This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) influenza (flu) vaccine campaign, Wild to Mild, reminds us that the best way to protect against getting seriously ill from the flu is to get vaccinated. The CDC recommends everyone ages 6 months and older (with rare exceptions) get vaccinated before the end of October. This gives your body enough time to develop antibodies before the flu begins spreading in your community. Children between 6 months and 8 years who have never received a flu vaccine (or when vaccine status cannot be confirmed) will need two vaccines separated by at least 28 days.
The 2023–2024 flu season brings good news for people with egg allergies. Most flu vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein. In prior years, the CDC recommended individuals with egg allergies and a history of allergic symptoms other than hives receive their vaccine in a medical setting set up to manage allergic reactions. Starting now, individuals with egg allergies, regardless of their reaction, no longer need special precautions. They can safely receive any of the flu vaccines (egg based or non-egg based) at any flu shot location.
You can get your flu vaccine at doctor’s offices, clinics, urgent care centers, pharmacies, health departments, schools, and college health centers. To find a location near you, visit: here. To learn more about flu prevention, symptoms, and treatment, visit: here.
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Oral chemotherapy: Not just an ordinary pill
Oral chemotherapy is cancer medicine that is taken by mouth. These medicines come as tablets, capsules, or liquids that can be swallowed. As a result, oral chemotherapy can be taken at home. For people with cancer, taking a medicine by mouth is easier than intravenous (IV) chemotherapy given through a vein because they don't have to go to the hospital or clinic to have the medicine administered. However, even though these medicines can be taken by mouth, they are not necessarily safer than IV chemotherapy. In fact, chemotherapy pills can be just as strong as the chemotherapy given through a vein by injections and infusions. Mistakes with oral chemotherapy medicine can lead to serious side effects and even death.
FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns of next-day impairment with sleep aid
If you take the prescription sleeping pill Lunesta (eszopiclone) or generics, you may need to take a lower dose according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A recent study found that the medicine may still be in the body in high enough amounts the morning after taking it to impair activities that require alertness, including driving.
Designer pain creams and ointments are profitable for compounding pharmacies but risky for patients and children
Certain pharmacies, known as compounding pharmacies, can mix different ingredients together to produce a patient-specific product. Popular compounded products include pain creams and ointments that contain a combination of multiple potent medications. Many include drugs that can cause central nervous system depression or cardiac effects that result in slow breathing, a low heart rate or irregular beat, and drowsiness or a loss of consciousness. These drugs may include:
International drugs may have same name but different uses
Many people rely on prescription and/or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to treat an array of conditions. When traveling, either for business or leisure, that doesn’t change. So, if you will be traveling outside your home country, there is something important you need to know about medicines. The country you are traveling to may have the same brand name medicine available but it may actually contain a different ingredient that is used to treat a different condition.