Tips for Traveling with Medications

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Vacation season is here! As travel restrictions are being lifted for fully vaccinated people, it is time for some fun in the sun! Packing for any vacation can be stressful, especially if you have a chronic condition. If you take multiple medications, here are a few tips and tricks for traveling with your prescriptions to ensure they are kept safe and organized.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Plan ahead: Check your medication supply in advance. You will want to ensure you are bringing enough dosages to last your trip plus a few extra in case you are delayed. Give yourself enough time to refill your medications if you are running low. Your doctor should be able to work with your insurance company and pharmacy to get you the extra medications you need.1
  2. Prepare a dosage schedule: time zone changes can impact when you take your medications. Before you travel, talk to your doctor about creating a dosage schedule.1
  3. Documentation: To prove that your medications belong to you, it is recommended that you bring your prescriptions in their original containers.1

Medication Screening Process2

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires that medications in pill or other solid form must undergo security screening. You can also bring any medically necessary liquids or creams, but they must be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

  • You can bring your medication in pill or solid form in unlimited amounts if it is screened.
  • While TSA does not require passengers to have medications in prescription bottles, some states have individual laws regarding the labeling of prescription medication.
  • It is recommended you place your medication in your carry-on in the event you need immediate access. You can travel with your medication in both carry-on and checked baggage.
  • Medication in liquid form will be subject to additional screening that could include being asked to open the container.

Tria Health is Here to Help

Have any questions regarding your medications and traveling? 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 can answer any of your medication-related questions.

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. Tips for Traveling With Prescription Drugs (tripsavvy.com)
  2. Can you pack your meds in a pill case and more questions answered | Transportation Security Administration (tsa.gov)

World Blood Donor Day

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World Blood Donor Day is an event to create public awareness about the need for safe blood products for transfusion.1 There is a need for voluntary, unpaid blood donors to keep the health industry with a stable supply of blood.2 Today is also used to thank donors for their service to save lives.2

“Give blood and keep the world beating”

The slogan for this year’s World Blood Donor Day campaign is “Give blood and keep the world beating.” This slogan stresses the importance of blood donations to contribute to better health. This year, the World Health Organization is calling on young people to donate blood in their communities.1 Specific objectives for this year’s campaign are to:

  • Promote giving blood during the COVID-19 pandemic.1
  • Thank blood donors and raise public awareness of the need for regular, unpaid blood donation.1
  • Encourage youth to donate blood and inspire others to do so as well.1

World Blood Donor Day is important because blood transfusions save lives, there is always a need for more blood donations and it is a global issue.2

Blood By the Numbers2

  • Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. 
  • It takes around 10-15 minutes to donate blood.
  • 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • 2% of people in America donate blood.
  • The minimum necessary waiting period between whole blood donations is 56 days.

Facts about Blood2

  • There are 8 blood types.
  • People that have Type 0 blood are the universal donors.
  • Blood is divided into four elements: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, all floating in plasma.
  • Red blood cells can last up to 42 days.

How to Donate Blood

Blood donation appointments can be made by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting www.redcrossblood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or to receive more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

All blood types are accepted for donation—in fact, all blood types are needed, appreciated and could save multiple lives!

Sources:

  1. World Blood Donor Day 2021 (who.int)
  2. WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY – June 14, 2021 | National Today

National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month

The World Health Organization places migraine as one of the 10 most disabling medical illnesses on Earth.2 June is National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to raising public knowledge, addressing stigma and building a stronger community of patient advocates.4

Migraine Overview

A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head.3 Some people experience a warning symptom known as an aura that occurs before or with the headache. An aura can cause visual disturbances, difficulty speaking or tingling on one side of the face.3

If untreated, a migraine attack can last from four to 72 hours. How often migraine attacks occur varies from person to person.3

After an attack, people report feeling elated and any sudden head movement may bring on pain again briefly. If you get migraines regularly, it is important to keep a record of your attacks and how you treated them. Having this information on hand will be beneficial if you make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your headaches.3

Migraine Fast Facts2

  1. Migraine impacts over 37 million men, women and children in the United States.
  2. It is estimated that up to 148 million people in the world suffer from chronic migraine.
  3. Migraine is 3x more common in women than men. Migraine affects over 30% of women over a lifetime.
  4. Fewer than 5% have been seen by a health care provider.

Build a Support Network

Migraine is a disabling disease that no one should have to go through alone. It’s essential to build a support network of understanding people who can not only check in on you during an attack but also empathize with your experience. While there are a multitude of online support groups, talk with your friends and family about your experience. They are an invaluable resource to help you get through migraine attacks.5

Common Symptoms

Symptoms for headaches and migraines can differ but some of the most common are:1

  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Eye pain
  • Neck pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Tria Health and Migraines

Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program offers one-on-one, private consultations with a Tria Health Pharmacist. Your pharmacist will work with you and your doctor(s) to ensure you are getting the intended outcomes from your medications. Over the years, Tria Health has continued to expand our services to include a multitude of chronic conditions, including migraines.

Have any questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. Migraine Headache Symptoms, Medications, Treatment & Definition (medicinenet.com)
  2. The Facts About Migraine | American Migraine Foundation
  3. Migraine – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic
  4. Migraine & Headache Awareness Month – CHAMP (migraineheadacheawarenessmonth.org)
  5. Why You Need a Migraine Support Network | AMF (americanmigrainefoundation.org)

Mental Health Awareness Month

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Each May there is a national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Mental health is crucial to a person’s overall health. This month is dedicated to understanding the prevention and treatment of mental health problems. It is critical for organizations to provide support for mental health, not only for the overall well-being of their employees but also to help manage their overall health care cost.

What is Mental Health?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines mental health as our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.2 Depending on many factors, your mental health can change over time. Mental illness can increase the risk of chronic health conditions.2

Mental Health Facts & Figures3

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.
  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year.
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.

Tips to Boost Your Mental Health

  1. Set up a getaway: Having something to look forward to can boost your overall happiness for up to 8 weeks!4
  2. Utilize your strengths: Doing something that you are good at can help build self-confidence.4
  3. Do something with friends and family: People are 12 times more likely to feel happy on days they spend 6-7 hours with friends and family.4
  4. Incorporate Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet: Omega-3 fatty acids are linked to decreased rates of depression among many other benefits.4

Mental Health Services

Genetics, lifestyle, and environment are all factors that contribute to your mental health. The pandemic has had an impact on many people’s mental health in a negative way. If you or a loved one are struggling, check out these mental health screening tools:5

Tria Health and Mental Health

Many patients decide to take medications to effectively manage their mental health. There are a variety of mental health medications currently on the market, ranging from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to atypical antidepressants. Because there is not a test to measure to brain chemicals, it can be a trial-and-error process to identify the best treatment for a patient. 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 are interested in exploring medication treatments for mental health, Tria’s pharmacist will be able to provide you with recommendations.

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. Mental Health Month | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
  2. Learn About Mental Health – Mental Health – CDC
  3. Mental Health Month 2021 – National Council for Mental Wellbeing « National Council (thenationalcouncil.org)
  4. 31 Tips to Boost Your Mental Health | Mental Health America (mhanational.org)
  5. Mental Health Awareness Month 2021: What to Know – GoodRx

How to Optimize Your Vitamins & Supplements

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Vitamins and supplements play an important role in bodily functions such as metabolism, immunity and digestion.1 They are there to complement the nutrients you get from food and bring you closer to your health and wellness goals.2 If you want to get the most out of your vitamins and supplements, there are a few things you should know.

Tips & Tricks for the top Vitamins/Supplements:

  1. Vitamin D:
    • Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and mackerel), cheese, egg yolk and yogurt.
    • It takes 10 to 15 minutes of daily direct sunlight on the skin to trigger vitamin D production.
    • Having low levels of vitamin D (< 30 ng/ml) increases the risk of fractures, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression.
  2. Iron:
    • Animal food sources richest for iron include lean meats, seafood, nuts, beans, and leafy greens.
    • Low iron can cause tiredness, fatigue, poor concentration, hair loss, and craving nonfood items like ice or dirt.
    • Talk to your doctor and test your iron level before taking iron.
    • Take on an empty stomach if possible.
    • Drinking orange juice with iron helps with absorption.
    • Wait two hours before taking iron after drinking caffeine.
    • Do not take iron with calcium.
  3. Magnesium:
    • Nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, leafy vegetables, milk, and yogurt are good sources of magnesium.
    • Magnesium supports muscle and nerve function as well as energy production.
    • Magnesium deficiency can cause general fatigue, muscle weakness and osteoporosis for the long term.
    • The recommended daily amount of magnesium is 400-420 mg for adult and 310-360 mg for adult women.
  4. Fish Oil:
    • Fish oil is good for your heart and brain function.
    • You can store fish oil in the refrigerator or take it at bedtime to avoid the unpleasant taste.
    • If you are a vegetarian or vegan, algal oil is a good option as it comes from algae.
    • 1 g is a good dose to start, avoid taking more than 4 g a day.
  5. Vitamin C:
    • Do not take more than 2000 mg/day, or you may have some diarrhea, heartburn and dizziness.
    • Best taken with a meal.
  6. Calcium:
    • You will want to take calcium with vitamin D to help your body absorb them.
    • Calcium is best absorbed with food. There is a liquid form of calcium you can request from the pharmacy.
    • You will need anywhere from 1000 to 1200 mg of calcium every day.
    • Calcium citrate is better tolerated. You will want to take it 30 minutes before a meal.
    • Make sure you do not take more than 600 mg of calcium at one time because your stomach can not absorb it.
  7. Zinc:
    • Can be used to aid the immune system, ease cold and flu symptoms, or help with health and growth.
    • Take this with a meal and separate from other medications.
    • This drug is usually well tolerated but can cause nausea. Call your doctor if you experience side effects that are bothersome or do not go away.
    • Some zinc products have sugar, talk to your doctor if you have high blood sugar before taking.
  8. Vitamin B-12:
    • Vitamin B-12 can be used to treat some types of anemia.
    • May cause tiredness, dizziness, headache, or diarrhea.
    • Should be taken with a meal.
  9. Folate:
    • Folate can be used to treat some types of anemia and aid in diet needs before, during and after pregnancy.
    • This drug is usually well tolerated but you should call the doctor if you experience any bothersome or lasting side effects.
    • You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take with food.
  10. Fiber:
    • Fiber can be used to treat constipation or to increase fiber in your diet.
    • After taking, space out other drugs by 2 hours.
    • Take this medication with a full glass of water and make sure to drink lots of noncaffeinated liquids.
    • Fiber may cause stomach pain, cramps or bloating.

As always, tell your medical providers if you are taking any supplements or over-the-counter products. Different products have different storage requirements, refer to product labeling.

How can Tria Health Help?

Tria Health provides one-on-one confidential counseling with a pharmacist for any of your medication related questions. If Tria Health is currently a part of your healthcare plan, call the Tria Health Help desk today for any of your questions.

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. The Importance of Vitamins To Your Body (sfgate.com)
  2. Why are Vitamins Important? | Centrum