Medication Safety Articles

 

Regulators are investigating children’s charm bracelets and pendants imported from China that have been shown to contain cadmium. As a heavy metal, cadmium ranks seventh on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s toxic substances priority list right behind arsenic, lead, mercury and PCBs.

An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer by business columnist Jeff Gelles explained how health insurers and their contracted pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) make it financially attractive for you to get your prescriptions filled by mail-order pharmacy (usually owned by the insurer or PBM) rather than your local community pharmacy. For example, you may be able to get a 90-day prescription for one co-payment vs. only a 30 day supply at a local pharmacy.

A 67-year-old man went to an emergency department because he was dizzy and had blurred vision. The doctor found he also had low blood pressure and a fast heart rate. The doctor admitted him to the hospital and prescribed medicines to raise his blood pressure and lower his heart rate.

Coming up with a name for a new medicine isn’t as easy as you think. Drug companies look for names that scream ‘take me’ to fix what ails you. The name also needs to stick in your doctor’s mind so it is easy to remember.

Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like substance found in your blood and cells. Your body makes about 75% of the cholesterol it needs. You get the other 25% from the food you eat. However, too much cholesterol can lead to heart disease and stroke. Everyone 20 years of age and older should have their cholesterol measured at least once every 5 years.

Many people have lost weight using weight-loss medicines such as orlistat. Orlistat is the main ingredient in prescription strength Xenical (120 mg). It is also the main ingredient in the over-the-counter drug Alli (60 mg). Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed a number of reports of liver failure in people who take these medicines.

Is ordering medicines online safe for you and your family? Today, you can order just about anything online and have it delivered to your doorstep. The Internet makes it easy to shop around for the lowest priced item. So, searching for low cost medicines online is no exception. However, there are some dangers with purchasing medicines online. For example, Internet pharmacy sites that say “no prescription needed,” should not be used. Also, some medicines sold online:

Do you carefully read the label on your prescription bottle and look at the tablets before you take a dose of a new or refilled prescription medicine? Well, a 95-year-old woman did, and it helped to prevent a potentially serious mistake. Her doctor had recently increased the dose of her thyroid medicine. When she needed a refill, a staff person at her doctor's office mistakenly told the pharmacist to dispense the lower dose she had taken previously.

In a poison emergency, the first thing to do is not panic. Help is just a phone call away. The national Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 is your best resource to find out what to do in a poison emergency. The Poison Hotline is staffed by nurses and pharmacists experienced in toxicology who are referred to as CSPIs (certified specialists in poison information).

Reports show that seniors are at an increased risk for poisoning. Some experts estimate that half of all seniors mismanage at least one of their medications and that seniors are twice as likely as other patients to present to the emergency room as a result of drug safety issues, such as, confusion over multiple medications, skipped doses, or variances from recommended doses.

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