Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Pharmacists Help Cold, Flu and Allergy Sufferers Select the Best Over-the-Counter Medications PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Michelle Fritts   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:27

APhA Releases Results of 2011 Pharmacy Today Over-the-Counter Product Survey

WASHINGTON, DC – With cold and flu season still active and allergy season on its way, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) encourages patients to actively seek their pharmacist's advice about the proper use of medications. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care provider and are available to help the public choose the best over-the-counter (OTC) medication for cold, flu and allergy symptoms.

As the medication experts, pharmacists are trained in prescription medications, over-the-counter products and dietary and herbal supplements, and can provide patients with important information about how those medications and products may interact with certain foods or one another. Pharmacists can help patients determine whether they are suffering from a cold, flu or allergies and select products that address their individual needs, or recommend a patient see a doctor or other health care provider when symptoms warrant. A pharmacist can also provide a patient and their family with a flu vaccination and, in many states, other immunizations that prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Treating and preventing cold, flu and allergy-related symptoms are common inquiries for a pharmacist, especially at this time of year. The listing below highlights the #1 recommended products** from the 2011 Pharmacy Today Over-The-Counter Product Survey in the adult allergy, sinus and decongestant product categories.

  • Adult Antihistamines – Claritin (27% of 3,976 pharmacist recommendations)
  • Adult Antitussives - Dextromethorphan – Delsym (41% of 2,984 pharmacist recommendations)
  • Adult Cold-Liquid Products – Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom (22% of 2,529 pharmacist recommendations)
  • Adult Decongestants – Sudafed (58% of 1,932 pharmacist recommendations)
  • Adult Expectorants – Mucinex/Mucinex D/Mucinex DM (70% of 1,645 pharmacist recommendations)
  • Adult Multisymptom Allergy and Hay Fever Products – Claritin-D (33% of 2,307 pharmacist recommendations)
  • Adult Multisymptom Cold or Flu Products – Mucinex D (30% of 2,177 pharmacist recommendations)
  • Adult Multisymptom Cold or Flu Products-Nighttime – NyQuil (30% of 1,234 pharmacist recommendations)
  • Adult Topical Decongestants – Afrin (64% of 1,372 pharmacist recommendations)

 

The 2011 Pharmacy Today Over-The-Counter Product Survey reveals pharmacists top OTC product picks in 77 categories. The survey was conducted in September 2011 and published in the February 2012 edition of Pharmacy Today. It was completed by over 1,400 practicing community pharmacists who are recipients of Pharmacy Today.

The annual survey tracks the OTC products that pharmacists are recommending to their patients as well as the interactions they are having with those patients. With more than 100,000 nonprescription medications on the market and more than 1,000 active ingredients, it’s critical that patients consult their pharmacist to maximize the benefits from medications and minimize the potential for harmful drug interaction and/or side effects.

Optimizing Your Pharmacist’s Over-The-Counter Medication Suggestions

  • Discuss the symptoms you are trying to treat, and the duration of those symptoms, with your pharmacist.
  • Provide the age and weight of the patient to your pharmacist. This is especially important with children’s products or if you are caring for an elderly family member, as formulations may differ depending on weight.
  • Read product labeling, take the medication exactly as directed, learn of possible side effects, and ask your pharmacist what should be avoided while taking the medication.
  • Watch for duplicate ingredients. If you are taking or giving more than one OTC medication check the active ingredient(s) used in each medication to make sure you are not using more than one product with the same active ingredient.
  • Do not use a kitchen spoon to measure liquid medications. Obtain appropriate medication administration aids (i.e. droppers, syringes, spoons, etc.) and ask the pharmacist how to use them properly.
  • Don’t give medications in the dark. Turn on the lights if your child or family member needs medication at night. Do not give medication to anyone who is not fully awake.
  • Follow good health practices to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses. Cover the mouth and nose during a cough or sneeze, avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth and wash the hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Remember, most OTC medications are for temporary relief of minor symptoms. Contact your pharmacist or health care provider if your condition persists or gets worse.

Pharmacists work with doctors and other health care providers to optimize care, improve medication use and to prevent disease. To achieve the best outcomes for their condition, patients should maintain regular visits with all of their health care providers. APhA encourages patients to fill all their prescriptions with one pharmacy, get to know their pharmacist on a first name basis, discuss their medications with their pharmacist, carry an up-to-date medication and vaccination list and share all medical information with each of their health care providers.

** Being a #1 recommended product in the Pharmacy Today OTC Product Survey does not indicate Pharmacy Today or APhA endorsement of any product or service.

About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. For more information, visit www.pharmacist.com.

 

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Pertussis (Whooping Cough) on the rise in Scott County PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Lenore Alonso   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 13:34

There has been a noticeable increase in the number of Pertussis (Whooping Cough) cases reported in area schools, and the numbers continues to grow in Scott County.

During a Pertussis Outbreak, anyone who has had the following symptoms is considered to be a case of Pertussis and needs to see their doctor for testing and treatment:

prolonged cough (more than a normal cold) coughing “spells or fits”, or a whoop with their cough

vomiting after coughing

Pertussis is easily spread to others when someone who has it coughs germs into the air and other people breathe them in. School age children and healthy adults who have Pertussis may not look very sick, but can still spread the disease to other people when they cough.

It is very important for people who have Pertussis to stay at home until they have completed at least five days of the course of treatment prescribed. That means no school, no work, no grocery shopping, no church, etc. Pertussis can cause babies, people with weak immune systems and older people to get very sick or even die.

For more information call the Scott County Health Department at 563-326-8618 or visit www.scottcountyiowa.com/health.

 
Braley Calls for Iowa Law Requiring Air Monitoring at Ice Rinks PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Monday, 27 February 2012 15:26

Recent media reports have drawn attention to instances of dangerous air quality, lack of standards 

 

Des Moines, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) joined concerned parents and their children today on the steps of the Iowa state capitol to call on the state of Iowa to pass a law requiring indoor ice rinks to install air monitoring equipment to alert patrons to the presence of unhealthy levels of dangerous fumes, like carbon monoxide.

 

Recent media reports have drawn attention to numerous instances across the country of children getting sick after being exposed to dangerous levels of noxious gasses like carbon monoxide.  Just last fall in Iowa, several Des Moines-area children were hospitalized after being exposed to carbon monoxide at a local ice rink.

 

“Smoke detectors are required in Iowa homes and carbon monoxide detectors are almost as common,” Braley said.  “Yet there is no requirement for carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in ice rinks where levels of toxic fumes can reach dangerous levels.

 

“It shouldn’t take people getting sick and children going to the hospital to realize there’s a dangerous situation at hand.  Air monitoring detectors should be standard equipment in Iowa ice rinks.  It’s an inexpensive, common sense way to keep our kids safe and give parents peace of mind.”

 

Only three states regulate air quality at indoor ice rinks – Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.  Iowa has no indoor ice arena air monitoring requirement.

 

Data on the number of children hospitalized because of dangerous gasses at indoor ice rinks is hard to find because there is no national reporting requirement.  However, an April 2009 ESPN report found that in the previous six months, nearly 200 people had been sickened by carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, or other harmful emissions at indoor ice arenas.

 

Braley has visited several ice rinks across eastern Iowa to learn more about steps being taken to safeguard children, including rinks in Davenport, Dubuque, Waterloo, and Cedar Rapids.

 

In addition to the event at the state capitol today, Braley has sent a letter to state legislative leaders and the Iowa governor requesting action on the issue.  Full text of the letter follows; a copy of the letter can be downloaded at the following link: http://go.usa.gov/UDU

 

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February 23, 2012

 

The Honorable Terry Branstad

Governor of Iowa

State Capitol

1007 East Grand Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50319

 

The Honorable Michael E. Gronstal                      

Majority Leader                        

Iowa Senate                        

Second Floor, State Capitol                       

Des Moines, IA 50319                         

 

The Honorable Jerry Behn

Minority Leader

Iowa Senate

Second Floor, State Capitol

Des Moines, IA 50319

The Honorable Kraig Paulsen                       

Speaker                       

Iowa House of Representatives               

Second Floor, State Capitol                       

Des Moines, IA 50319                         

 

The Honorable Kevin M. McCarthy

Minority Leader

Iowa House of Representatives

Second Floor, State Capitol

Des Moines, IA 50319

 

 

Dear Governor Branstad, Majority Leader Gronstal, Minority Leader Behn, Speaker Paulsen, and Minority Leader McCarthy,

 

I am writing today to urge you to enact legislation requiring the installation of air quality monitoring devices in Iowa’s indoor ice arenas.  Recent news reports have shown numerous instances around the country of children getting sick as a result of poor air quality in indoor arenas. Just last year, young hockey players in Urbandale, IA were sent to the hospital as a result of poor air quality in the rink where they were practicing.

 

At the height of hockey season, we must work to ensure the safety of these facilities. Over the past week, I’ve had the opportunity to visit with ice rink managers, children and families in Waterloo, Davenport, Dubuque and Cedar Rapids to discuss the issue of ice rink safety.  In every place, I’ve seen managers working to ensure the safety of their facility, and I have faith that they have the best interests of their customers in mind. However, with no state guidelines, air quality monitoring and safety is inconsistent across the state as a whole.

 

I urge you to work together to enact legislation requiring monitoring of air quality in indoor ice rinks to reassure Iowa families that the facilities where they go for recreation are safe. Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island have enacted similar laws to ensure the safety of these facilities in their states. We have a responsibility to Iowa families to assure the safety of our children.

 

I appreciate your consideration of this request, and thank you for your continued work on behalf of Iowans.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bruce Braley

Member of Congress

 

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March is Kidney Cancer Awareness Month PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Linda Cox   
Monday, 27 February 2012 14:15

The Governor of Illinois has proclaimed March is Kidney Cancer Awareness Month.  The Kidney Cancer Association has also proclaimed March Kidney Cancer Awareness Month INTERNATIONALLY. 

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2012 64,770 new cases of kidney cancer (40,250 men and 24,520 women) would occur and about 13,570 people (8,650 men and 4,920 women) would die from this disease.

The nation/world needs to be educated regarding this disease. PLEASE consider writing an article in the month of March listing the symptoms of kidney cancer.

  • Signs and Symptoms Associated with Kidney Cancer:
  • Blood in urine.
  • Pain in the back just below the ribs.
  • A mass that can be felt.
  • Unexplained weight loss which can sometimes be rapid.                                           
  • Intermittent fevers or night sweats.
  • Fatigue and lethargy.
  • Fever that is not associated with a cold or the flu.
  • Pain in other parts of the body if the cancer has spread.


While kidney cancer normally affects men over 55, more young people are being diagnosed.  Kidney cancer is the sixth most common cancer and the tenth most common cause of cancer death for men.  It is the eight most common cause of cancer for women. The five-year relative survival rate (percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases) of people with kidney cancer is about 69%.

 
Accountable Care Organizations and Collective Farms PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Alieta Eck, MD   
Friday, 24 February 2012 09:38

http://www.aapsonline.org/

Proponents of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) claim that doctors in the US spend four times more, interacting with the many health plans, than Canadian physicians spend interacting with the government.

In 2009, physicians in Ontario spent $22,205 on administrative costs per physician per year, while US physicians spent a staggering $82,975 each trying to get insurance companies to pay them. U.S. nursing staff, including medical assistants, spent 20.6 hours per physician, per week, interacting with health plans, nearly 10 times that of their Ontario counterparts. Many health policy makers conclude that a centralized system would be more efficient. But would that be better for patients?

Section 1104 of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 instructs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to figure out ways to simplify interactions between providers and health plans. Instead of private practices, the reform bill supports new groupings of physicians in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

In a bureaucrat’s heaven, ObamaCare will centralize payments to ACOs where care would be controlled and physicians compensated according to strict government guidelines, including dollars saved by giving less care. Patients would be expected to do what they’re told.

If physicians were farmers and patients were livestock, this might be feasible, but setting up an efficient assembly line system is not the way to provide compassionate, individualized high quality medical care.

As a matter of fact, even farmers and livestock did not do well with central planning of the collective farms that existed in the early 20th century in the Soviet Union. These were farms or groups of farms organized as a unit and managed and worked cooperatively by a group of laborers under State supervision. Private ownership of farms was no longer allowed and they were confiscated by the State.

The State promised to collect the meat and produce and distribute it fairly. But this did not happen and peasants, those who worked the hardest, lamented that they were not getting their fair share. When they revolted, their non-compliance was met with harsh retaliation, and life was reduced to stark subsistence.

People were forced into hard labor by cruel taskmasters as the supervisors were held accountable for the results. Lives were micro-managed by the central planners and freedom disappeared. The punishments became harsher when productivity declined. Eventually, it has been said that the people pretended to work and the State pretended to pay them. The Soviet Union fell under its own weight as the economy ground to a halt.

So do we need more centralized control in medical care? Or would decentralizing care and minimizing the middle man be even better?

American physicians and patients value independence, wanting to keep their interactions at a personal one-on-one level. Why not allow every patient to choose his own primary care doctor, keeping his phone number on speed-dial. When the patient wakes up with abdominal pain or blood in his urine, he should be able to pick up the phone, hear a familiar voice and make an appointment for the same day. At the end of the visit, he would pull out his check book or credit card, and pay a reasonable fee-- about the cost of an oil change plus new windshield wiper blades. In 90% of medical visits there should be no third party and NO administrative costs.

Many US physicians have allowed themselves to be swallowed up by a system that is extraordinarily complicated and costly. But others are beginning to see that the answer is to pull away from all third party payers and contract with individual patients. Each doctor saving $83,000 per year would result in lower fees for the patients. Physicians would experience the great satisfaction of having an ongoing relationship with their patients, providing quick, efficient, and competent care. After all, that is why we went to medical school.

The Accountable Care Organizations will be the medical version of Soviet collective farms. The Affordable Care Act must be repealed before it has a chance to ruin the best medical care in the world.

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