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?

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

The #1 Reason Why You Should Quit Smoking

A single cigarette surrounded by ashes
Image Source: Matthew MacQuarrie/Unsplash

According to the CDC, tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. Outside of personal health, there are a multitude of reasons to quit smoking, you might want to quit for your family or your budget. Below are a few additional details on why you should quit and how to get started!

Quitting a pack a day can save you thousands (with an ‘s’) each year!

While you may think a cigarette or two everyday isn’t breaking the bank, those small costs can easily add up over time. www.quitnow.ca has developed a calculator so you can see an estimate of what you might end of spending if you continue smoking.

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It’s not easy, but there is help to quit!

Your health and your pocketbook will thank you

There are a variety of methods available that can assist you in quitting. Tria Health currently offers S.T.O.P. – Stop tobacco by optimizing pharmacists. S.T.O.P. provides one-on-one consultations with a clinically trained pharmacist. Your Tria pharmacists will assist you in developing a personalized quit plan that will work for you and your lifestyle. Our proven success combines medication along with behavioral therapy to improve your odds of success. Visit https://triahealth.com/Stop to learn more.

 

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/resources/data/cigarette-smoking-in-united-states.html

Herbal/Prescription Interaction Awareness Month

Pills spilling out of a bottle
Image Source: Jonathan Perez/Unsplash

July is Herbal/Prescription Interaction Awareness Month. A common misconception with herbal supplements is that because its “all-natural” it is safe to take. This is especially true for people who may be taking prescription medications. The main purpose of the public health and awareness campaign is to inform the public that herbal supplements can cause potentially dangerous interactions when taken with certain medications. It is also for informing the public that herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA and consistency/quality may differ from one brand to another.

Are Herbal Supplements Safe?1

While herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA as drugs or as foods, they do fall under a category called dietary supplements. It is important to note that the level of regulation and criteria for dietary supplements is not as stringent as it is for food and drug products. The dietary supplement regulations ensure that herbal supplements meet certain quality standards and that the FDA can intervene to remove dangerous products from the market. However, these products can pose unexpected risks because many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong effects in the body. For example, taking a combination of herbal supplements or using supplements together with prescribed medications could lead to harmful, even life-threatening results.

Herbal Supplement Safety Tips

  • If you’re currently taking prescription medications and thinking about starting an herbal supplement, always talk to your doctor or pharmacist first about possible drug interactions.
  • Follow supplement instructions
  • Stick to brands that have been tested by independent sources
    • Check ConsumerLab.com or U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention (USP)
  • Keep track of any alerts or advisories. The FDA will notify the public of any supplements that have been reported to cause adverse effects or contain undeclared ingredients.

 

If you have any additional questions regarding your medications,

reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/herbal-supplements/art-20046714

National HIV Testing Day

HIV testing

According to the CDC, about 1.1 million people in the United States have HIV, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it. It is recommended that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care.1 To help reduce the stigma and encourage testing, June 27 is National HIV Testing Day.

Where can I get tested?

There are multiple ways to get tested depending on your preference, here are just a few of your options:

 What should I expect when I go in for an HIV test?2

If you’re not testing at home, you can expect a health care provider to take a blood or oral fluid sample. If they are using a rapid HIV test, you should be able to wait for the results. If the test comes back negative, and you haven’t had an exposure for 3 months, you can be confident you’re not infected with HIV. If your HIV test result is positive, you may need to get a follow-up test to be sure you have HIV.

HIV & AIDs

Being HIV-positive does not mean you have AIDS. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV disease. HIV can lead to AIDS if a person does not get treatment or take care of their health.

 

If you have any additional questions regarding your medications,

reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/features/hivtesting/index.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/testing.html

What Causes High Cholesterol?

Medical form with words cholesterol
Image Source: designer491/iStock.com

In 2011–2012, 78 million U.S. adults (nearly 37%) had low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels that fall in the range where experts recommend cholesterol medicine or had other health conditions putting them at high risk for heart disease and stroke.1 Cholesterol is a waxy substance your body needs to build cells. So, while cholesterol alone isn’t necessarily a bad thing, having too much in your system increases the chances that cholesterol will start to slowly build up in the inner walls of arteries that feed the heart and brain.

Main Causes of High Cholesterol2

  • Unhealthy diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Excess weight

In addition, some people inherit genes that can cause them to have too much cholesterol.

Good vs. Bad Cholesterol

  • LDL (Bad) Cholesterol: Contributes to fatty buildups in arteries. Plaque buildup narrow arteries and raise the risk for heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease
  • HDL (Good) Cholesterol: Carries LDL cholesterol away from arteries back to the liver, where its then broken down and passed from the body. HDL can help decrease the risk of heart disease.

Symptoms of High Cholesterol

Unfortunately, high cholesterol usually has no symptoms. It’s important as an adult (age 20+) to get tested once every 4 to 6 years.

Treatment of High Cholesterol

Working with your health care provider can lower your cholesterol, which will reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Lifestyle changes such as eating a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding tobacco and losing weight (if overweight or obese) are all things that can lower your cholesterol.  However, these lifestyle changes may not work for everyone, in which case, there are many medications available. Statins are recommended for most patients, but your doctor may consider other options as well.

 

If you have any additional questions regarding your medications,

reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. Mercado C, DeSimone AK, Odom E, Gillespie C, Ayala C, Loustalot F. Prevalence of cholesterol treatment eligibility and medication use among adults—United States, 2005–2012. MMWR. 2015;64(47):1305–11.
  2. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/CausesofHighCholesterol/Causes-of-High-Cholesterol_UCM_001213_Article.jsp#.WyAVQvZFyHt