Tria Health: February Ask a Pharmacist Edition

Ask a Pharmacist

Tria Health would like to thank our followers for such positive feedback from our last “Ask a Pharmacist Edition.” Since then, we have seen even more questions coming through to our Help Desk. To better serve our audience, clients and patients, we will continue answering some of our most Frequently Asked Questions.

Because it’s cold and flu season, this month we’re going to focus on the questions that will help you get through these next few months.

Question: What basic items should be stored in a well-stocked medicine cabinet?

Answer: Here are a few essentials to stock your medicine cabinet to treat common problems.

  • Pain relievers
    • Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve.  Remember the generic versions work just as well and will save you money.   If you have children in the home be sure to have children’s formulations as well, ask your pharmacist if you need help calculating the right dose for the little ones.
  • Over the counter medications for minor stomach ailments
    • Products like Pepto-Bismol can treat a variety of minor stomach symptoms. Medications like Tums or Rolaids can help with periodic heartburn symptoms. Mild laxatives, such as Colace or Senna, can help with constipation.
  • Cold, Flu and Allergy Relief
    • Antihistamines and cough suppressants are good to have on hand for common cold and flu symptoms. To make sure that you are targeting the right symptom with the right medication consult your pharmacist. Some common brands we recommend include Claritin, Zyrtec or Allegra.
  • First Aid Kit
    • It’s always important to be able to treat household injuries, be sure to have Band-Aids and Neosporin available for cuts and abrasions.

Please don’t forget the importance of checking expiration dates on over-the-counter medications. Expired medications can lose their effectiveness. Additionally, remember the importance of properly disposing any expired medications.

Question: Why don’t I need antibiotics when I have a cold?

Answer: The common cold is almost always caused by viruses, not bacteria. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics and they typically run their course after a few days. Your best course of action is symptom management, pushing fluids, and rest—these are key to combating a virus. Additionally, over-use of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance which makes true bacterial infections harder to treat.

Question: Is it true that you can alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen for fevers?

Answer: That is true. If you are combatting a high fever, alternating doses of Tylenol and ibuprofen every 2-3 hours is an effective way to keep the fever down. Always talk with a healthcare professional to ensure you are using the proper doses at the proper interval.

Question: Why do I have to take all my antibiotics if I feel better after a few days?

Answer: The symptoms associated with a bacterial infection will almost always resolve even before the bacteria is completely out of your system. While you may feel significantly better after only a few doses of an antibiotic, it is crucial to complete the full course of treatment. If the bacteria is not completely eliminated it can return and develop resistance to antibiotics which will make it harder to treat the second time around.

Do YOU have a question for our pharmacists?

 If so, please comment below or call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742, and we’ll gladly answer in next month’s “Ask A Pharmacist Edition.” 

Raise Awareness and Wear Red: National Wear Red Day!


Wear Red and Raise Awareness About Heart Disease for Women

National Wear Red Day is February 2nd. 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. 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.

Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk

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:Wear Red Web Banner

  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 1.888.799.8742 or visit

Wear Red and Support Heart Health!

New Year, New You?


It’s the time of year for New Year’s resolutions—or, more accurately, the time that most people have given up on those resolutions. You know the kind of resolutions we mean: “I’ll exercise more”, “I’ll start eating better and watch my portion sizes”, “I’ll quit smoking”. To ditch the resolutions by mid-January is par for the course. We understand, change is hard. However, your friends at Tria Health want to help you take back control of your resolutions and your health—and deliver the why behind it.

These lifestyle changes like losing weight, eating well-balanced nutritional meals and exercising can prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. In fact, these lifestyle changes are part of the recommendations our pharmacists are making to our patients through our Pharmacy Advocate Program.

Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate program helps people with Chronic Conditions

In addition to lifestyle changes, most chronic conditions require medication to effectively treat and manage. Tria Health’s pharmacists make sure patients are receiving the best benefits from their medications. They work with patients and their physicians to identify, prevent and resolve drug therapy problem’s related to a patient’s medications.

Tria Health’s pharmacists provide one-on-one telephonic counseling for members to discuss how lifestyle and medication impact chronic conditions. They provide valuable, clinically based information on how to improve your health. And, they will coordinate any recommendations with the members’ physician and/or pharmacy.

You Have the Power to Prevent Chronic Disease  

The CDC reports that, “chronic diseases and conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis—are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.” This year, and always, we encourage you to resolve to live a healthy lifestyle. These lifestyle changes will help you feel better today—and for many tomorrow’s:

  • Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
  • Eat a nutritious diet of whole foods.
  • Watch your portion sizes.
  • Be active.
  • Quit smoking (and other tobacco products).
  • Limit your alcohol use.

Change IS hard, but if you consider the possibility of preventing chronic disease, it’s an easy decision to attempt to make these lifestyle changes. Your friends at Tria Health hope you will resolve to commit to living a healthy lifestyle to prevent chronic conditions.


For more information on CCM, please visit our website at or call our help desk at 1.888.799.8742



Keep Yourself and Your Medications Safe This Winter

winter safety tips

In extreme winter weather conditions, your friends at Tria Health want to provide you with some tips to keep yourselves and your medications safe this winter.

Medication Storage Is Important for Safety

Most medications should be stored at room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees Farenheit). However, some medications have specific storage instructions and most perscription and over-the-counter medications come with inserts that detail safety and storage guidelines.

There are commonly perscribed medications that require specific storage requirements. Some examples include:Blausen_0580_Insulin_Syringe&Pen

  • Injectable drugs
  • Inhaled medications
  • Eye Drops
  • Nasal Sprays
  • Gels and Creams

For information on storage requirements for these, and many other medications, you may visit the National Institue of Health drug information website.

When Medications Aren’t Stored Properly They Can Lose Effectiveness

Prescriptions that are subjected to extreme cold (or hot) temperatures can lose their effectiveness before their expiration date. For this reason, you should always take necessary precautions to avoid storing medications in the car, on a windowsill or in a garage. You should also be aware that many medications can also be affected by exposure to direct sunlight.

There are Signs to Determine if Medications Have Been Exposed to Extreme Temperatures

In some cases, you will be able to recognize when your medications have been exposed to extreme temperatures. However, a medication may or may not show outward signs of temparture damage. Should you notice any of these signs, you should contact your Pharmacist:

  • Strange odor
  • Discoloration
  • Harder or softer to the touch
  • Pills that are cracked, chipped or stuck together
  • Creams that appear seperated
  • Insulin (or other injectables) with visible “crystals”

Pharmacists Will Almost Always Have the Right Answer!

The best response if you feel your medications may have been comprimised is to talk to your Pharmacist—or a Tria Health Pharmacist, if you’re one of our members. A pharmacist will be able to tell you wheter the medication efficacy has been comprimised—and should even be able to help you order a replacement prescription.

Thank your Pharmacist – Today is National Pharmacist Day!


Today is the perfect time to learn more about the impact your pharmacist has on the health care system and what they can do for you.


Pharmacists are trained on a wide variety of different disease states, but their specialty focuses on how medications used to treat those diseases affect your health. They understand how medications work and identify medication interactions and problems, including those involving over-the-counter medications.

A pharmacist has the ability to look at all of your prescription medications as a whole to determine if your medications are safe, appropriate and effective to manage your health condition(s). They may also be able to assess if you’re taking medications you no longer need, if you have therapy duplication, if you’re missing a certain medication that is proven to help your specific condition(s), or if you’re taking something that could potentially be harmful to your health. The pharmacist may also be able to suggest alternative drug options to lessen side effects, or reduce your drug costs.


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.


Aside from dispensing medications, pharmacists can provide excellent counselling services about all medications (including herbal supplements) and a variety of different health conditions. Pharmacists play a major role in monitoring or managing multiple chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, weight loss, and tobacco use. In fact, it has been proven that patients have better overall health outcomes if a pharmacist is involved on their healthcare team. Pharmacists are also a major resource for administering vaccines to adults 12 years or older.


If you have one or more chronic conditions and take multiple medications, Tria Health has a Pharmacy Advocate Program available for you. The PA program offers one-on-one confidential counseling with a Tria Pharmacist to discuss how effective your medications are in treating your conditions. Your Tria Pharmacist will work with you and your physicians to reduce the risk of medication-related problems.

Want to learn more about Tria Health Pharmacists?

Call us toll-free at 1.888.799.8742 or visit our website at