Caution for COVID-19

Image via Unsplash by Nelly Antoniado

5 Rules of the Pandemic

As restrictions ease up across the country it’s important to still take precautions and safety measures to stay healthy while trying to live a full life. Below are five suggestions to reduce the risk of spreading and infection.

  1. Track your area’s health status. You want to know the percentage of positive tests in your community or state. When the rate stays at 5 percent or lower for two weeks, there’s most likely enough testing taking place to control the spread of the virus.
  2. Limit close contacts. The safest interactions are with members of your household, but if you want to widen your circle, the key is consistency. Consider forming a “quarantine pod,” in which two or three households agree on safety precautions and socialize only with one another.
  3. Manage your exposure. Think of your activities like items on a budget: You’ll have to make trade-offs, balancing higher-risk events and interactions, like a dinner party or a haircut, with lower-risk ones, like grocery shopping.
  4. Keep riskier activities short. When making plans, think about how much open space there will be, the number of other people and the amount of time you’re likely to spend. Try to keep indoor events to under an hour, and always wear a mask during close conversations.
  5. Don’t let your guard down. The advice we’ve heard time and again still applies: Practice social distancing, wash your hands often, and be extra cautious if you or someone in your circle is at higher risk.1

World Health Organization: How to protect yourself

Below is a short video clip that explains how COVID-19 is spread and how to protect yourself.

How can Tria help?

Tria Health provides chronic condition management, many of our patients are at a higher risk for serious illness with COVID-19, our pharmacists have been actively educating engaged patients on risk factors and the importance of prevention techniques. For members that have not engaged with Tria Health, but are at high risk, Tria Health is providing additional communication and outreach to stress the importance of good health management and how our pharmacists can be a valuable resource. And, as always, our help desk is available to all members. We are committed to assisting members with any questions they may have about their medications, risk factors or ways they can mitigate their risk. 888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/09/well/live/coronavirus-rules-pandemic-infection-prevention.html?campaign_id=154&emc=edit_cb_20200609&instance_id=19244&nl=coronavirus-briefing&regi_id=129219462&segment_id=30492&te=1&user_id=d5a32b1824a16f209129a13d97e6f353
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1APwq1df6Mw&feature=emb_logo

Beat the Heat: Stay Hydrated & Safe

Photo by chuttershap on Unsplash

With summer just around the corner it’s important to stay hydrated and safe from the sunlight. Staying hydrated in the summer heat is essential as dehydration can lead to heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.1 Individuals also need to be aware of their current medication regimen and how it might impact their reaction to the increased sunlight. Most don’t realize some medications can react negatively with sunlight causing an increase risk of sunburn or even a photosensitivity reaction.

Staying Hydrated

Drinking water tops the list of how to stay healthy in the heat. Although water intake varies2 depending on several factors (including age, size, gender, health, activity level, and weather), as a general rule of thumb, aim to drink 8-10 cups of water every day.1 Staying hydrated in the heat will decrease your chances of needing medical attention. Click here more information on heat related illnesses.

Medications with Sunlight Side-Effects

Knowing the side effects of medication is important year-round, but especially when there is a potential for increased sun exposure. Medications can increase your sensitivity to the sun from a minor sunburn to a phototoxic or photoallergic reaction set off by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

  • Phototoxic Reaction: Occurs when UV radiation reacts with a drug to form compounds that damage the skin.
    • Results: Sunburn-like symptoms
  • Photoallergic Reaction: This is less common, but usually happens when UV light changes a substance applied to the skin, causing an immune response.
    • Results: Bumps, hives, blisters, or red blotches

Common Drugs that Can Increase Your Risk of Sunburn

  • Antibiotics
  • Antiarrhythmics (cardiac drugs)
  • Diuretics (used to treat hypertension, heart failure or edema)
  • NSAID (Ibuprofen or naproxen)
  • Acne Mediations

For a detailed list of medications click here.

Staying Hydrated & Safe

  • Check all medications: Check medications to see if sun sensitivity is listed as a side effect for current and future prescriptions.
  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water, especially when in the heat!
  • Cover Up: Use sunscreen and reapply, wear protective clothing or try to stay in the shade as much as possible!
  • Stay cool: Use cooling towels when outside for long periods of time and try to do outdoor activities in the morning or evening.
  • Know the signs: If you start experiencing any symptoms shown here move to a cool place and follow the “What to do” steps.

Sources:

  1. https://www.neefusa.org/health/outdoor-activity/staying-hydrated-summer-heat#:~:text=Drinking%20water%20tops%20the%20list,cups%20of%20water%20every%20day.
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/plain-water-the-healthier-choice.html
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html

Recall of Metformin Hydrochloride ER Tablets

Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC Bridgewater is voluntarily recalling all lots of Metformin Hydrochloride Extended Release Tablets, USP, 500 mg and 750 mg, within expiry to the Consumer Level. They were alerted by the U.S. FDA when testing seven lots of Metformin Hydrochloride Extended Release Tablets, USP, 500 mg and 750 mg, it showed Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) amounts above acceptable consumer FDA levels. Out of caution Amneal agreed to recall all seven lots and has not reported any adverse events directly related to the recall.

*Amneal’s Metformin Hydrochloride Immediate Release Tablets, USP are not affected by this recall.

Why is it being recalled?

NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer) based on results from laboratory tests.  NDMA is a known environmental contaminant found in water and foods, including meats, dairy products and vegetables.1 With levels above admissible according to the FDA it is being recalled ensuring no adverse reactions arise during consumption. If any adverse reactions are experienced you can submit them online here or find more information on how to mail or fax here.

What products are being recalled?

Metformin HCl Extended Release Tablets, USP, 500 mg and 750 mg, manufactured by Amneal, are prescription, solid oral products that are indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.1

The Metformin Hydrochloride Extended Release Tablets, USP, 500 mg and 750 mg, subject to the recall, are identified by the NDC numbers stated on the product label.

Metformin HCl Extended Release Tablets, USP, 500 mg

Metformin HCl Extended Release Tablets, USP, 750 mg

*Amneal’s Metformin Hydrochloride Immediate Release Tablets, USP are not affected by this recall.1

What’s next?

  • Because Metformin is used to treat serious medical conditions, patients taking the recalled Metformin should continue taking their medicine until they have a replacement product.
  • To determine whether a specific product has been recalled, patients should look at the drug name and company name on the label of their prescription bottle. If the information is not on the bottle, patients should contact the pharmacy that dispensed the medicine.
  • Patients should also contact their health care professional (the pharmacist who dispensed the medication or doctor who prescribed the medication) if their medicine is included in this recall to discuss their treatment, which may include another product not affected by this recall or an alternative treatment option.

Sources:

  1. https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/amneal-pharmaceuticals-llc-issues-voluntary-nationwide-recall-metformin-hydrochloride-extended#recall-announcement
  2. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-alerts-patients-and-health-care-professionals-nitrosamine-impurity-findings-certain-metformin

June: National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

For the month of June the goal is to raise awareness, address the stigma and build a stronger community of advocates. Migraine disease is one of the 20 most disabling medical illnesses in the world and the 12th most disabling disorder in the United States. More than 90% of migraine suffers can’t function normally during an attack.1 Migraine is an extraordinarily prevalent neurological disease, affecting 39 million men, women and children in the U.S. and 1 billion worldwide.5

Migraine Basics

Migraine is a genetic neurological disease, characterized by episodes often called Migraine attacks. They are quite different from regular headaches which are non-migrainous. Migraine sufferers may have moderate or severe pain and usually can’t participate in normal activities because of the pain. Many people experience migraines lasting for at least four hours or may last for days. The diagnosis usually happens if people have a combination of symptoms and doctors have ruled out other disorders.2

Build a Support Network

Migraine is a disabling disease that no one should have to go through alone. It’s essential to build a support network of understanding people who can not only empathize with your experience but be a helping hand during episodes. While there are a multitude of online support groups, talking with your friends and family about your experience will help since they are an invaluable resource to help you get through migraine attacks.3

Unusual Symptoms Related to Migraines

Some symptoms below aren’t associated with ‘regular’ migraine or headache episodes. Understanding all types of symptoms per episode can help recognize an episode before, during, and after it happens if ‘regular’ symptoms aren’t present.

For more information regarding National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month 2020 click here.

Tria Health and Migraines

Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program offers one-on-one, private consultations with a Tria Health Pharmacist. Your pharmacist will work with you and your doctor(s) to ensure you’re getting the intended outcomes from your medications.

Have any questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://migraine.com/living-migraine/yes-migraine-is-a-disability/
  2. https://migraine.com/migraine-basics/
  3. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/why-you-need-migraine-support-network/
  4. https://migraine.com/blog/i-had-no-idea-that-was-a-symptom/?via=recommend-reading
  5. https://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/migraine-facts/

Keeping Employees Safe from the Inside Out

Image by Adam Niescioruk on Unsplash

National Safety Month

June is National Safety Month and while you should always be safety conscious, we felt this was a great opportunity to highlight a lesser known safety topic – medication adherence! Whether you’re supporting your employees or managing your own health, medication adherence is a critical component.  

Medication Adherence is An Important Safety Factor in Managing Chronic Conditions

Every year there are more than 125,000 pre-mature deaths due to medication non-adherence in the U.S. Many people are non-adherent because they don’t remember to take their medication or they can’t afford their medication, so they don’t take their medication without realizing the health and safety risks that can occur. Encouraging better safety medication practices improves overall health and reduces total health care costs..

More than 145 million Americans suffer from chronic conditions. Most chronic conditions are managed through medications prescribed by doctors and many times patients don’t understand the importance of taking a medication as prescribed.  However, for some it can mean additional health problems when adherence is not followed.. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that non-adherence caused 30-50 percent of chronic disease treatment failures2 and those who stopped treatment were likely to experience more problems.

Tips for Medication Management:

  1. Take medication at the same time every day.
  1. Include your medication with a daily routine. (i.e brushing your teeth or getting ready for bed) Before choosing a mealtime for your routine, check if your medication should be taken on a full or empty stomach. Also, check if your medication should be taken in the AM or PM
  2. Keep a “medicine calendar” with your medication and note each time you take or miss a dose.
  3. Use a pill container. Some have sections for multiple doses at different times, such as morning, lunch, evening, and even weeks.
  4. When travelling, be certain to bring enough of your medication, plus a few days extra, in case your return is delayed. Always travel with medication in your carry on, incase of lost luggage and temperature regulations.

Have questions regarding your medication?

Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program offers one-on-one, private consultations with a Tria Health Pharmacist. Your pharmacist will work with you and your doctor(s) to ensure the intended outcomes from your medications are being received.

Call the Tria Help Desk with any questions at 1.888.799.8742

Sources

  1. https://www.pillsy.com/hubfs/4481181/Pillsy_May2018/images/articles/medication-adherence-infographic-pillsy.png
  2. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/special-features/why-you-need-take-your-medications-prescribed-or-instructed