SR, CD, XL, EC; Why is there no standardization?


Please take a moment and read this article discussing the problems with using acronyms in medication names.

Medication Acronyms Lack Standardization

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Steve

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Death by Prescription Opiates Up Fourfold in Ten Years

Prescription opiate related deaths are on the rise over the past decade.  Yes, stringent regulations have been instituted and pharmacies are on ultra-high alert for any sign that a prescription for a controlled substance should not be filled.

This process of heavy handed oversight is a grand effort in control; however, it may be time spent heading down the wrong direction.  Perhaps what we need is an education campaign of such universal proportions it would make the current "control" effort seem like no more than a proverbial single pill in the large bottle.

From clinics to hospitals to pharmacies, the understanding and treatment of pain would be well served if it were treated with a universally agreed upon strategy and plan.  Perhaps at that time we may begin to see a decreases in prescription related opiate deaths.

Please read this article to understand the situation we have created over the past decade.


Thanks
Steve

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30 Years of Opiate Prescribing


Why has Opiate Prescribing increased so drastically over the past 30 years? Take a look at my most recent article discussing the issue.


Thanks
Steve

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Medication Adherence and Micro-Technology

Remember when it was considered cutting edge to document your doses in a booklet, so you could take your notes with you to your doctor's appointment and show them that you have been taking your medication.  This process I describe in the following article takes this level of medication adherence documentation to an entirely new level of sophistication. Please, take a moment, click the link, read the article, and see if you feel this is a necessary step in the path of medication adherence documentation.

Medication Adherence; The Next Step

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Steve

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Pregnant and In Pain

Pregnant and in pain; what's a patient to do?  Many pain medications have the potential to cause unwanted effects on the unborn baby; however, untreated pain may also lead to situations that may compromise the the condition of the unborn baby.

Pleases take a moment to read the article.



Thanks
Steve

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Medication Counseling is a Two Way Street


"Medication counseling is an acquired skill which takes not only knowledge, but communication skills which must be patient-specific and flexible based on patient feedback." 

Empathy is a critical component of any practice, not just pharmacy.  Please take a moment to read the article.


Thanks
Steve

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Drug Interactions

Sudden death from an antibiotic?  This interaction drills home the importance of assuring that your pharmacist is aware of your entire medication profile.

Click the following link to read the article.



Thanks
Steve

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Visual Impairment Does Not Affect Intelligence


More than 20 million Americans are visually impaired.  Here's the question, how do these individuals read their prescription labels when they are at home by themselves?

Click the following link and read article about current prescription labeling regulations.


Thanks
Steve

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Schizophrenic Medication Education

Schizophrenia constitutes a group of psychotic disorders which involve severely impaired thinking, emotions and behaviors. Typically, schizophrenic patients are unable to filter stimuli to their senses such as sounds, colors and other environmental stimuli. If left untreated, most schizophrenics will gradually withdraw from other people, interactions and eventually lose their ability to take care of the simplest of daily personal tasks.

An excellent description of schizophrenia, including causes, symptoms, treatments and realistic expectations are available at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001925/

Regularly I talk about effective patient medication counseling and overcoming the barriers to effective counseling. This category of medications and patients poses some of the steepest barriers to effective counseling of all the medications. We get a short time with the patient in the pharmacy, and there is a significant amount of important information to cover in this category of medications.

It is great when we have a family member or caregiver to listen in and show understanding of the pharmaceutical therapy; however, quite often the patient is on their own.  This presents with an ideal situation for audible Consumer Medication Information.  Patients who are challenged with literacy or visual impairment may "listen" to a 4-6 minute audio file describing all of the important information about their particular mediaiton.
 
Health Literacy describes, amongst other things, the importance of understanding why you are taking a medication and the consequences of not treating your diagnosis.  When patients understand their therapy they are much more likely to be an active participant in their own treatment. 
 
AudibleRx will help individuals understand what they do and don't know about their medication and leave them in a much better position to take educated questions back to their own health care provider.

Please visit www.AudibleRx.com for more information.
 
Thanks
Steve

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Expensive Pills


The hospital that I work at has developed a program that places out-patient pharmacists in the hospital, every morning, five days a week, in order to help the medical and nursing staff with discharge education.  Quite often patients are discharged with medications that are very expensive and difficult to fill.  Our goal is to identify these specific cases and help coordinate the filling of the prescription so that the patient may leave campus with the prescription in their hand.

Please click on the following link to read the full article.


Thanks
Steve

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