Interested in CBD Oil? Talk to Your Pharmacist First

Bottle of CBD Oil
Image Source: Caleb Simpson/Unsplash

The CBD industry has been booming as of late and you might be wondering if CBD oil is right for you. Unfortunately, the popularity of CBD products is growing faster than researchers can keep up, and there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to the benefits and drawbacks.1 Currently, the FDA has not approved CBD oil as a standalone medication. While doctors can still recommend it, they cannot currently write a prescription. Before purchasing CBD oil, it’s important to talk with a pharmacist to avoid any negative medication interactions.

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants. It does not produce intoxication; marijuana’s “high” is caused by the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The non-intoxicating marijuana extract is being credited with helping treat a host of medical problems — everything from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness.2

Is CBD Oil Safe?

Last year, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of the CBD medication Epidolex to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy.3 As for CBD’s usefulness in treating other conditions, the consensus is still unclear. One current concern regarding the efficacy of CBD oil is the lack of regulation. The FDA does not currently regulate products like CBD oil which can lead to a variation in ingredients product-to-product.

CBD Oil and Medication Interactions

It’s very important to talk to a pharmacist before starting CBD oil, because it can interact with a lot of common and daily medications. CBD oil is broken down by enzymes in your liver and during that process, it can block those same enzymes from breaking down other medications. Drugs for anxiety, cholesterol, seizures, blood thinners and heart medicines can all interact negatively with CBD oil.1 While we’re not saying that you should avoid CBD oil all together, you should always speak with a doctor or pharmacist before purchasing.

Tria Health Can Answer Your Medication Questions

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 CBD Oil, Tria’s pharmacist will be able to provide you with recommendations.

Sources:

  1. https://www.wbir.com/article/news/health/pharmacists-cbd-may-interfere-with-some-daily-medications/51-142c8c3e-0fd7-43c8-b6e8-6fb68a3d5e97
  2. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20180507/cbd-oil-all-the-rage-but-is-it-safe-effective#1
  3. https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm611046.htm

Mental Health and Chronic Condition Management

Sad man sitting in a corner
Image Source: Fernando @cferdo/Unsplash.com

According to a recent study published in Psychological Medicine, mental health disorders affect 44 million American adults. This includes a variety of conditions, including depression and anxiety. It is critical for organizations to provide support for mental health, not only for the overall well-being of their employees but also to help manage their overall health care cost.

Employers Should Invest in Mental Health Because They Bear 50% of the Cost

Including mental health services in a comprehensive benefits package is a smart decision for all employers. By investing early, employers can attract new talent and offset some additional costs that are associated with unmanaged mental health. Almost 43% of persons with severe depressive symptoms reported serious difficulties in work, home and social activities.1 A 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, estimates depression costs the U.S. economy $210 billion annually; employers bear 50% of that cost.

Patients with Chronic Conditions and Depression are 2x Less Adherent

Chronic conditions can be a lot to manage at an individual level. It’s not surprising that a percentage of those who are diagnosed with a chronic condition also experience some form of depression or anxiety. Studies show that people with diabetes have a greater risk of depression than people without diabetes.2 This connection is significant when it comes to adherence.  Results from 47 independent samples showed that depression was significantly associated with non-adherence to the diabetes regimen. In addition, the estimated odds of a depressed patient being non-adherent are 1.76 times the odds of a non-depressed patient, across 31 studies and 18,245 participants.3

Provide a Path to Care – Connect Employees to Providers

Employers can make accessing a mental or behavioral healthcare provider easier by offering a program that helps connect employees with providers who are in-network, vetted for quality of services and accepting new patients.4 They can also provide assistance by making sure employees know what programs and benefits are available. It’s one thing to offer mental health services to employees, but it’s equally important that everyone is familiar with and know how to access them.

Tria Health and Mental Health

Many patients decide to take medications in order to effectively manage their mental health. There are a variety of mental health medications currently on the market, ranging from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to atypical antidepressants. Because there isn’t a test to measure to brain chemicals, it can be a trial and error process to identify the best treatment for a patient. 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 mental health, Tria’s pharmacist will be able to provide you with recommendations.

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Source:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db172.htm
  2. Diabetes Care. 2008 Dec; 31(12): 2398–2403. doi: 10.2337/dc08-1341
  3. J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Oct;26(10):1175-82. doi: 10.1007/s11606-011-1704-y. Epub 2011 May 1.
  4. https://www.employeebenefitadviser.com/opinion/increasing-employee-access-to-mental-health-benefits?tag=00000151-16d0-def7-a1db-97f024be0000

National Doctor’s Day

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Today we celebrate and recognize all the physicians and providers for the impact they make on their patients and the health care industry. The U.S. healthcare system now represents more than 18% of our nation’s gross domestic product.  Physicians are on the front lines every day and the hours are long; the work can be stressful; but they are still there day after day. Take the time to celebrate the physicians in your life! National Doctor’s Day can be celebrated in several different ways. You can personally thank your doctor or send them a card or flowers.

At Tria Health, we coordinate with thousands of physicians across the country. Our goal is to consistently provide them the resources they need to continually provide optimal care to their patients. Tria Health’s pharmacists provide one-on-one, private consultations to members who take multiple medications and have a chronic condition. During a consultation, a pharmacist will review all a patient’s current medications, including vitamins and supplements. They then identify any opportunities for improvement, whether it be with cost or dosage. All this information is then shared with a patient’s physician(s).

Improving patient health is a team effort, and today we thank our MVPs. Be sure to reach out and thank your doctor today!

Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet

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The sun is shining, the birds are chirping but unfortunately a lot of homes are still covered with the dust and clutter from winter. Spring cleaning is a tradition that allows us to freshen up our homes and get prepped for spring and summer fun! While you’re spring cleaning this year, be sure to take the time to go through your medicine cabinet and remove any unnecessary or expired medications.

What Should You Look For?

  • Check Expiration Dates: Taking a medication that is slightly expired is unlikely to cause harm, but it is possible that it may not work as well. In general, it is best to acquire a new prescription if your medication is expired. In addition, if the appearance of the medication has changed this may be an indication of an expired product. If you have an injectable solution or oral suspension that has changed colors or consistency this might indicate a new prescription is needed.
  • Find Leftover Prescriptions: Leftover antibiotics and other prescription medications from a previous condition should be discarded. You should never attempt to treat yourself or anyone else with a prescription medicine. Although your symptoms might seem similar to an illness you had before, the cause could be different, or the medicine may not be the right one to use this time around.1

Where to Dispose of Medications

Many people will try to flush their medications down the toilet or crush their medicines before throwing them in the trash to try and be safe. However, this can be dangerous. Flushing can end up polluting our waters and crushing medicines can put trash handlers at risk of exposure if the drug were to encounter their skin or if they were to breathe in the dust. Medicine take back programs are the best way to dispose of unwanted medicine. Click here to locate a year-round authorized collector in your area.

How can Tria Health Help?

As a member of Tria Health, if you have questions about whether or not you should dispose of your existing medications, call us and one of our pharmacists can give you the professional guidance you need. in addition, if you take multiple medications or have a chronic condition, Tria provides one-on-one consultations with a clinical pharmacist who can assist you with your medication management.

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Source:

  1. http://www.healthcommunities.com/medications/spring-clean-your-medicine-cabinet.shtml

Tips for Allergy Season

Flowers blowing in the wind
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It’s official, spring is here! While many of us are excited about the rise in temperature, if you’re one of the millions of people who have seasonal allergies, you may be dreading what’s to come. Seasonal allergies can mean sneezing, congestion, a runny nose and other unpleasant symptoms. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to minimize the effects and keep allergies under control.

Reduce Your Triggers1

Limiting your exposure to allergens can help reduce your overall symptoms. A few ways you can do so are:

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
  • Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.

Keep Your Home Clean

While some allergens may still get into your home, there are many ways you can lessen their impact.

  • Limit the number of rugs in your home and wash any that are washable
  • Use air conditioning and utilize high-efficiency filters
  • Keep your indoor air dry with a dehumidifier

Explore Over-The-Counter Options

  • Oral antihistamines: Can help relieve sneezing, itching, a runny nose and watery eyes.
    • Examples include: Claritin, Alavert, Zyrtec Allergy and Allegra Allergy
  • Decongestants: Provide temporary relief from nasal stuffiness. Only use nasal decongestants for a few days in a row. Longer-term use of decongestant nasal sprays can actually worsen symptoms (rebound congestion).
    • Examples Include: Sudafed, Neo-Synephrine and Afrinol
  • Nasal Spray: Most effective when used before symptoms start and can ease most allergy symptoms.
  • Combination Medications: A combination of an antihistamine with a decongestant.
    • Examples Include: Claritin-D and Allegra-D

Tria Health Can Answer Your Medication Questions

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 allergies, Tria’s pharmacist will be able to provide you with recommendations.

Source:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/in-depth/seasonal-allergies/art-20048343