Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Identify Yourself and your Medical Conditions

Hello Everyone,

Do you, a family member or someone you know have any of the following medical conditions or taking certain types of medication?

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Other Cardiovascular Disease
Implanted Defibrillator
Drug Allergies
Food Allergies
Taking Blood Thinners (Coumadin / Warfarin)
Taking Heart Medications (Lanoxin / Digoxin)
Other serious Medical Condition

If you have any of those conditions or more..... you need to IDENTIFY YOURSELF!!!!!!!!

If you have any of those conditions or more..... you need to IDENTIFY YOURSELF!!!!!!!!

If you have any of those conditions or more..... you need to IDENTIFY YOURSELF!!!!!!!!

Above was not a typo. I want to get my point across!

Imagine if your Mom passes out in her favorite store. Did she have a heart attack? A stroke? Did she just slip and fall? It is hard to tell right now. She may have some symptoms but the store manager who goes to check it out may not have a clue.

However, if she was wearing her Medical ID bracelet that indicated that she is diabetic, the manager and then the emergency responders would be able to check first for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). (A survey by American Medical ID indicated that 95% of first responders look for medical ID during emergencies). The treatment to reverse low blood sugar is relatively easy. Having that bracelet may save her life.

There are many suppliers of Medical ID bracelets. You may have seen order forms at many pharmacies. By the way, not only bracelets. There are necklaces / pendants, and charms. I have provided a link to an online supplier. http://www.americanmedical-id.com

(Note: I do not have any financial ties or receive any payment from my online links. I do a Google search, find a supplier that I would buy from and then make the reco.)

The above list of medical conditions is not a complete list of who should have a Medical ID. The link has some good information on their FAQ.

Hope you are finding this information helpful. Let me know. Please let your friends, family and co-workers know about this site.

Thank you for your time.

Dr. Paul

GOOD NEWS! - Now you can go to www.howdodrugswork.com to get to this site.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pharmacy Mistakes

Hello Everyone,

There has been some press this morning about the increase in pharmacy errors. Since you are now on your way to becoming INFORMED medication consumers, here are some helpful hints:

Note: some of these hints were posted on a CNN article written by Elizabeth Cohen with quotes from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, (Hedy Cohen) University of California-San Diego (Dr. David Phillips) and the American Pharmacist Association (APhA Mitch Rothholz) http://body.aol.com/news/health/article/_a/dont-be-a-victim-of-pharmacy-errors/20071026123509990001

Take some responsibility for your own medications. Know what you are taking and why. Know what the tablets, capsules look like that you are taking. If the tablets / capsules in the new refill you just received does not look the same, ASK!!!!! Do everything you can to make sure that the drugs inside the bottle are the ones that are supposed to be there.

At pharmacies across America, the beginning of the month is extremely busy. The reason? Medicare entitlements renew at the beginning of the month. Social security checks are received at the beginning of the month. Dr. Phillips' research indicated that pharmacy errors increase by 25% above normal the first few days of the month. Try to schedule your refills for the middle or end of the month.

Don't wait until the last minute to get your refills. Plan Ahead.

When the Dr. writes you a new prescription, ask him/her what the drug is for. What is the name of the drug, the strength. Make sure the writing on the prescription is LEGIBLE!. Many pharmacy errors occur because the pharmacist mis-reads the prescription. The referenced AOL article talks about a lawsuit that was filed because a patient was given Matulane instead of Materna. You may be able to imagine how those two drugs could be mis-read having seen some of the chicken scratch that is out there. (Chickens, Please don't take offense and send me some threatening emails)

It's curious to realize that many people will research and read on the latest wines, cheeses and other food items and can quote the latest "Wine Spectator" score on that vintage of 2005 Merlot. However, they will not take the time and energy to know about the medication they are taking to control their diabetes.

Since you are reading this article, I'll try to help educate you on drug items of interest.

Be vigilant,

Dr. Paul

Here We Go!

Hello Everyone!

Drug, Medications, Pills Tablets, Capsules, Suppositories, Troches, Injections, Nasal sprays, Eye drops, Ear Drops.........It's hard to keep track of them all.

I know that the goal is for folks not to HAVE to take drugs. Because when we do, it usually means something is not quite right. It could be high blood pressure, cancer, headache, constipation or a myriad of other problems. Of course, sometimes we take drugs because we want to...like vitamins to try to stay healthy.

Hopefully YOU don't have to take any medications. But, if you do, do you know what they are? What the drugs are for, the strength of the medications, how you are supposed to take them?

I am not talking about a conversation like this:

Dr. Paul "Hi Ms Garcia, I need to update your medication profile, tell me the drugs you are taking."
Ms Garcia "Hello Dr. Paul. I am taking a little blue pill in the morning. I think it is for my heart and I take a round pink pill at night. I'm not sure what it is for."

I know what you are thinking, It doesn't go like that, does it? Yes it does! Or you might be saying, That sounds like me! Or my Mom/Dad, or my Grandmother/Father.

As a pharmacist that conversation doesn't help me one bit. More importantly, IT DOESN'T HELP YOU!

See how this one sounds to you.

Dr. Paul "Hi Ms Garcia, I need to update your medication profile, tell me the drugs you are taking."
Ms Garcia "Hello Dr. Paul. I am taking Lasix 20mg in the morning at 8am for my blood pressure. I also take Coreg 6.25mg twice daily at around 8am and 8pm for my blood pressure."

Now we're talking.

But wait, you are probably saying, How am I supposed to remember all those crazy sounding names and numbers and stuff. I'm lucky to remember to take the pills!

I realize that. It's hard to remember brand name and generic names of drugs. They are hard to pronounce and the chemical name....forget it! They also come in all sorts of mg strengths and sizes... it can make your head swim.

Here come the pointers.

Looking at your medication bottles, write down the name of the drug, the strength, how often you are supposed to take it, etc. on a piece of paper. If you know why you are taking it, write that down as well. Do that for every drug you are taking. Now, take that list and put it in your wallet or purse. Make copies of that list and give them to your kids so they know what you are taking.
Try to remember to update that list every time you add or delete a medication. So next time you need to know the drugs you are taking, pull out your list.

You can write the list with your computer, print it out and that way it can be more legible. Easier to update as well.. There are forms available online or you can pick up medication cards at your pharmacy if you need them

There are many great computer programs available to help you keep track of your medications and health information. Some are free, some charge for their product. They are all good. Probably way better than you are using now.

Here are some links that you may find helpful:



So get up right now. No, not later....Right now and get your list together. Don't forget to put it in your purse or wallet. It may save your life one day. NO Kidding!

Until later,

Dr. Paul

Sunday, October 28, 2007

First Post!

Hello Everyone!

As the name of this blog implies, we will be talking about drugs and how they work in the body. It really is a fascinating subject. (At least I think so).

For example...Why are you supposed to take ibuprofen with food or at least a small snack? Is it because the ibuprofen tablet itself will cause a ulcer in your stomach? NO!! (Note - Here is the definition of Ulcer taken from www.medterms.com - Peptic ulcer: A hole in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4829)

Another example...if you are diabetic, why shouldn't you take decongestants?

The answers to those and many other questions are due to how the drugs work in the body.

In addition to talking about how drugs work, we will talk about general health issues and maybe a few off the wall topics as well.

Look forward to talking with you.

Dr. Paul