October 4, 2016

4 Ways Prescription and Over the Counter Drugs Differ

Drugs can usually be categorized into prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs. These two categories have many significant differences. Here are four aspects in which they differ:

Prescriptions are not needed for OTC drugs.

OTC Drugs can be purchased without a prescription or a doctor’s referral.  The assumption is that the patient is able to recognize their symptoms and find an appropriate OTC drug to reduce them. Prescription drugs however require a doctor’s prescription. This is due to the fact that the patient needs to see the doctor before he can recommend a stronger or more specific drug to cure their condition.

The sale of prescription drugs is limited compared to OTC drugs.

Prescription drugs can only be dispensed by pharmacies. A mandatory prescription is needed for these drugs and can only be sold once prescription is verified. However, OTC drugs are readily available at pharmacies and grocery stores straight off the shelf.  They are also available at pharmacies but are not limited to them.

Consumption and usage of OTC and prescription drugs is distinct.

When purchasing a prescription drug you are provided with a specific label which guides you on what dose to take. These instructions are highly specific and are recommended by your doctor. You may also receive additional advice from the pharmacist on how to take the drug.  OTC drugs use different reference points, such as weight, height, age, on how to determine what dose is appropriate for each patient.

Use of OTC drugs requires self-diagnosis.

Patients make the decision of which drugs they need to take when purchasing OTC drugs whereas doctors determine which drugs a patient should take when purchasing prescription drugs. However, if the symptoms are uncommon, or are not alleviated by the OTC drug, it is advisable that they consult a doctor so they can prescribe the appropriate medication.



June 21, 2016

What Parents Need To Know About Prescription Drug Abuse


Collegiate Cocktail

Of the numerous threats to teenagers, abuse of prescription drugs tops the list of parental concern.  Teenagers often lack the knowledge of the danger behind their actions when taking a concoction of drugs that may result in adverse effects, which is why education at home is the vital first step in preventing unfortunate cases of teenager drug abuse.  At times, teens are aware of the dangers of drugs they are ingesting, but many times, they are uneducated about the risks they are taking.  Parents are the increasingly important factor in preventing teenager drug abuse.

Gone are the days where putting a lock on a medicine cabinet and using proper disposal methods could stem the flow of prescription drugs into teenagers’ hands.  An increasing popularity in the legitimate use of online pharmacies to fill prescriptions have led to an abuse of this system.  While there are online pharmacies that perform their due diligence in ensuring the safety of their products and customers, there have been cases of online pharmacies that provide drugs with hazardous substances and inaccurate does to people with no prescription, enabling the potential for teenage drug abuse.  This is the reason why a direct conversation with your child is extremely important, as it is much harder to recognize that drugs are being ordered online.

Prescription drug abuse using painkillers causes the largest percentage of deaths from drug overdosing in teenagers.  What are some ways to prepare and navigate these issues?

Learning the Dangers

Before talking to your child, ensure that you know all the risks and dangers associated with prescription drugs and drug abuse. Prescription medication are very potent and can interact with other medication or conditions.  The effects can result in harm or even death if taken improperly, which is why it is essential for any pharmacy, online or local, to know your medical history.

Clear Communication

Establishing a clear form of communicating with your child and demonstrating a genuine interest in their life is the best way to pass knowledge about drug abuse. Conversations about the danger and proper usage of prescription drugs will be easier with a clear way to communicate to your child. Not all teenagers who abuse prescription drugs use it to get a psychoactive state, or to get high. It is becoming increasingly common to see drug abuse in cases where teenagers seek to get better grades or increase energy levels. Being in tune with your child’s life is key to noticing behavioral changes that may indicate drug abuse.

Setting limits

The ability to deal with defiant or disrespectful behavior is key to managing any problems that can be associated with drug abuse. Setting clear, enforceable consequences to all behaviors that can endanger your child is essential for learning. Make sure to monitor that the limits are not being exceeded. In the case of prescription drugs, limits need to be strictly enforced.

Talk to a professional

Get your physician or an addiction professional if you think your child is abusing prescription drugs. Some warning signs to look out for are changes in appetite or sleep patterns, impaired coordination or injuries that they don’t realize they have, dropping attendance in school/work/hobbies, and sudden changes in hobbies/friends.

June 15, 2015

Xeljanz vs. Humira

Filed under: Arthritis,joint pain — Tags: , — drwatson @ 9:03 pm

Prescription DrugsHumira and Xelijanz are drugs designed to help treat rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is basically a chronic disease that falls under the category of autoimmune disorders. The disease causes the body’s immune system to attack its own, healthy tissue, resulting in swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joints. Both of these drugs can help reduce the significance of these symptoms, and are most beneficial to patients with moderate to severe forms of the disease.

How Do They Work?

Xelijanz is considered a JAK, or “Janus Kinase”, inhibitor. Janus kinases are chemicals within the body that are responsible for triggering inflammation. Inflammation can come in the form of pain, redness, swelling, or a combination of all three. Remember that inflammation is the body attempting to repair itself. Since rheumatoid arthritis is caused by inflammation from the immune response, Xelijanz helps decrease inflammation by lowering immune response.

Humira helps accomplish the same end result, but by an entirely different process. It works on TNF, or “Tumor Necrosis Factor”. TNF is a chemical that occurs naturally in the body, and that is also involved in the immune and inflammatory response. By blocking the actions of TNF in the body, patients are able to experience less pain, swelling, and discomfort caused from rheumatoid arthritis.


Despite their ability to both help treat rheumatoid arthritis, both drugs follow a very different route of administration. Xelijanz should be taken in tablet form. Administration involves 5mg tablets taken twice per day orally. Humira should be taken via injection. Patients should administer a 40mg injection underneath their skin every two weeks.

Side Effects

Like almost all pharmaceutical drugs, both Xelijanz and Humira have side effects that should be noted. Some of the more common side effects associated with Humira include headaches, rashes, and infections. Since the drug ultimately dials down on immune response, patients won’t be able to react as effectively to foreign invaders, resulting in sickness more often than average.

In more serious cases, patients may experience heart failure, leukopenia, hepatic failure, and even cancer. Due to the similarity of both drugs, Xelijanz results in many similar side effects, most of which revolve around soured immune response. Some of these include upper respiratory tract infections, sore throat, diarrhea, headaches, and urinary tract infections.

Which is More Effective?

Both drugs appear to be equally effective, so patients must ultimately decide how they would like to take the medication. A prime advantage Humira is that it only needs to be taken (via injection) once every two weeks, while Xelijanz needs to be taken twice per day, which can be difficult to keep up with.



June 10, 2015

How CPPI Is Gaining More Support On Social Media

Social Media SupportCPPI has definitely made a lot of progress with regards to their cause via social media as well as the web. Through this, the organization has managed to engage the American patients and consumers thoroughly. They have included the use of Facebook, Twitter, and CPPI’s own website to place ads, be more open, honest, and communicative. They have also recently started getting in touch with organizations that they hope would offer their support to them.

User Engagement Through Social Media

Ever since the Facebook page has been launched, the likes have continued increasing day by day and the overall response has been overwhelming. Facebook posts are made regularly and these posts talk about the pertaining issues that need to be resolved, such as the importance of having talks with the members of Congress.

CPPI’s Twitter profile has managed to do the same and has driven a significant amount of traffic with a comprehensive engagement on social media.

When it comes to the CPPI website, there have been banner ads placed that have been viewed by a lot of people and notable actions have been taken in relation to these banner ads.

Many individuals (197 people so far) have also signed up for newsletters of CPPI. And it is believed that this number will likely grow considering that the cause has so much social media support already. Also, the great thing about social media is that if one person is supporting a specific cause, then they will likely share it with the people in their network as well. When something is shared on social media, more people automatically get to know about it, resulting in more support.

Supporters To The Cause

There is a small group of allied organizations that are offering support to the cause. These include the National Hispanic Council on Aging, National Alliance for Caregiving, and National Indian Council on Aging. Follow-ups will be conducted with these organizations. Apart from these, there are also five to six organizations that have been identified for offering potential support for the cause. These include the National Retirees Legislative Network, Mayo Clinic, Pew Center Health Care Project, as well as Center for American Progress.

CPPI understands how important it is to keep the members engaged, especially through social media. When they have a large following, they will most likely be able to create a lot more awareness for their cause and reach out to a lot more people. The best part is that many of the Americans relate closely with their cause and the efforts that they are putting in to make sure that the citizens can get access to affordable and high quality medications from Canada.

September 29, 2010

Quality of Care Does Not Mean Patient Satisfaction

All through the United States, there are many hospitals, all of which are evaluated on their quality of care. Certain states, such as Ohio and Michigan have hospitals that are highly rated in quality of care. However, other states like Hawaii are not so fortunate. Surprisingly, the states that are ranked highest in quality care are not always ranked highest in patient satisfaction.

States that were rated highest in quality care include to two previously mentioned Ohio and Michigan, as well as Delaware, Massachusetts and Connecticut. However, the top states for patient satisfaction were Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Alabama and Louisiana.

While high quality of care did not equal high patient satisfaction, most of the states with the lowest ranking for quality of care were also ranked with the lowest patient satisfaction. Lowest among the quality of care were the District of Columbia, Nevada, Hawaii, New Mexico and New York. The District of Columbia, Nevada and Hawaii were all also included in the lowest ranked in patient satisfaction, along with Florida and California.

Due to low quality of care and/or low patient satisfaction, many U.S citizens are participating in a practice known as medical tourism. These people are choosing to travel to different countries all over the world to receive treatment. This can be done for a number of different reasons. A person may choose to have a medical procedure in another country because they simply cannot afford to pay the medical costs in the United States. Other people may travel to other countries or even other states because they may feel that the hospitals near them may not be good enough. Another rather popular reason for trying medical tourism is to have a medical procedure that is experimental or not yet allowed in the United States. This has been a very hot topic in media recently especially with people who have Multiple Sclerosis. However, people must also be aware of certain risks. Some countries may not have the same quality of care, but are considerably cheaper. You will have to weigh these risks on your own and make a decision.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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