Get Ready for Flu Season!

Mug surrounded by tissues
Image Source: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

The 2018-2019 flu season is upon us.  It is important to begin getting your vaccination now.  The flu shot takes about 2 weeks to work and your immunity will last through the spring. Here are two of the biggest flu season questions answered:

I’m healthy, Do I really need the flu vaccine?

Yes.  Influenza is a contagious disease which affects the lungs and can lead to a more serious illness.  The flu vaccine is recommended for anyone 6 months of age or older.  Some individuals are at more risk of complications of the flu and should consider vaccination including pregnant women, older people, and individuals with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

When is the right time to get the vaccine, can I get it too early? 

Now is the right time to get the flu vaccine.  Flu activity can begin as early as October and last well into March.  If the influenza virus is circulating, you should still get the flu vaccine.  Flu season can often last into the spring, and the sooner you get vaccinated, the more effective it will be.

Do you have any questions regarding the flu vaccine?

Tria Health provides one-on-one confidential counseling with a pharmacist for any of your medication related questions. If Tria Health is currently a part of your healthcare plan, call the Tria Health Help desk today for any of your questions.

Tria Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Taking Multiple Medications Can Put You at Risk for Drug Interactions

Older man holding white pills
Image Source: iStock.com/Neustockimages

Taking multiple medications can be overwhelming. Some medications need to be taken with food while others need to be taken in the evening. It can become ever more complex with the fear of drug interactions involved. While most interactions are usually not life-threatening, some mixtures of medications can lead to serious – and even fatal – consequences.1 It’s important to talk with your doctor and pharmacist about your current medication regimen to help avoid any possible reactions.

The more medications you take, the higher the risk

The more medications a patient takes, the higher the risk that drugs will interact with each other. According to drugwatch.com, the drug-interaction risks are:

Drug Interactions_drugwatch.com.png2

A recent study from the University of Illinois at Chicago also concluded that children taking multiple medications are also at risk for drug interactions. “Among those using multiple medications, one in 12 was at risk for a major drug interaction, and the vast majority of these potential interactions involved antidepressants.”3

Drug Interaction Types

There are four main types of drug interactions:

  1. Drug-Drug Interactions
  2. Drug-Food/Beverage Interactions
  3. Drug-Condition Interactions
  4. Drug-Supplement Interactions

Simple steps to avoid drug interactions

  • Talk with your doctor and pharmacist about any new medications. Make sure they know about any vitamins and supplements you are currently taking.
  • Follow all the dosing instructions listed on each of your medications.
  • Keep an updated medication list on hand for any of your medical appointments.
  • You can also use AARP’s online drug interaction checker

Tria Health can 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. Tria Health will assist you in identifying any possible drug interactions or savings opportunities!

 

Have any questions for us?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

Source:

  1. https://www.drugs.com/article/preventing-drug-interactions.html
  2. https://www.drugwatch.com/health/drug-interactions/
  3. University of Illinois at Chicago Study

Ask a Pharmacist – Migraine Edition

Pharmacist surrounded by pills with text that reads Ask a Pharmacist
Image Source: iStock.com/macrovector

At Tria Health, our pharmacists are here for you! They are always happy to answer any of your medication-related questions. For September, we’ve compiled some of our more popular migraine questions, along with our pharmacists’ answers.

What are the most common migraine triggers?

  • Emotional Stress
  • Not Eating
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Obesity
  • Some foods such as: wine, aspartame, and monosodium glutamate (MSGs)
  • Certain medications such as nitrates (used for chest pain)
  • Unmodifiable triggers like menstruation, weather changes, neck pain, certain odors or visual stimuli

What can worsen migraines?

Rapid head movements like sneezing or turning you head away quickly, bright lights, loud sounds, straining at stool, and physical exertion can all worsen migraines.

How do I cope with my migraine triggers?

As most triggers cannot be completely avoided, coping with known triggers is an important strategy in migraine relief. A staggering 80% of people with migraines say emotional stress is a trigger, but no one is immune to it. Check these tips out for how to manage your stress:

  • Meditate for 15 Minutes
  • Take a Break & Breathe Deeply
  • Laugh out Loud
  • Listen to Music
  • Get Moving
  • Keep a Journal

I don’t want to take a medicine, what can I do instead?

  • Relaxation Training
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Physical therapy can be helpful for patients who have muscle tension leading up to a migraine
  • There is no good clinical data to recommend hypnosis, acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), or chiropractic or osteopathic care, but some people find these methods appealing.

Dealing with migraines can have a definite impact on your lifestyle.  Having a better understanding of what triggers migraines and how to cope can help.

If you have any additional questions regarding your medications, reach out to the

Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Children’s Medicine Recall

Recall

The FDA has recently released a statement regarding more than 30 King Bio medicines for children and infants. A “small percentage” of the medicines tested positive for microbial contamination. King Bio is notifying its distributors and customers by letter and is arranging for return and/or replacement of all recalled products. Consumers/distributors/retailers that have product which is being recalled should discontinue use/distribution and contact King Bio at recall@kingbio.com to make arrangements to return product. These products were distributed Nationwide to distributors and retail stores August 2017 – July 2018.1

What is a Microbial Contamination?

Microbial contamination is the unintended introduction of bacteria into a controlled area (petri dish, stock media, work station). Administration or use of drug products with microbial contamination, could potentially result in increased infections that may require medical intervention, and could result in infections that could be life threatening to certain individuals. King Bio has not received reports of injury or illness to date.

What Products are Recalled?

You can find a list of the products affected on the FDA’s website.

Have any Questions for us?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

Source:

  1. https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm617945.htm

FDA Extends EpiPen Expiration Dates

EpiPen

The good news continues for those who rely on EpiPens! The FDA has extended the expiration date of some EpiPens due to shortages. As the school year begins the demand for this life-saving drug has continued to rise. After manufacturing delays and supply disruptions, pharmacies have been struggling to keep EpiPens in stock.

How is the Expiration Date Changing?

The FDA has received “stability data” from Pfizer, a manufacturer of EpiPens, and conducted its own review to conclude the devices are effective beyond the expiration dates set by the manufacturers. This expiration date extension will only apply to specific lots of EpiPen that are expired or close to expiring. Specific batches of 0.3 milligram products manufactured by Mylan may be used for four months beyond their expiration dates. If you have any concerns regarding the usability of your EpiPen, contact your dispensing pharmacy.

Have any Questions for us?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742