new product as with the individual drugs like not combining it with other pain-relievers containing the same ingredients.
There is a link between taking high doses of vitamin C (above 1000mg/day) and kidney stones. Many people take extra vitamin C at this time of year but if you have a history of kidney stones, perhaps it’s good to stop the vitamin C. Kidney stones are no fun.
Just a reminder for those who haven’t had their flu shot this year yet. It’s not too late. Australia has already been through its flu season, there was the highest demand for flu shots in history. The result was less flu infections and deaths across the whole population.
With this last column for 2020, all our staff wish you a very Happy New Year and a very healthy 2021. Thank you for using our pharmacy for your medication needs during the past year. We look forward to serving you throughout the New Year.
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