All posts filed under “Pharmacy

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Welcome to cold and flu season!

It is that time of the year again to break out the tissues and cold and flu medicine. It is the start of cold and flu season! This year, there a few new changes as well as important reminders to keep in mind as we enter into this new season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just came out with a new 2016-2017 recommendations to not get the nasal flu vaccination, which was a very popular method of vaccinating last year.  The flu, or influenza virus, has a tendency to change its viral structure. Some people believe that once you have had the flu you become immune from contracting the flu in the future. However, even if this was somewhat true, the viral structure or strain of the flu changes so frequently it is unlikely that anyone is immune from the flu at all. Some of this year’s flu viruses have been assessed and based off the assessments, flu shots (compared to nasal vaccination) will be more accurate and a stronger source of flu prevention this season.

There has been talk in the past about individuals with egg allergies getting the flu shot, since some flu vaccines have eggs within their ingredients. This year the CDC is saying that individuals who have had mild reactions to the flu shot (i.e. hives) should get the recommended flu shot. Individuals who have more serious reactions to the shot (i.e.  angioedema, becoming dizzy/lightheaded or the need for an epinephrine) should still receive the flu shot but they should receive it in an inpatient or outpatient (i.e. hospital, clinic, local doctor’s office) medical environment. That way if serious reactions occur, medical professionals can deal with it right then and there. However, whether or not you have mild or serious allergic reactions to eggs, it is important to notify the individual who is giving you your vaccine of your egg allergy. Have an egg allergy? Read more about this change here.

Last year (2015) the flu season started later than usual and did not peak until December. This year we have already entered the flu season and it is the second week of October. It is recommended for everyone to get a flu shot, especially children and the elderly before the end of October. If you need to know where you can get one, check out this link to find a flu vaccine near you.

Besides getting a flu shot, make sure to wash your hands regularly and stay home when you are feeling sick. The common cold is one of the biggest gateways for contracting the flu. The cold may seem like no big deal but colds can suppress your immune system greatly making it easy for other viruses, such as the flu, to enter your body. If you are a supervisor at work encourage employees to stay home when they don’t feel well. Colds can last up to two weeks without proper care. This is two weeks where a cold can spread to other individuals and weaken your immune system for longer. Don’t be afraid to call out of work for the cold, everyone will thank you for it later!

Want to learn more about preventing colds and flu? Check out these links:

CDC – Common Colds

CDC – Flu


caption-arrow  Feature photo by Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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Type 1 and type 2 diabetes – what’s the difference?

Diabetes occurs in two forms: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 usually develops at a young age. It’s caused by a damaged pancreas that produces very little or no insulin – the hormone your body needs to carry glucose to your cells. Only about 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1.

Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed later in life. With this type, it becomes harder and harder for your body to use the insulin it produces. Type 2 is much more common than type 1 – at least 90 percent of people with diabetes have this form.

Prevention and treatment

Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented or cured. Genetics most likely play a role – its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin and follow other measures to manager their blood sugar.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes can sometimes be prevented or delayed through a healthy diet, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. For some people with type 2, these practices may be enough to keep their blood sugar under control. Others may need to take medication or insulin.

Sources: American Diabetes Association


caption-arrow  Feature photo by : Alden Chadwick

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Prescription drug abuse – Thoughts on Justin Bieber and other celebs

I woke up this morning to the news of Justin Bieber in jail after failing a sobriety test and drag racing. Reports say that he was pulled over just after 4am this morning after driving in a residential area of Miami Beach. Where the story gets really interesting is that Bieber admitted to having beer, marijuana and prescription drugs in his system.

In the past few weeks there have also been speculations of Bieber consuming “sizzurp”, a dangerous drink with prescription-strength cough syrup. While there are no reports yet of this morning’s indecent involving the cough medicine, I think it’s worth mentioning.

One of the more famous rappers at the moment, Lil Wayne, has also been accused of using this prescription drugs to the point of seizures resulting in hospitalization. Even the Seattle based Macklemore has a song called “Otherside” where the lyrics are on this very topic. Other celebrities including Ludacris and Three 6 Mafia also have similar songs. And don’t forget about Miley Cyrus’ on stage support of marijuana at the MTV EMA’s earlier this year. Read More

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National Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday!

If you have expired, unused, or unneeded drugs in the house, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) wants to make it easier for you to dispose of them. Saturday, September 29th has been designated as National Drug Take-Back Day and sites throughout the United States have been designated to take your unwanted drugs for disposal. Drugs may be turned in at these sites from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Can one day really make a difference? Read More

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November 17th is The Great American Smokeout!

Are you thinking about quitting smoking? Have you tried before and been unsuccessful? Join millions of Americans this month around a common quit date. The Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to set up a quit plan and quit together on the third Thursday of November. This year, the quit date is Thursday, November 17th. Get the support and guidance you need to kick the habit with cessation resources available to you.

The Free & Clear Quit for Life Program is here to help you every step of the way. Log on to your myODS account to learn more*.

The Oregon Quit Line offers numerous resources online and via phone. Call (784.8669) or log on to

*Services may not be included in all benefit plans.

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Get Your Flu Shot – What You Need To Know

Flu vaccines are generally given at the beginning of the “flu season” – usually late October or early November in the U.S. However, they may be given as late as March, and still provide some benefit. Most people achieve protection from the flu approximately 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine. Many companies offer flu shots on-site, so check with your HR department or wellness coordinator to see if this is being offered. ODS is doing this very thing for our own employees next week.  

Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, sore muscles, and cough. Thousands of people in the U.S. die each year from the flu or its complications. Most of those who die are the elderly, young children, or people with compromised immune systems.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone who wants to reduce their risk of the flu should get a flu vaccine. The flu shot is for people age 6 months and older. People at risk for more serious flu infections should always get a flu vaccine every year.

You should get a flu shot every year if you: Read More

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World Health Day 2011 – Help Us Celebrate!

World Health Day marks the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) each year by selecting a health issue of importance. The goal of World Health Day is to bring together communities and people of diverse backgrounds all over the world to promote healthy living. This year’s World Health Day is on April 7th and the theme is Combat Drug Resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance, also known as drug resistance, is becoming critical problem and efforts need to be made to prevent resistance. Drug resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses and parasites change the way they react to medications used to cure them. When this occurs the bacteria, viruses or parasites become “superbugs” and can easily be spread to others and sometimes this “superbug” can kill.

What does this mean for you? Read More