National Nutrition Month

Bowls of fruit and oatmeal
Image Source: Melissa Belanger/Unsplash

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

How can you get involved?1

  • Choose foods and drinks that are good for your health.
  • Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
  • Select healthier options when eating away from home.
  • Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you.
  • Keep it simple. Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated.
  • Make food safety part of your everyday routine.
  • Help to reduce food waste by considering the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
  • Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.

Looking for healthy recipes?

In honor of National Nutrition Month, Tria Health has assembled some of our favorite nutritional recipes:

Chronic Conditions and Nutrition

If you have a chronic condition, a carefully planned diet can make a difference. With certain diseases, what you eat may reduce symptoms. In other cases, diet can improve health. Although your diet might differ depending on your condition and lifestyle, there are three keys to a healthy eating plan that will work for diabetes, heart health, cancer prevention and weight management:

  • Eat meals and snacks regularly (at planned times).
  • Eat about the same amount of food at each meal or snack.
  • Choose healthful foods to support a healthy weight and heart.

Have any questions? Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742.

Source:

  1. https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month/national-nutrition-month-celebration-toolkit

National Sleep Awareness Week

Sleeping cat
Image Source: Sabri Tuzcu/Unsplash

National Sleep Awareness Week is from March 10 to 16, 2019. The goal of this week-long campaign is to promote the benefits of optimal sleep and how sleep affects health, well-being and safety. Sleep can be especially important when it comes to the development and management of several chronic diseases and conditions.

How Does Sleep Impact Chronic Disease?1

Insufficient sleep has been linked to multiple chronic diseases:

  • Diabetes: Research has found that insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. Specifically, sleep duration and quality have emerged as predictors of levels of Hemoglobin A1c, an important marker of blood sugar control.
  • Cardiovascular Disease: Persons with sleep apnea have been found to be at increased risk for a number of cardiovascular diseases. Notably, hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease and irregular heartbeats (cardiac arrhythmias) have been found to be more common among those with disordered sleep than their peers without sleep abnormalities.
  • Obesity: Laboratory research has found that short sleep duration results in metabolic changes that may be linked to obesity. Epidemiologic studies conducted in the community have also revealed an association between short sleep duration and excess body weight.

Benefits of Getting More Sleep2

  • Improved Mood: Every night while you’re asleep, your brain is working to process your emotions. Your mind needs this time in order to recognize and react the right way. When you cut that short, you tend to have more negative emotional reactions and fewer positive ones.
  • Healthier Heart: Sleep helps to lower your blood pressure and help in preventing heart disease.
  • More Energy: A good nights sleep can make a world of difference for your energy levels. It can also help improve your motivation and allow time for your muscles to repair.
  • Improved Brain Function: Sleep plays a big part in both learning and memory. Without enough sleep, it’s tough to focus and take in new information.
  • Strong Immune System: Ongoing lack of sleep changes the way your immune cells work. They may not attack as quickly, and you could get sick more often.

Click here if you’re interested in seeing the steps you can take to improve your sleep.

Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program

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

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/chronic_disease.html
  2. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/benefits-sleep-more#2

Pharmacists and Vaccinations: A Perfect Match

Syringe surrounded by three bottles
Image Source: qimono/pixabay.com

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 immunizations.

Why Vaccines are Important

There are two main benefits for vaccination:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

Recommended Immunization Schedules

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends the following vaccination schedules:

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/

How Pharmacists can Help

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.

Sources:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Temoka E. Becoming a vaccine champion: evidence-based interventions to address the challenges of vaccination. S D Med. 2013;(theme issue): 68-72.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/reasons-to-vaccinate.html
  7. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2019/january2019/adult-vaccination-rates-are-rising-but-fall-short

Pharmacists and Optimized Drug Therapy

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

It seems the older you get the more medications accumulate. About 30 percent of older adults in the United States and Canada filled a prescription in the last few years for one of many medications that the American Geriatrics Society recommends they avoid. In addition, 66 percent of older adults are taking five drugs or more per day – some of them are no longer necessary and may even be causing harm.1 While there’s been a lot of focus placed on physicians to help curb this problem there may be another solution: Pharmacists.

The Benefit of Pharmacists

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. 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.

Pharmacists are an Ideal Partner for Physicians

There have been a multitude of studies conducted over the years measuring patient improvement when a pharmacist is included as part of the care team working with the physician. In a recent study, published in JAMA, patients were randomly assigned to two groups. With one group, pharmacists gave both patients and their physicians educational materials on the specific drug that might have been inappropriately prescribed. The control group got the usual care, with no educational materials. Within six months, 43 percent of the patients in the intervention group had stopped taking one of the selected medicines. The corresponding figure was 12 percent in the control group.

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.

Tria Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/upshot/pharmacists-drugs-health-unsung-role.html is

Infant Ibuprofen Recall

Tris Pharma, Inc. has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of infant ibuprofen amid concerns the medication, which was destined to be sold at several major retailers, may contain a higher concentration of ibuprofen than labeled. The lots were sold under Walmart, CVS Pharmacy and Family Dollar. As of now, the company has not received any reports of serious adverse events related to the recall.

Why is it being recalled?

Per Tris Pharma, “The reason for the recall was a potential higher concentration of Ibuprofen of less than 10% above the specified limit in some bottles from these three batches. Safety issues or toxicity is generally accepted to be a concern in infants at doses more than 700% of the recommended dose.” If Ibuprofen is taken in excess, a side effect could be permanent kidney injury, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, tinnitus, headaches or possible stomach bleeding.

What products are recalled?

Affected products are labeled “Infants’ Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension” and were labeled to contain 50 mg. of ibuprofen per 1.25 mL. 

NDC; LOT; EXPIRATION; DESCRIPTION ; COMPANY;
49035-125-23 00717009A
00717015A
00717024A
02/19
04/19
08/19
Equate: Infants’ Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension, USP (NSAID), 50 mg per 1.25 mL, 0.5 oz. bottle Wal-Mart Stores Inc
59779-925-23 00717024A 08/19 CVS Health: Infants’ Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension, USP (NSAID), 50 mg per 1.25 mL, 0.5 oz. bottle CVS Pharmacy
55319-250-23 00717024A 08/19 Family Wellness: Infants’ Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension, USP (NSAID), 50 mg per 1.25 mL, 0.5 oz. bottle Family Dollar Services Inc.

Next steps you should take

  • To determine whether a specific product has been recalled, patients should look at the drug name and see if the NDC, Lot, and expiration dates matches those listed above.
  • If you have one of the recalled medicines, follow the recall instructions provided by the specific company. This information will be posted to the FDA’s website.
  • Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Tris Customer Service at 732-940-0358 (Monday through Friday, 8:00am ET- 5:00pm PT) or via email at Customer Service Email. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product. 

Need help?

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

Source: https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm627780.htm