National Wear Red Day

Image Source: https://www.goredforwomen.org

National Wear Red Day is February 1st. Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement that advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The movement also challenges people to know their risk for heart disease and act to reduce their personal risk. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.  Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?1

While there are many similarities in the symptoms of heart disease in men and women, there are even more differences. Listed below are the signs and symptoms, specific to women, that are important to watch out for:

Heart Attack Symptoms:

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Stroke Symptoms:

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  3. Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk2

Not only can you wear red to raise awareness but you can also take steps to reduce your own risk. The American Heart Association has developed an online tool called My Life Check. My Life Check allows you to find out your heart score and see if you’re at risk based on Life’s Simple 7:

  1. Managing your blood pressure
  2. Control your cholesterol
  3. Reduce your blood sugar
  4. Get active
  5. Eat better
  6. Lose weight
  7. Stop smoking

Find out Your Heart Score

Tria Health Helps Control Heart Disease

Tria Health offers Chronic Condition Management through our Pharmacy Advocate Program. Heart Disease and stroke are two of the many chronic conditions that Tria Health targets. Clinical Pharmacists provide one-on-one telephonic counseling for members and act as their personal advocate to help them navigate through the health care system. Through reviewing a member’s medications and lifestyle habits, Tria Pharmacists can make recommendations that will help control their chronic conditions and help them feel better!

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/about-heart-disease-in-women/signs-and-symptoms-in-women
  2. https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/know-your-risk/risk-factors

How to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Healthy Salad
Image Source: Anna Pelzer/Unsplash

High blood pressure is when your blood pressure, the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, is consistently too high.1 People with high blood pressure typically exhibit no symptoms. If the condition is left untreated, the damage left on your circulatory system can significantly impact your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other heart threats. While there are risk factors you can’t control, there are many steps you can take to help prevent and manage high blood pressure.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet2

A well-balanced diet is an essential tool in managing your blood pressure. It’s important to limit your sodium intake along with saturated/trans fats, red meat and sweets. It’s also important to limit your alcohol intake. With a healthy diet of fruits, veggies and whole grains, you can reduce your blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight. Click here to find a list of healthy, high blood pressure friendly recipes.

Get Moving

Physical activity has a lot of positive health benefits. Not only will it help manage your high blood pressure, but it will also help strengthen your heart and assist in maintaining a healthy weight. If you want to start exercising, there’s no need to immediately begin running marathons. Start out where you’re comfortable, any amount of exercise is better than none. Try mixing it up by taking different classes, this will help you stay interested and build the habit.

Take your Medications Properly

Lifestyle changes are not the only solutions to high blood pressure, there are many medication options that can assist you in improving your health. It’s very important to follow your doctor’s recommendations and taking your medications as prescribed.

Have any Medication Questions?

Reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure
  2. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/managing-blood-pressure-with-a-heart-healthy-diet

Valsartan Recall

Recall

The FDA has recently released a voluntary recall of several drug products containing the active ingredient valsartan. These medications are primarily used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. The FDA will continue to investigate this issue and provide additional information when it becomes available. The agency encourages patients and health care professionals to report any adverse reaction to the FDA’s MedWatch program.

Why is it being recalled?

The FDA identified a cancer-causing impurity within the recalled products based on laboratory test results. They believe the impurity is a result of the way the active substance was manufactured. Due to this, not all products containing valsartan are being recalled.

What products are recalled? 

Any updates will be included at the bottom of this article.

Medicine Company
Valsartan Major Pharmaceuticals
Valsartan Solco Healthcare
Valsartan Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.
Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Solco Healthcare
Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.

Next steps you should take

  • Because valsartan is used in medicines to treat serious medical conditions, patients taking the recalled valsartan-containing medicines 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.
  • If a patient is taking one of the recalled medicines listed below, they should follow the recall instructions provided by the specific company. This information will be posted to the FDA’s website.
  • 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 valsartan product not affected by this recall or an alternative treatment option.

Need help?

Contact your Tria Health pharmacist today for additional assistance with the recall process: 1.888.799.8742

Source: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm613532.htm

Updates:

Update [11/27/2018] – FDA alerts patients and health care professionals to Teva’s recall of valsartan products due to NDEA

Update [11/21/2018] – FDA alerts patients and health care professionals to Mylan’s recall of valsartan products due to NDEA

Update [10/24/2018] – FDA updates recalled valsartan-containing product information

Keys to Checking Your Blood Pressure at Home

Man checking blood pressure with bp cuff
Image Source: iStock.com/lionvision

High Blood pressure affects more than 40% of adults over 25 years of age. In addition to visiting your doctor to ensure your blood pressure is under control, you should be doing out of office monitoring as one to two times per week.  The key to out of office monitoring is that you are consistent in the method of how you take your blood pressure.

Rest for 10 Minutes

If you have a blood pressure monitor at home, be sure to give yourself 10 minutes of resting time prior to taking your reading.

Avoid Caffeine and Tobacco

Avoid caffeine and tobacco 30 minutes prior to taking a reading as well.

Sit in a Relaxed Position

When taking your blood pressure, you should sit relaxed with both feet on the ground.  Arms should be supported at the heart level and free of constrictive clothing. At home blood pressure readings are also ideally taken at the same time every day and in the same arm.

Check Your Cuff Sizing

It is also important to consider the size of the blood pressure cuff when using an at home monitoring system.  Depending on the circumference of the arm, you may need a smaller or larger cuff to ensure accurate readings. Talk to your pharmacist about what the right cuff size is for you.

 

Have any questions? Contact the Tria Health Help Desk!

Phone: 1.888.799.8742

Email: support@triahealth.com