Reduce Adverse Drug Reactions

Pills on Table
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Are you currently taking a prescription medication? Per the government’s National Health Survey, about 20 percent of adults are taking three or more drugs. While medications can turn once fatal diseases into manageable, chronic conditions, those taking five or more medications were nearly twice as likely to seek medical care than those taking one or two meds.1 It’s important to understand what medications you’re taking, and the steps you need to follow to reduce your risk of adverse drug reactions.

How do Adverse Drug Reactions Happen?1

There are three primary causes of dangerous prescription drug use:

  1. Hyper-specialized doctors: Many patients with chronic conditions have multiple physicians. While this can benefit the patient by providing them with specialized resources, the lack of communication between health care providers can sometimes lead to the prescribing of drugs that interact negatively.
  2. Prescription cascades: The risk of side effects comes with every medication. Prescription cascades occur when new medications are prescribed in an effort to treat the sides effects of other medications.
  3. Poor research: Unfortunately for older adults, drug trials are often focused on young adults. This can lead to a lack of information regarding the negative effects of individual drugs or interactions among multiple drugs.

Simple Steps to Avoid Adverse Drug Reactions

  • Talk with your doctor and pharmacist about any new medications. Make sure they know about any vitamins and supplements you are currently taking.
  • Follow all the dosing instructions listed on each of your medications.
  • Keep an updated medication list on hand for any of your medical appointments.
  • You can also use AARP’s online drug interaction checker.

Tria Health can help

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. Tria Health will assist you in identifying any possible adverse drug reactions or savings opportunities!

Source:

  1. https://lowninstitute.org/medication-overload-how-the-drive-to-prescribe-is-harming-older-americans/

World Asthma Day

World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. World Asthma Day is held on the first Tuesday in May, in collaboration with health care groups and asthma educators throughout the world. Asthma impacts around 8.3% of Americans, which is close to 26.5 million people.1 This Tuesday, take the time to learn more about Asthma and how you can help raise awareness!

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.2

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Asthma?

While these symptoms are very common for individuals with asthma, the best way to know for sure is to schedule an appointment with your doctor. They’re be able to perform a physical exam and possibly a lung function test.

Common signs and symptoms of asthma include:

  • Coughing: Coughing from asthma often is worse at night or early in the morning, making it hard to sleep.
  • Wheezing: Wheezing is a whistling or squeaky sound that occurs when you breathe.
  • Chest tightness: This may feel like something is squeezing or sitting on your chest.
  • Shortness of breath: Some people who have asthma say they can’t catch their breath, or they feel out of breath. You may feel like you can’t get air out of your lungs.

How can you participate in World Asthma Day?

  • Organize debates about local issues affecting asthma control—e.g., pollution, smoking, access to asthma care & medication
  • Organize a hike for people with asthma and their friends, led by a health care provider who can educate the group about    managing asthma in an outdoor environment.
  • Arrange school visits on or prior to World Asthma Day—educate children about asthma and offer on-the-spot peak flow meter    testing. These activities could be combined with plays, concerts, or poetry competitions highlighting the concept of asthma control.

Find more ideas here.

Tria Health and Asthma

Many patients decide to take medications in order to effectively manage their asthma. 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 asthma, Tria’s pharmacist will be able to provide you with recommendations.

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://acaai.org/news/facts-statistics/asthma
  2. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/asthma

National Drug Take Back Day – April 27th

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

Celebrate Move More Month!

Person walking up stairs
Image Source: Bruno Nascimento/Unsplash

Did you know that even small amounts of exercise can lead to significant health benefits? Because of this, the American Heart Association is urging adults to get moving, starting this April. A government study estimates that nearly 80 percent of adult Americans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week, potentially setting themselves up for years of health problems.1 The guidelines are based on current scientific evidence supporting the connections between physical activity, overall health and well-being, disease prevention and quality of life. Are you one of the 4 out of 5 Americans not meeting the guidelines? Get started today!

How much should you be exercising? 2

  • Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.
  • Add moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) on at least 2 days per week.
  • Spend less time sitting. Even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of being sedentary.
  • Gain even more benefits by being active at least 300 minutes (5 hours) per week.
  • Increase amount and intensity gradually over time.

What are the benefits of exercising? 3

There are numerous reasons why you should exercise on a regular basis. For starters, your overall mood will improve. Regular exercise can relieve stress, anxiety, depression and anger. In addition, there are multiple health benefits. Being more active can help you:

  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Boost your levels of good cholesterol
  • Improve blood flow (circulation)
  • Keep your weight under control
  • Prevent bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis

Have any Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr112.pdf
  2. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults
  3. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/why-is-physical-activity-so-important-for-health-and-wellbeing

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