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 Sunday 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.
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
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
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
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
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.
The CDC considers vaccinations to be one of the top
10 public health achievements of the 20th century.1-3
Thanks to vaccines, the incidence, morbidity, mortality, and prevalence of
vaccine-preventable diseases have considerably diminished since vaccinations
became available. Unfortunately, while vaccines are considered safe and
effective in preventing illness, an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 US adults die
from vaccine-preventable diseases every year.4-5 In order to improve
the overall vaccination rate, it’s important we utilize all our resources.
Pharmacists are easily accessible and can be instrumental in providing patients
with pertinent information to help them make informed choices regarding
Vaccines are Important
There are two main benefits for vaccination:
You can help lower your chance of getting certain disease
Hepatitis B vaccine lowers your risk of liver cancer.
HPV vaccine lowers your risk of cervical cancer.
Flu vaccine lowers your risk of flu-related heart attacks or other flu-related complications from existing health conditions like diabetes and chronic lung disease.
You can lower your chance of spreading disease.
Some people in your family or community may not be able to get certain vaccines due to their age or health condition. They rely on you to help prevent the spread of disease.
Infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems (like those undergoing cancer treatment) are especially vulnerable to infectious disease.
Vaccines are both effective and safe. They go
through years of testing before the FDA licenses them for use. Both the CDC and
FDA continue to track the safety of all licensed vaccines.6
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
recommends the following vaccination schedules:
Pharmacists are also in a unique position to
identify those patients who are in target groups for certain vaccinations. They
may also be able to ease the fears of many patients by providing them with
facts such as clinical data and by dispelling common misconceptions and myths
about vaccinations; they can also stress the significant risks associated with
not being vaccinated.7
Tria Health was founded on the belief that
pharmacists play a vital role in the management of high-risk patients. With
Tria, 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,
supplements and lifestyle habits. Your pharmacist will be able to answer any
questions you may have regarding vaccinations.
Oldfield BJ, Stewart RW. Common misconceptions,
advancements, and updates in pediatric vaccine administration. South Med J.
2016;109(1):38-41. doi: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000000399.
Ventola CL. Immunization in the United States:
recommendations, barriers, and measures to improve compliance: part 2: adult
vaccinations. P T. 2016;41(8):492-506.
Temoka E. Becoming a vaccine champion:
evidence-based interventions to address the challenges of vaccination. S D Med.
2013;(theme issue): 68-72.
Bach AT, Goad JA. The role of community
pharmacy-based vaccination in the USA: current practice and future directions.
Integr Pharm Res Pract. 2015;4:67-77. doi: 10.2147/IPRP.S63822.
Poland GA, Schaffner W, Hopkins RH Jr, US
Department of Health & Human Services. Immunization guidelines in the
United States: new vaccines and new recommendations for children, adolescents,
and adults. Vaccine. 2013;31(42):4689-4693. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.03.031.
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?
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
Keep a Journal
I don’t want to take a medicine, what can I do instead?
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
At Tria Health, our pharmacists are here for you! They are always happy to answer any of your medication-related questions. For August, we’ve compiled some of our more popular questions, along with our pharmacists’ answers.
Is it possible for my medication to lose its effectiveness over time?
Yes. Medications may lose potency and effectiveness over time. Unless the bottle suggests otherwise, always consider the expiration date of a prescription medication one year following the fill date. If you filled a prescription on July 1st 2017 it should be considered expired and a new prescription will be necessary on July 1st 2018.
Do generic drugs work just as well as the brand name versions?
Yes. Generic medications contain the same active medicine and are safe and effective alternatives to brand name products. In order to receive F.D.A approval, generic medications must prove that they are equivalent to the brand name medication.
Is it safe to take slightly expired medication?
Taking a medication that is slightly expired is unlikely to cause harm, but it is possible that it may not work as well and in general it is best to acquire a new prescription if your medication is expired.
How can you tell if a medication is expired?
If the medication was filled more than 12 months ago or the listed expiration date on the bottle has passed consider the medication as 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.
If you have any additional questions regarding your medications,
reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742