Pharmacists and Optimized Drug Therapy

Close up of assorted pills and prescriptions
Image Source: iStock.com/klenova

It seems the older you get the more medications accumulate. About 30 percent of older adults in the United States and Canada filled a prescription in the last few years for one of many medications that the American Geriatrics Society recommends they avoid. In addition, 66 percent of older adults are taking five drugs or more per day – some of them are no longer necessary and may even be causing harm.1 While there’s been a lot of focus placed on physicians to help curb this problem there may be another solution: Pharmacists.

The Benefit of Pharmacists

Pharmacists do so much more than just dispense prescriptions. They have a wealth of knowledge to assist patients with safe medication use, potential drug interactions as well as preventative services and over the counter medications. Pharmacists are often available when other health care providers are not, and most often do not require you to schedule an appointment to ask questions about your healthcare needs.

Pharmacists are an Ideal Partner for Physicians

There have been a multitude of studies conducted over the years measuring patient improvement when a pharmacist is included as part of the care team working with the physician. In a recent study, published in JAMA, patients were randomly assigned to two groups. With one group, pharmacists gave both patients and their physicians educational materials on the specific drug that might have been inappropriately prescribed. The control group got the usual care, with no educational materials. Within six months, 43 percent of the patients in the intervention group had stopped taking one of the selected medicines. The corresponding figure was 12 percent in the control group.

Tria Health’s Pharmacists

Tria Health was founded on the belief that pharmacists play a vital role in the management of high-risk patients that drive the majority of health care spend. If Tria Health is currently a part of your healthcare plan, call the Tria Health Help desk today for any of your medication-related questions.

Tria Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/upshot/pharmacists-drugs-health-unsung-role.html is

Infant Ibuprofen Recall

Tris Pharma, Inc. has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of infant ibuprofen amid concerns the medication, which was destined to be sold at several major retailers, may contain a higher concentration of ibuprofen than labeled. The lots were sold under Walmart, CVS Pharmacy and Family Dollar. As of now, the company has not received any reports of serious adverse events related to the recall.

Why is it being recalled?

Per Tris Pharma, “The reason for the recall was a potential higher concentration of Ibuprofen of less than 10% above the specified limit in some bottles from these three batches. Safety issues or toxicity is generally accepted to be a concern in infants at doses more than 700% of the recommended dose.” If Ibuprofen is taken in excess, a side effect could be permanent kidney injury, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, tinnitus, headaches or possible stomach bleeding.

What products are recalled?

Affected products are labeled “Infants’ Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension” and were labeled to contain 50 mg. of ibuprofen per 1.25 mL. 

NDC; LOT; EXPIRATION; DESCRIPTION ; COMPANY;
49035-125-23 00717009A
00717015A
00717024A
02/19
04/19
08/19
Equate: Infants’ Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension, USP (NSAID), 50 mg per 1.25 mL, 0.5 oz. bottle Wal-Mart Stores Inc
59779-925-23 00717024A 08/19 CVS Health: Infants’ Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension, USP (NSAID), 50 mg per 1.25 mL, 0.5 oz. bottle CVS Pharmacy
55319-250-23 00717024A 08/19 Family Wellness: Infants’ Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension, USP (NSAID), 50 mg per 1.25 mL, 0.5 oz. bottle Family Dollar Services Inc.

Next steps you should take

  • To determine whether a specific product has been recalled, patients should look at the drug name and see if the NDC, Lot, and expiration dates matches those listed above.
  • If you have one of the recalled medicines, follow the recall instructions provided by the specific company. This information will be posted to the FDA’s website.
  • Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Tris Customer Service at 732-940-0358 (Monday through Friday, 8:00am ET- 5:00pm PT) or via email at Customer Service Email. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product. 

Need help?

Contact your Tria Health pharmacist today for additional assistance with the recall process: 1.888.799.8742

Source: https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm627780.htm

National Wear Red Day

Image Source: https://www.goredforwomen.org

National Wear Red Day is February 1st. Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement that advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The movement also challenges people to know their risk for heart disease and act to reduce their personal risk. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.  Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?1

While there are many similarities in the symptoms of heart disease in men and women, there are even more differences. Listed below are the signs and symptoms, specific to women, that are important to watch out for:

Heart Attack Symptoms:

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Stroke Symptoms:

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  3. Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk2

Not only can you wear red to raise awareness but you can also take steps to reduce your own risk. The American Heart Association has developed an online tool called My Life Check. My Life Check allows you to find out your heart score and see if you’re at risk based on Life’s Simple 7:

  1. Managing your blood pressure
  2. Control your cholesterol
  3. Reduce your blood sugar
  4. Get active
  5. Eat better
  6. Lose weight
  7. Stop smoking

Find out Your Heart Score

Tria Health Helps Control Heart Disease

Tria Health offers Chronic Condition Management through our Pharmacy Advocate Program. Heart Disease and stroke are two of the many chronic conditions that Tria Health targets. Clinical Pharmacists provide one-on-one telephonic counseling for members and act as their personal advocate to help them navigate through the health care system. Through reviewing a member’s medications and lifestyle habits, Tria Pharmacists can make recommendations that will help control their chronic conditions and help them feel better!

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/about-heart-disease-in-women/signs-and-symptoms-in-women
  2. https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/know-your-risk/risk-factors

Getting Through Winter: How to Survive SAD

Man walking in the snow
Image Source: Alice Donovan Rouse/Unsplash

With winter weather sweeping across the country, many individuals are experiencing winter-onset depression also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). While the cause of SAD is not known, brain chemicals that affect your mood can change according to the amount of light you get each day.1 While some may be more susceptible to SAD than others, there are ways of preventing and managing SAD until you get through the season.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that happens during a change of seasons, usually occurring during autumn and winter months when there is less sunlight. Symptoms usually go away in late spring or early summer.1

How is SAD Treated?

There are four primary treatment methods for SAD: Light therapy, medications, psychotherapy, and mind-body connection techniques.2

  • Light Therapy: A method that mimics natural outdoor light using a special light box with the goal of changing the brain chemicals linked to mood. It typically takes a few days to a few weeks before becoming effective. Your doctor will be able to help determine if this is the best option for you and identify which product would be the most effective.
  • Medications: Individuals with depression are more susceptible to SAD, making antidepressant treatment a good option. 
  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is another option to treat SAD. Therapy can help you learn coping mechanisms to manage your stress and changing your negative thoughts and behaviors.
  • Mind-Body Connection: This includes a variety of techniques such as meditation, guided imagery and music or art therapy.

How Can Tria Health Help?

If Tria Health is offered through your benefits plan, you have the option of receiving a one-on-one, private consultation with one of Tria Health’s pharmacists over the phone. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. If you’re interested in exploring medication treatments for SAD, Tria’s pharmacist will be able to provide you with recommendations and coordinate with your doctor(s).

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://www.drugs.com/cg/seasonal-affective-disorder.html
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20364722

National Pharmacist Day

Pharmacist next to two pill bottles
Image Source: Mohamed_hassan/pixabay.com

January 12th is National Pharmacist Day! Pharmacists do so much more than just dispense prescriptions. They have a wealth of knowledge to assist patients with safe medication use, potential drug interactions as well as preventative services and over the counter medications. Take the time this Saturday to thank your pharmacist for everything they do!

Pharmacists are Easily Accessible

Pharmacists are often available when other health care providers are not, and most often do not require you to schedule an appointment to ask questions about your healthcare needs.

Safe and Effective Medication Use

Pharmacists help ensure that medications control conditions the right way. They help minimize any side effects and safeguard against any possible interactions with other medications that lead to more expensive health care costs such as emergency room visits, hospitalization, etc.

OTCs and Supplements

Pharmacists are experts in prescription medications, supplements and over the counter medications. They can tell you about potential interactions with foods, other drugs, or dietary supplements. And they can help you pick the perfect product. With over 100,000 over-the-counter products on the market, your pharmacist is always there to lend a helping hand!1

Tria Health’s Pharmacists

Tria Health was founded on the belief that pharmacists play a vital role in the management of high-risk patients that drive the majority of health care spend. If Tria Health is currently a part of your healthcare plan, call the Tria Health Help desk today for any of your medication-related questions.

Tria Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Source:

  1. http://67.222.18.91/~aphm/pharmacists-can-help