Tips for Traveling with Medications

Airplane
Image Source: Deniz Altindas/Unsplash

Memorial Day is approaching and many of you are most likely preparing for weekend travels to see family or friends. We all know the worst part about any vacation is packing. What makes packing even more complicated is packing for air travel. There are a multitude of regulations to keep track of and if you have a chronic condition, the idea of managing your medications can seem overwhelming.

To help you get ready for vacation season, here are a few tips and tricks to keeping your medications safe and organized!

The Medication Screening Process

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires that medications in pill or other solid form must undergo security screening. You can also bring any medically necessary liquids or creams, but they must be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

To make things easy, the TSA recommends you:

  • Store medications in clearly labeled containers
    • Check with state laws regarding prescription medication labels
  • If you’ve already thrown away your prescription containers, get a letter from your doctor explaining what the medication is and why you need it.
  • Declare any accessories associated with your liquid medication

Dosage Schedule

If you happen to travel to somewhere in a different time zone, you may need to discuss the time you take your medications with your doctor. If you must take your prescriptions at a certain time, we recommend setting alarms on your phone or watch to help remind you when to take your medications.

 

Have Any Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk:

1.888.799.8742

Ask a Pharmacist – Allergy Edition

Pharmacist surrounded by pills with text that reads Ask a Pharmacist
Image Source: iStock.com/macrovector

Allergy season is here! To help you out, we’d like to share with you some frequently asked questions and the pharmacists’ answers.

 

How can I tell if I have allergies or just a common cold?

Symptom Cold Allergy
Cough Usually Sometimes
General aches and pains Sometimes Never
Fatigue and weakness Sometimes Sometimes
Itchy eyes Rarely Usually
Sneezing Usually Usually
Sore Throat Usually Rarely
Runny Nose Usually Usually
Stuffy Nose Usually Usually
Fever Sometimes Never

How do steroid nasal sprays work?

Steroid nasal sprays are an effective treatment for most allergy symptoms.  Steroid nasal sprays reduce the allergic response of the cell types that induce allergies, mainly mast cells and eosinophils.   This results in a reduction of runny nose, postnasal drip, nasal congestion, sneezing, and itching.

Do allergy shots work?

Allergy shots are injections you receive at regular intervals over a period of 3-5 years to reduce allergy attacks.  Each allergy shot contains a tiny amount of the substance that trigger your allergic reactions, called allergens.  By adjusting the dose and your exposure to allergens, your immune system builds up tolerance to the allergen and your symptoms diminish over time.

 Can you take allergy pills and nasal spray together?

Yes.  For patients with severe allergy symptoms who cannot achieve symptom resolution with either one by itself, you can combine allergy pills and nasal sprays.  In general, steroid nasal sprays are the single most effective treatment for allergy symptoms, however, if you continue to experience troublesome symptoms with consistent use of a steroid spray you can add an over the counter antihistamine such as generic Claritin (loratadine), generic Zyrtec (cetirizine), or generic Allegra (fexofenadine).

 

Have any other questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk:

1.888.799.8742

National Drug Take Back Day is 4/28!

Close up of assorted pills and prescriptions
Image Source: iStock.com/klenova

Disposing of medications safely can help protect your family from getting or using medications that are expired or out of date; prevent the illegal use of unused medications and minimize any potential negative impact on the environment. For this reason, the DEA is giving the public an opportunity to dispose of unwanted and/or expired prescription drugs. This is a FREE and anonymous service—take medications back, no questions asked!

Where do I go?

Visit the DEA’s website to find a collection site:

https://apps.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1

Why can’t I throw out my medications at home?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of harmful myths floating around regarding medication disposal. Many people will try to flush their medications down the toilet or crush their medicines before throwing them in the trash. 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.

 How can Tria Health Help?

As a member of Tria Health, if you have multiple medications and are afraid you’ll throw away the wrong medication, we can provide additional assistance in selecting the proper medications. Tria provides one-on-one consultations with a clinical pharmacist who assists you with your medication management.

 Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

Diabetes and Eye Care

Circle_Eye Drop

Did you know that diabetes can cause eye problems and may lead to blindness? People with diabetes are 40% more likely to suffer from glaucoma and 60% more likely to develop cataracts. With regular checkups, you can keep your eyes healthy and catch problems early.

What kind of Eye Exam do I need?

The eye doctor will put drops in your eyes to see the retina. This is called a dilated eye exam. The eye drops will make the pupils or black part of your eyes bigger. Then your doctor can see the back of your eye and find any eye problems early.

Why should I get a Dilated Eye Exam?

Over time, high blood sugar can damage the tiny vessels that supply blood to the eyes. You can have eye damage even if your vision is fine. It has nothing to do with needing glasses.

How often should I get a Dilated Eye Exam?

You should get a dilated eye exam annually or as recommended by your eye doctor. Getting regular eye exams will help find any problems early, and prevent blindness.

 For additional recommendations on how you can avoid eye problems, visit the American Diabetes Association.

 

Have any questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Ask a Pharmacist

Pharmacist surrounded by pills with text that reads Ask a Pharmacist
Image Source: iStock.com/macrovector

Thanks to the Tria Health Help Desk, patients may ask pharmacists any medication-related questions. We’d like to share with you some frequently asked questions and the pharmacists’ answers

Question: Is it OK to take leftover antibiotics to treat a current infection?

Answer: No! The antibiotic might not treat the type infection that you have and might not be the full course of therapy required. Additionally, taking antibiotics inappropriately may also cause antibiotic resistance, making it harder to treat future infections.

Question: How do I know what kind of vitamins I should take?

Answer: It would depend on your diet, lifestyle, and other medical conditions. Taking a multivitamin is a great place to start. If you have concerns about being vitamin deficient, talk with your doctor about checking certain vitamin levels.

Question: Which over-the-counter allergy products are safe to use during pregnancy?

Answer: Both Zyrtec and Claritin are safe to use during pregnancy. Make sure these products do not carry any other active ingredients, like pseudoephedrine. Talk with your doctor or your Tria pharmacist before starting any over the counter allergy product.

Question: I recently started a new medication and have had a stomach ache ever since. Am I allergic to the drug?

Answer: Stomach aches are not a sign or symptom of a medication allergy. It is usually a side effect of the drug. Try to take the medication with food to help avoid stomach upset.

 

Do YOU have a question for our pharmacists?

Enroll with Tria Health and schedule your appointment today!

Call 1.888.799.8742 or visit www.triahealth.com/enroll