Tria Health would like to thank our followers for such positive feedback from our last “Ask a Pharmacist Edition.” Since then, we have seen even more questions coming through to our Help Desk. To better serve our audience, clients and patients, we will continue answering some of our most Frequently Asked Questions.
Because it’s cold and flu season, this month we’re going to focus on the questions that will help you get through these next few months.
Question: What basic items should be stored in a well-stocked medicine cabinet?
Answer: Here are a few essentials to stock your medicine cabinet to treat common problems.
- Pain relievers
- Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve. Remember the generic versions work just as well and will save you money. If you have children in the home be sure to have children’s formulations as well, ask your pharmacist if you need help calculating the right dose for the little ones.
- Over the counter medications for minor stomach ailments
- Products like Pepto-Bismol can treat a variety of minor stomach symptoms. Medications like Tums or Rolaids can help with periodic heartburn symptoms. Mild laxatives, such as Colace or Senna, can help with constipation.
- Cold, Flu and Allergy Relief
- Antihistamines and cough suppressants are good to have on hand for common cold and flu symptoms. To make sure that you are targeting the right symptom with the right medication consult your pharmacist. Some common brands we recommend include Claritin, Zyrtec or Allegra.
- First Aid Kit
- It’s always important to be able to treat household injuries, be sure to have Band-Aids and Neosporin available for cuts and abrasions.
Please don’t forget the importance of checking expiration dates on over-the-counter medications. Expired medications can lose their effectiveness. Additionally, remember the importance of properly disposing any expired medications.
Question: Why don’t I need antibiotics when I have a cold?
Answer: The common cold is almost always caused by viruses, not bacteria. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics and they typically run their course after a few days. Your best course of action is symptom management, pushing fluids, and rest—these are key to combating a virus. Additionally, over-use of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance which makes true bacterial infections harder to treat.
Question: Is it true that you can alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen for fevers?
Answer: That is true. If you are combatting a high fever, alternating doses of Tylenol and ibuprofen every 2-3 hours is an effective way to keep the fever down. Always talk with a healthcare professional to ensure you are using the proper doses at the proper interval.
Question: Why do I have to take all my antibiotics if I feel better after a few days?
Answer: The symptoms associated with a bacterial infection will almost always resolve even before the bacteria is completely out of your system. While you may feel significantly better after only a few doses of an antibiotic, it is crucial to complete the full course of treatment. If the bacteria is not completely eliminated it can return and develop resistance to antibiotics which will make it harder to treat the second time around.
Do YOU have a question for our pharmacists?
If so, please comment below or call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742, and we’ll gladly answer in next month’s “Ask A Pharmacist Edition.”