Your DNA profile can tell you whether a med is right for you: Codeine Example

NewSpring Pharmacy Pharmacogenomics CodeineWe don’t all respond the same way to the same medication. Codeine, which is prescribed for pain and cough, is a good example. For codeine to work, it must first be metabolized in our bodies. In this process, the codeine is turned into morphine, which provides pain relief. But because of their genetic make-up, some people metabolize codeine very fast, resulting in a morphine overdose, while some people metabolize it too slowly, so they don’t get enough morphine. For a fast metabolizer, a customized smaller dose may be appropriate. For both fast and slow metabolizers, an alternative medication may be more appropriate.

A case is recorded of a 4-year-old boy who was given a codeine prescription when he was discharged from hospital after a tonsillectomy. After just four doses at home he was rushed to the hospital without vital signs. The cause of death was found to be acute pneumonia caused by too much morphine in his body. This happened because his genetic make-up caused him to metabolize codeine very fast.

In another case, a breastfeeding mother was prescribed codeine with disastrous results. Because she was an ultra‐rapid metabolizer of codeine, the concentration of morphine in her breast milk became extremely high, leading to the death of her 13-day-old infant.

Pharmacogenomic testing identifies variations within genes which may affect how a person’s body metabolizes various drugs. A test is done once to provide a blueprint for a lifetime. Test results can help your doctor choose the safest and most effective drugs and dose. If you have any questions come into the pharmacy or call Dr. Lucas at 623-932-9800.

Bitter Meds? Why taste matters…

NewSpring Pharmacy Compounding FlavorHere’s why taste matters…

In The Guinness World Records, the title of ‘the most bitter substance in the world’ goes to Bitrex, a substance which is designed to astonish us with its bitterness and help prevent accidental poisoning. Bitrex is so bitter that when it is added to a harmful substance, you can rest assured your kids will spit it right out!

When you want your kids to take their meds, however, you want it to be palatable. If they’re spitting it out it’s not doing them any good. And it’s not just kids who struggle with swallowing bitter medicine.

Flavoring meds to mask unpleasant taste and to make it palatable is important for compliance. Compliance means taking your prescription correctly and completing the dose. Many people don’t do this. They may fail to fill or refill a prescription, miss doses or take a lower dose than prescribed, stop a prescription early, or take an old medication for a new problem. A pleasant taste is one way to encourage compliance.

A compounding pharmacy can customize prescription meds to remedy the issue of bitter or unpalatable taste. Talk to us if you or your child are struggling with the taste of your medicine.

PETS: Sneak ‘em their meds …it’s for their own good

Compounding PetsHas your pet had a drug prescription recently? How did that go? Was it a simple affair sneaking a pill or liquid into a meal, or was it more complicated? Giving a pet medication can be very challenging for you and traumatic for your pet.

Pets, just like their owners, are unique individuals with distinct personalities and sensitivities. Pets’ prescriptions can be customized into suitable forms for the individual pets and their particular illness. For example, for an injury, a medication customized into a gel rather than a pill may work faster and be much easier to administer. A suitable flavor can also be customized to suit your pet. Cats, dogs, parakeets, rabbits, and all other pets have individual palates, so one flavor does not appeal to all.

One concern with trying to force medication into your pet’s mouth is the danger that your pet will injure you. A dog could bite you, or a cat might bite or scratch you, because besides being unwell, they too may be traumatized by the forceful treatment. A bite wound generally requires medical treatment because of the danger of infection.

Sometimes you get the medication into the pet’s mouth but they may spit out part of it, leaving you wondering how much has dissolved and whether to give more or wait. Besides, once your pet has tasted the medication, they are on to you!

NewSpring Pharmacy has some non-traumatic ways to help pet owners administer meds. Call us or come into the pharmacy and talk to us about stress-free med times for you and your pet.

Compounding is the past and the future

NewSpring Pharmacy Compounding History and FutureCompounding, the formulation of medication to suit individual needs, has one foot in the past and the other in the future. In our day, your doctor will prescribe a ready-made medication for you, picking the most appropriate available dose for you. But how would you get your meds in the times before mass production?

Compounding as a profession dates as far back as 2600 B.C., to the apothecaries of ancient Babylon. An ‘apothecary’ is a professional who formulates and dispenses medicine. The Babylonian apothecaries recorded symptoms, prescriptions, and compounding instructions on clay tablets. Apothecaries compounded and dispensed medicine throughout history in various parts of the world. In Germany, pharmacies are still called ‘Apotheke’ (Apothecary). Pharmacies compounded prescriptions until the 1950s, when large pharmaceutical companies began to supply most of the medication.

Modern day compounding pharmacies were born of the realization that ‘one size does not always fit all’ when it comes to medication. Individuals may have varying needs and sensitivities that cause them to require variations in dosage, ingredients, and delivery forms. A patient with a sensitivity to an ingredient in his prescription, such as gluten or lactose, may need a special formulation that excludes that ingredient. A patient who has to control pain over a long time may need a cream rather than a pill to avoid damage to her stomach lining, and so on.

Customized medication will continue to provide solutions that addresses our individual difference as long as we continue to be unique individuals.

COMPOUNDING: Because no one in the world is quite like you!

NewSpring Pharmacy CompoundingWelcome to the world of compounding; a world where your prescription medication can be customized to meet some of your unique needs. Look around you. No one looks exactly like you. Well…maybe your identical twin. But even then, there are distinctive differences—different fingerprints, different size, different likes and dislikes, even different genetic profiles. No one in the world is quite like you!

Compounding, then, is the process of customizing your meds to meet your unique needs.

Compounding caters to unique needs
When your doctor gives you a prescription, it’s meant just for you; not to be shared with friends or family members who have similar symptoms. That’s because your doctor has taken into consideration unique facts about you; other meds you may be taking, how the medication may have affected you in the past, your general health, and even your size and age. But what if there isn’t a medication available that suits your unique needs? Compounding enables you to get the dose adjusted, in consultation with your healthcare provider, so you’re not “stuck” with a commercially available dose that is not suitable for you.

Compounding makes taking meds easier
You want to take your prescription, but sometimes it’s really hard. Maybe it’s a pain medication that hurts your stomach, or it’s just a really bitter pill for a child to swallow. Meds can often be compounded into a different form that makes them easier to take. They could be made into creams or gels, for instance, or into suppositories for older patients. Taste and smell can be improved to make meds easier to take.

Compounding can make taking meds safer
A particular prescription medication may not be safe for you because of your reaction to a particular ingredient. What then? Compounding can replace the ingredient with one that is safe for you to take. For instance, if you are allergic or sensitive to certain fillers in the available capsules, they can be replaced with rice powder or probiotics so you can get the benefit of your prescription meds without the allergic reaction.

Compounding can benefit your pets
Pets are just as unique as we are, and even more diverse. Pets can benefit from compounding to suit their unique needs in all the same ways that people can. Besides, human-grade meds can be used for compounding for pets, so they get the very best meds for their health.
If you have any questions about compounding, please give us a call on 623-932-9800 or come into the pharmacy. We’ll be happy to answer your questions. Meanwhile, we wish you health and wellness.

A matter of life and health

NewSpring Pharmacy CompoundingCustomizing medication to fit patients’ individual needs is beneficial in many ways; it can make the medication more palatable or suitable for the individual patient. And there are instances when customization is so much more important. Here are some examples…

Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is a bowel diseases. It is caused by the immune system attacking the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, causing inflammation that results in abdominal pain and diarrhea. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the GI tract, which is the digestive system, starting from the mouth all the way to the anus. It can also affect the eyes, the skin and the joints. There is currently no cure for the disease, which means that people with Crohn’s disease are likely on medication continuously.

Compounded medicine is very important for people with Crohn’s disease. They can have their meds compounded in a form that by-passes the GI tract or parts of it, such as topical creams and gels or suppositories. People with Crohn’s disease may also have trouble absorbing nutrients in their GI tract, so they can have their supplements compounded into troches, sublingual drops, creams and gels.

GERD
GERD is gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is caused by reflux of acid or stomach contents into the esophagus. This causes the lining of the esophagus (food pipe) to be irritated. GERD causes pain and makes swallowing difficult. Besides, it can cause side effects such as hoarseness, dry cough, dental problems, and chest pain. People with GERD therefore may need medication to treat the condition and to relieve the side effects as well.

Compounding is very important for people with GERD because their medication can be specially made in suitable forms and dosage. Side effects can be managed using forms that are not oral and therefore avoid irritating the esophagus further.

Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a digestive autoimmune disorder. If people with Celiac disease eat gluten, their immune system attacks their small intestine, causing damage to its lining. When the lining is damaged, they cannot absorb nutrients properly, which can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, and other nutritional issues. There is no cure or treatment, so people with Celiac disease have to follow a strict gluten-free diet all their lives.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Even a small amount, such as a few breadcrumbs or a small amount in medication can affect people with Celiac disease. Compounding is very important for people with Celiac disease to make sure that any prescription meds they take do not contain any gluten.

Difficult to swallow? Three different ways to take meds

NewSpring Pharmacy Compounding Alternative Dosage FormsMost medication comes in the form of a pill or liquid that you swallow. But that doesn’t work best for everyone at all times. Here are three alternative dosage forms that a compounding pharmacy can make.

Pain creams and gels
Pain! It’s just plain…well…unwelcome! Many people suffer from chronic pain, which means they have an injury or condition that causes them to take medication often, or even daily. Long-term use of pain medication can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness or stomach irritation. Some of these side-effects can be done away with by changing the form of the medication. Instead of a pill, your pain medication can be made into a cream or gel that you apply to the site of the pain. It is absorbed through the skin which means fewer side effects and quicker relief.

Lollipops and Troches
A troche is a lozenge that you dissolve under your tongue or between your cheek and gum. Lollipops and troches are an important alternative for young children and for the elderly because they may have difficulty swallowing pills. But lollipops and troches are especially important when a medicine is needed orally, for example, to treat mouth sores or a throat infection. They can also be used to treat nausea.

Suppositories
Suppositories are given rectally, vaginally or urethrally. Suppositories are excellent for treating hemorrhoids, infections, or inflammation because they dissolve quickly in the area where they are needed. Like lollipops and troches, they can also be used to treat nausea using this route instead of the oral route.

Men’s Health Special

Many ED patients don’t fill their prescriptions due to the cost. Sildenafil is a viable, cost-effective alternative. Patients can get #50 20mg Sildenafil for only $95 cash. Compare this to:

10 tablets of 100mg Viagra at over $300
With the Viagra coupon, 6 tablets at $106
10 tablets of Cialis 20mg at upwards of $350

Get a Sildenafil prescription from your doctor and bring it in today.

Don’t hesitate to call us on 623-932-9800 or come into the pharmacy if you have any questions.

Doctors, here’s a sample script for the Sildenafil prescription

Sildenafil Script1

 

DEPRESSION: Men Hurt Too!

depressed man

“Go ahead, have a good cry. It will make you feel better.” Women may have heard this advice many times. But men have probably heard, instead, that they should not ‘cry like a little girl’. Research shows that women cry, an average of 47 times a year, while men cry on average 7 times a year. Even that may surprise some men, who haven’t cried once in many years.

But life happens: a strained relationship, a death in the family, financial struggles, genetic predisposition, or even the normal welcome events in life such as becoming a father for the first time; and without an outlet, emotions can build up, affecting our mental health.

In the United States, about 6 million men are suffering from depression at any given time, according to the National Institutes of Health. The impact is felt, not just by the individuals struggling with depression, but by their communities and families as well. When a husband is depressed, the marriage suffers. When a father is depressed the children suffer. Symptoms and behaviors that often accompany depression, such as pessimism, criticism, irritability, and social isolation, can be contagious.

Just feeling a little low?

There’s a difference between just feeling a little low and major depression that steals your joy in life and can even affect your physical well-being. If you have several of the symptoms of depression and they are with you every day, make a decision to do something about it. Don’t allow yourself to continue in a state of hopelessness. You deserve to be happy and the world needs your unique contribution.

Symptoms of depression include feeling exhausted all the time, getting irritated easily, avoiding friends and family, and trouble sleeping or getting up. There are many other symptoms. Take a look at ‘Your Head: An Owner’s Manual,’ a very helpful resource book for men on how to recognize and handle depression, stress and anxiety, published by Men’s Health Network.

Getting help

Depression is not a ‘normal’ part of life or something to just ‘get over’. You can get help and you can be happy again, in the midst of the inevitable ups and downs of life. The traditional treatment is psychotherapy and/or prescription medication, but there are also non-traditional treatments that you can explore with your healthcare provider.

Take that first step away from depression, whether it’s getting a diagnosis or dealing with pent-up emotions. And remember, it’s not only okay for men to cry, it’s scientifically proven to be good for you! Biochemist Dr. William Frey discovered that emotional tears, unlike reflex tears, contain stress hormones and toxins, which are excreted through crying. Watch a sad movie if you need an excuse, or a prompt, for your tears. How about Forrest Gump, which should bring on both laughter and tears, or The Pianist.

Stressed out? Try:

Exercise: It releases endorphins, our body’s natural antidepressant, and serotonin, which lifts our mood.

Diet: A Mediterranean-style diet helped one-third of the participants in a study achieve a significant improvement in their mood and symptoms.

Spirituality: Research has shown that greater spirituality is associated with less severe depression.