Jennifer Gold

Jennifer Gold

Insulin is required for people with type 1 diabetes and sometimes for people with type 2 diabetes. Many people who take insulin use an insulin pen. The correct insulin dose is dialed on the pen, the needle is inserted under the skin, and the insulin is injected though the needle once the button is pushed. The needle is disposable. So, after each injection, the used needle should be removed. A new disposable needle should be screwed onto the pen before each injection.

Some medicines, including many prescribed for children, come in a powder form. Water must be added to the powder so the medicine can be easily measured and taken. The ratio of water to powder must be precise, so that the prescribed amount of the final liquid mixture provides the correct dose of medicine per milliliter (mL). It is best for the pharmacist to add water right before the medicine is picked up. Once mixed, the medicine often needs to be refrigerated to stay potent. But if the pharmacist forgets to add the water, or if the wrong amount of water is added at home, a serious dosing error can occur.

Some people with diabetes take insulin each day because their bodies do not make insulin, or the insulin they make is not working well. Insulin helps the body change carbohydrates in the food you eat into energy while keeping the blood sugar in the target range.

Black licorice candy is an old-fashioned favorite. But eating too much of it can cause health problems. So, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends snacking on this treat in moderation.

Monday, 11 December 2017 19:01

Polypharmacy can be a problem for you!

As people age, they often have more health problems. Many of these problems can be treated with medicines. Diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and the inability to sleep may require long-term medicines to manage these conditions. When numerous different medicines (e.g., 5 or more) are taken at the same time, it is called polypharmacy.

If you watch television, flip through magazines or newspapers, surf online, or listen to the radio, you are probably familiar with “direct-to-consumer” advertisements (ads) for prescription medicines. The US and New Zealand are the only two developed countries that allow drug companies to advertise prescription medicines directly to the public. These ads are popular with new medicines that treat chronic conditions such as diabetes and insomnia. In fact, 8 of the top 10 selling medicines in the US currently broadcast or publish at least one “direct-to-consumer” ad portraying happy and satisfied patients. It’s a big business, with drug companies spending an estimated $6.5 billion on “direct-to-consumer” ads in 2016 alone.

Some prescription medicines can impair a person’s ability to drive. The 4 most common classes of medicines that cause impaired driving include: antidepressants, stimulants, sedatives, and opioids (narcotics). These medicines can make the driver sleepy, impair thinking, limit motor function, and/or make the driver more aggressive.

Sometimes, your doctor may write or send your prescription to the pharmacy with instructions to take the medicine “as directed.” In these cases, you must remember what the doctor has told you about how to take the medicine correctly. The label on the prescription container will not help you remember because the directions will simply say, “Use as directed.”

When you start a new medicine, you may get an upset stomach, feel tired, or get a rash. Is this an allergic reaction or just a side effect? It is important to understand the differences between allergies and side effects because they are handled very differently. Allergies can be serious and require immediate medical attention and avoidance of the medicine in the future. If you have side effects and your doctor thinks this is still the best medicine for you, steps can be taken to prevent the unintended side effects of the medicine. But you can still take the medicine.

Thursday, 10 August 2017 18:01

Dramamine brand name will confuse

The brand name Dramamine is the latest example of a well known, over-the-counter (OTC) medicine name being recycled for use in products that contain a different medicine or ingredients that differ from those in the original product. The original Dramamine (regular or chewable) contains 50 mg of dimenhydrinate (Figure 1). But there is now a Dramamine that contains a different medicine called meclizine 25 mg per tablet (Figure 2). And another product, Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals, does not contain a drug at all—it’s a supplement that only contains ginger root (Figure 3).