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

National Pharmacist Day

Pharmacist next to two pill bottles
Image Source: Mohamed_hassan/pixabay.com

January 12th is National Pharmacist Day! 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. Take the time this Saturday to thank your pharmacist for everything they do!

Pharmacists are Easily Accessible

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.

Safe and Effective Medication Use

Pharmacists help ensure that medications control conditions the right way. They help minimize any side effects and safeguard against any possible interactions with other medications that lead to more expensive health care costs such as emergency room visits, hospitalization, etc.

OTCs and Supplements

Pharmacists are experts in prescription medications, supplements and over the counter medications. They can tell you about potential interactions with foods, other drugs, or dietary supplements. And they can help you pick the perfect product. With over 100,000 over-the-counter products on the market, your pharmacist is always there to lend a helping hand!1

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:

  1. http://67.222.18.91/~aphm/pharmacists-can-help

Tria Health Success Story: Thyroid Medication Interaction

As with many chronic conditions, effectively managing your medication is extremely important in treating thyroid disease. In recognition of Thyroid Awareness Month, we wanted to share a Tria Health Success Story that will teach you a few guidelines for achieving optimal results from your thyroid medication.

A patient with hypothyroidism had effectively treated her condition with a medication called levothyroxine for several years without a problem. But she was recently diagnosed with osteopenia, or low bone density, after a routine bone density scan. Her doctor called and recommended that she start taking a calcium and vitamin D supplement to improve her bone health.

The patient told her Tria Health Pharmacist that she had been taking the new calcium supplement at the same time as her thyroid medication. But calcium tends to bind to thyroid medication, decreasing its absorption, making it less effective, and potentially causing her to experience symptoms of hypothyroidism again. Her pharmacist recommended that she take the medications at least four hours apart, which will keep the two drugs from interacting.

Thyroid medications can be incredibly effective for managing thyroid conditions, like hypothyroidism. But it’s also important to get your thyroid levels checked on a routine basis to make sure that your medication is working as it should be. Calcium is one of several over-the-counter medications that can cause interactions with thyroid medication, including antacids, magnesium salts and aluminum hydroxide. Some prescription medications may also interact with thyroid hormone absorption.

Here are a few tips for taking your thyroid medication:

  • Take thyroid medication on an empty stomach (try 30 minutes before eating, or two hours after) and with plenty of water.
  • Take your medication at the same time every day.
  • Always check with your pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.

For more information about Tria Health and the importance of Medication Therapy Management (MTM), visit our website.