General News Category Archive
Sep 29, 2013Posted By: jaclynUnder: General News, Health News, Your Health
Recent measles outbreaks on Ontario and British Columbia have sparked concern over the condition as well as low vaccination rates across Canada. British Columbia has reported about 12 cases so far this year. While 12 cases may not seem like a lot, typically 0-2 cases of measles occur in BC. While Southern Alberta hasn’t had any confirmed cases of measles this year, Calgary had a confirmed case in a toddler in July of this year. While rates haven’t started to rise dramatically yet, it is likely only a matter of time before we begin to experience the same outbreak unless we do something to stop the outbreak from happening.
Why the sudden increase in cases? Declining vaccination rates are resulting in outbreaks of infections in children that we haven’t seen for years. Alberta Health Services has a target of vaccinating 98% of children to ensure optimum protection from infectious diseases. However, in Southern Alberta in some small communities vaccination rates have fallen to as low as 70% putting infants and young children at risk of contracting measles and other vaccine preventable illnesses.
What are measles?
Measles are an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus. Because the infection is viral, antibiotics do not work in the treatment of measles and treatment is supportive. Symptoms include rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation and fever. Most people will recover on their own, however in some cases measles can lead to...
May 26, 2013Posted By: jaclynUnder: General News, Product News
When medications are recalled due to potential health concerns, its stressful and when it is a medication used in babies and young children it is an even larger cause for alarm.
This week Health Canada announced a pro-active recall of a children’s fever reducer. The over-the-counter medication’s Children’s Little Remedies and Infant’s Little Remedies are used in the treatment of fevers and contain acetaminophen. While this brand of remedies are not available at Stafford Pharmacy, they may found in many other local pharmacies.
To date, no adverse reactions have been reported due to the use of this medication. Health Canada made the decision to recall the products after a European inspection agency determined that the manufacturing facility in China who makes this product line was not up to standards. The agency found that unsanitary conditions may have lead to contamination of these products with bacteria that could be potentially harmful if ingested.
In light of these findings, Prestige brands has voluntarilly recalled the following products:
Children’s Little Remedies for Fevers – Grape, DIN 02385198, 160 mg/5 mL strength.
Children’s Little Remedies for Fevers – Cherry, DIN 02385198, 160 mg/5 mL strength.
Infant’s Little Remedies for Fevers – Berry, DIN 02385171, 80 mg/mL strength.
Infant’s Little Remedies for Fevers – Grape, DIN 02385171, 80 mg/mL strength.
Note: DIN refers to the Drug Identification Number given to all...
Apr 10, 2013Posted By: igorUnder: General News, Pharmacy Industry News, Pharmacy Profession
Just the Facts!
The March 7th Alberta Provincial Budget introduced a number of changes that many have described as "austerity" measures. These represent a long list of spending cuts including healthcare cuts. As a healthcare professional who is also a small business owner, fiscal responsibility or economic responsibility is a term that all business owners understand. No different than a business or a family household, you can't spend more than what you make unless you have some substantial cash reserves and even then, you can only go back to those funds so many times before the cash must be replenished. Furthermore, we have asked the provincial government to maintain a balanced budget, making certain that spending does not exceed government revenues. This year's budget introduced a deficit budget 0f some $4.2 Billion.
As part of this March 7th Budget, the provincial government introduced additional cuts to healthcare that did not receive the media attention it deserves. These cuts to the healthcare budgets are not the first but instead are one more of many cuts that have taken place over the past 3 years. Although the Alberta Government has "reinvested" in pharmacy by reimbursing pharmacists for some of the valuable patient services previously provided without any compensation, the economics are still such that those dollars represent only a small portion of that taken from pharmacy and possibly more important is the timeline of these cuts. ...
Mar 9, 2013Posted By: jaclynUnder: General News, Pharmacy Profession
Providing more health care than you know: Ask a pharmacist
March 2013 is Pharmacist Awareness Month, when pharmacists across the country reach out to make Canadians aware of the many services they offer to improve their patients’ health.
A 2012 survey by Environics Research Group showed that while many Canadians are willing to see pharmacists for expanded services, they simply aren’t aware of the full range of issues they can discuss with their pharmacist. The survey of over 1500 adults showed that Canadians report high levels of interaction and satisfaction with pharmacists’ services, and a full 80% of respondents indicated that they’ve received counselling or advice from a pharmacist. About half of respondents said that they would see a pharmacist for a flu shot or other vaccination, and over 75% said that they would be comfortable going to a pharmacist to order and interpret lab tests.
At Stafford Pharmacy, we celebrate Pharmacist Awareness Month to make sure that our patients know that their pharmacists are there to help, in more ways than they know. There are many health-related issues that pharmacists can work through with patients, without appointments or wait times.
Most Canadians know that pharmacists are the most equipped health care provider to help understand the best use of medications. They can help patients learn how to take medications properly, suggest alternate medications to avoid dangerous interactions...
Dec 22, 2012Posted By: jaclynUnder: General News, Veterinary Medicine
The holidays are a time of celebration and with that comes decorations, festive parties and decadent food. While these traditions pose a minimal danger to humans, there are many dangers for our furry friends during the holidays. Here are some tips to help keep your animals safe this holiday season.
#1 – Forbidden Festive Foods
The following is a list of foods that are toxic to household pets:
Raisins and currents
Holly Leaves and Berries
Although not a food, the artificial sweetener xylitol is found in so many products from candy to soft drinks. Although safe for human consumption as a sugar substitute or sometimes referred to as a sweet enhancer, it is NOT safe for your companion canine or ferret. So far, cats have not shown the same response to xylitol consumption. Human metabolism of this sugar alcohol is quite different than that of your dog or ferret.
The harm done by something as simple as xylitol is a due to the release of insulin from the pancreas leading to a rapid uptake of blood sugar (glucose) into tissues and organs such as the liver, muscle and fat cells. This sudden uptake of glucose causes a sudden hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which compounds the liver toxicity and liver damage. As little as a xylitol containing cookie or cupcake can be enough to be fatal to an animal. In fact ingesting as little as 0.5gm of xylitol per kg of body w...
Oct 22, 2012Posted By: jaclynUnder: General News, Your Health
If you are a female or male suffering from exhaustion, sleep problems or hot flashes you may want to consider having your hormone levels tested. These symptoms are only a few of many that may be signs of female menopause or male andropause. If your day-to-day activities are being disrupted by these symptoms saliva testing may be right for you.
Hormones have been measured in saliva for over thirty years, and research continues to accumulate attesting to its reliability and clinical relevance. Saliva testing is considered the “Gold Standard” when determining a person’s hormone levels. Hormones travel from the blood into the saliva by passing through the salivary gland tissue. This means that saliva hormone levels measure the actual delivery of hormones into the tissue, where the hormones exert their effects. In contrast, blood tests measure the amount of hormone that might eventually get into tissue. Therefore, saliva hormone levels better reflect tissue (or bio-available) hormone levels than blood levels do. The following hormones are tested in a basic female panel: estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and cortisol. The basic male panel tests for: estradiol, testosterone, DHEA and cortisol. If stress is a likely contributor to your symptoms, cortisol can be tested at a few points (2 or 4) throughout the day to see if you are suffering from lack of or excess cortisol secretion. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands in ...
Jul 21, 2012Posted By: jaclynUnder: General News, Health News, Your Health
Traveling? Protect yourself!
Annually, approximately 400 Canadians are reported to be infected with malaria while traveling abroad. However, it is estimated that only 30-50% of cases are reported therefore the actual number is likely much higher.
Malaria is an acute flu-like illness caused by a parasite which is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. The severity of illness varies depending on which species of the malaria parasite is responsible for the infection. Signs of malaria include flu-like symptoms (headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain and fatigue), muscle spasms, shakes and chills. Severe infection can result in seizures, coma, and kidney and/or respiratory failure which may lead to death. It is advised that you seek medical attention while traveling to malaria endemic areas at the onset of any unexplained fever. If malaria is diagnosed early, almost all malaria cases can be cured.
Malaria prevention has two components the first preventing mosquito bites, and the second taking a prophylactic medication. Malaria prevention with prescription anti-malarial medication is recommended if you are planning on traveling to any of the following areas: sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, New Guinea, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, Haiti, Central and South America, parts of Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and the Middle East. The type of anti-malarial treatment you will be prescribed depends on where you are traveling as re...
Jul 19, 2012Posted By: igorUnder: General News
The Mortar & Pestle
We are the first to admit that you are probably inundated with health information from all different sources. There may even be some that you subscribe to, that you pay for, along with those that are "FREE" or at least appear to be free. With that knowledge, do you really need another health or drug related newsletter? Our answer is a simple, "Yes you do". That is, you need at least one that you know is accurate; that is current; that is written by professional people who are knowledgeable on the topics and quite possibly the most important, you know and trust the authors of the material. That's exactly why you need to subscribe to our newsletter which we call "The Mortar & Pestle".
It's all of two pages composed of a feature article and two shorter articles, all on different aspects of healthcare. We try to give you our perspective on the medical news that is current as well as product focused information, product reviews, practical how-to's that are meant to be useful tips for you and your family. Drug therapy is most obviously one of our key focuses because that is our expertise, but we haven't stopped there and try to include topics of interest to those who want accurate information on complementary alternative medicines, nutraceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics and even health related controversies.
The newsletter is published at the beginning of each month and available immediately for those who...
Jun 5, 2012Posted By: igorUnder: General News, Stafford Pharmacy News, Your Health
Hypertension is by far the largest risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney diseases. Over 1.5 billion people suffer from hypertension worldwide and the WHO has identified hypertension as the top cause of CVD related deaths. Yet awareness about hypertension is very poor among the public. Nearly 50% of Canadians who are hypertensive are not aware of their condition. To help raise awareness and to assist patients who are monitoring their high blood pressure we have upgraded our in-pharmacy blood pressure monitor to the PharmaSmart PS-2000 with Smart Card technology.
How does the Smart Card work?
The PharmaSmart blood pressure Smart Card includes a memory chip, which means it "remembers" your previous blood pressure readings. This allows you to track your blood pressure readings over time. The information on your smart card is private and confidential. Ask your pharmacist about obtaining your personal blood pressure Smart Card.
What do I need to know about the Blood Pressure Kiosk?
The PharmaSmart PS-2000 kiosk allows you to reliably track your blood pressure over time. If you use a personal Smart Card, the Kiosk will print out the average of your last 10 blood pressure and pulse readings, along with the date of each reading. It will also provide an average of your most recent 10 readings. This printed report can be shared with loved ones or your health care providers to help better manage your health.
What is the on-line...
May 19, 2012Posted By: jaclynUnder: General News, Your Health
As the weather heats up, the sandals and flip flops will be coming out of winter storage. While these shoe types allow you to feel the summer sun on your tootsies, they can also result in cracked heels.
Cracked heels, or heel fissures, are splits in dry skin around the heel. These cracks can be extremely painful to stand on and may even bleed. In some cases, cracked heels may also become infected and require prescription medications to be treated.
Cracked heels are caused by pressure from walking or standing when the skin on the heel is not flexible enough to withstand your bodyweight. Other factors that can cause this condition are: prolonged standing, open back shoes, medical problems that cause dry skin (diabetes, psoriasis etc.) and obesity.
To prevent cracked heels during the summer months, it is important to keep your skin moisturized and follow a regular foot care regimen. This “spa-at-home” routine can help you prevent cracked heels:
1) Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes in Gehwol Herbal Foot Bath
2) File the rough skin off of your heels
3) Finally, moisturize with a cream such as Attractian Cream or Gehwol Med Salve
Following this simple regimen will keep your heels soft and supple this summer.
If you are prone to cracked heels, preventing this problem before it begins can be as simple as 3 easy steps. Speak with a member of our Home Healthcare team today to help you locate and choose the right products to kee...