Are Expired Drugs Still Safe And Effective?

Are Expired Drugs Still Safe & Effective?

With a pounding headache you reach into your medicine cabinet for some aspirin and realize the expiration date on the bottle passed … quite a while ago. Do you take it?  Will it be a fatal mistake or will you simply continue to suffer?

One of the questions I get asked the most by patients is: “Should they take expired medication or throw it out?” This information is very important for two reasons:  A.) There are some medications that should not be used past their expiration dates and  B.) Medications can be expensive and habitually replacing expired but unused drugs can get costly.

What does the expiration date mean?  

Let me first start by explaining what the expiration date means. (more…)


November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

National Diabetes Awareness MonthDid you know diabetes is a leading cause of disability and death in the United States? Surprising, I know. But if left untreated and uncontrolled, diabetes can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease and other major health problems. This month is National Diabetes Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time to focus on this chronic medical condition.


In order to understand the seriousness of diabetes, we need to know exactly what it is. (more…)


Going through “the change”?

Going through "the change" can be confusing and overwhelming. Menopause can cause a different range of symptoms.

Going through “the change” can be confusing and overwhelming. Menopause can cause a different range of symptoms.

The first thing to change is your monthly cycle. At the beginning of menopause you may have light or heavy periods that come and go at erratic times. The frequency of your periods may begin to change as well.

Other symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, decreased sex drive, vaginal dryness, pain and discomfort, palpitations, mood changes, depression, anxiety, exhaustion, insomnia and recurring UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections).

This period of change can take anywhere from two to five years before fading. Some symptoms can remain well after the change like vaginal dryness. No matter where you find yourself now, we can help. Besides compounded hormonal replacement, there are a variety of solutions we can customize to help you deal with your menopausal symptoms. Don’t despair, this time can be difficult, but it will pass. In the mean time, let us know how we can help you get through it as comfortably as possible.


Is this GMO or No?

GMO or No? Here's the breakdown of what it means and so you can make an educated decision for you and your family.

Many people are trying to reduce their intake of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) but some don’t know why. Is this GMO? What is GMO?  Jimmy Kimmel asked people on the street if they even knew what the acronym GMO stood for and many didn’t.

Here’s the breakdown of what it means and so you can make an educated decision for you and your family. There are three types of produce: conventional, organic, and genetically modified.

1. Conventional produce is sprayed with chemical pesticides but the genetics of the fruit or vegetable are natural, made from seeds made in nature.
2. Organic produce is as natural as it gets. It’s food from natural seeds that are grown with the lowest possible amount of pesticides and fertilizers.
3. GMOs, on the other hand, are grown from seeds made in a lab genetically manufactured to resist pests. Many of these crops are also sprayed with potent chemicals to increase the crop yield.

This is why some people prefer organic foods; they are searching for the most natural food possible. Whatever your stance, choosing the right food is easy if you just look at the label. Conventional foods have barcodes that start with the number 4, organic foods start with 8 and GMOs begin with the number 9.

If you have any questions about the types of food you should be eating for a specific ailment or health concern, don’t hesitate to give us a call!


Have a Weight Loss Goal? Your Pharmacist Can Help

Our team can come up with a specialized plan to help you reach your weight loss goal

Pharmacies like ours can help you meet your weight loss goal. You can schedule time to speak with a member of the pharmacy staff. We will get some calculations like BMI and blood pressure. Then we can test your blood glucose levels with a prick test. After reviewing your individual numbers and habits, our team can help you come up with a plan to help you reach your weight loss goal. Each person is different. We can help define a diet and exercise program that works for you. If we discover that compounded medication is something that can help you, we will give you the steps you need to take in order to get there.


Healthy Alternatives for Thanksgiving

Here are three quick and easy ways to switch out some classics for healthy alternatives for Thanksgiving with all the flavor.

Thanksgiving usually means indulging in foods that are often times unhealthy. Here are three quick and easy ways to switch out some classics for healthy alternatives for Thanksgiving with all the flavor.

1. Simply substitute the candied yams for sweet potato or butternut squash, and switch the marshmallows for brown, organic sugar and walnuts.
2. Instead of a creamy green bean casserole, opt for green beans sautéed in garlic, tomatoes and basil.
3. For dessert, instead of choosing pecan pie, choose apple pie and avoid most of the sugar, corn syrup and calories.

Thanksgiving can still be delicious and indulging, but a little less caloric. Have a happy AND healthy Thanksgiving.


Headaches are Caused by Dehydration?

Headaches are caused by dehydration? Here's how to prevent them.

Did you know that 80% of headaches are caused by dehydration? On especially hot days, nine degrees or more above average, your risk of getting a migraine jumps 8%.

Our brains are mostly water and when you reduce the water content in your body your brain literally shrinks because your blood flow function becomes disrupted and causes a reduction of flow to the brain. This in turn causes inflammation. In short, your body simply does not have enough water to function properly. You can recognize a dehydration headache because it causes pain when you move.

To improve the symptoms, reduce physical activity, drink plenty of water, replace lost electrolytes, don’t simply drink plain water. Add some lemon and a dash of salt and take a mild pain killer. Keep in mind however, if you don’t replace electrolytes in your body, the pain will come back after the pain killer effect wears off.

To prevent these kinds of headaches, drink before you’re thristy. The headache is a sign that something is wrong. Make sure to address it immediately to avoid further dehydration. If you continue to suffer, come talk to us about pain management strategies.


Good Bacteria

Bacteria comes in two forms GOOD and BAD. Bad bacteria is, of course, what can make us sick but good bacteria keeps us healthy.

Bacteria comes in two forms GOOD and BAD. Bad bacteria is, of course, what can make us sick but good bacteria keeps us healthy. It is important to keep a steady stream of good bacteria coming into our bodies.

Good bacteria is more commonly referred to as probiotics. Here are some great sources of probiotics you can begin consuming right away.

-There are dairy sources such as yogurt, kefir, buttermilk and aged raw cheeses.
-Veggies and fruits are also a great source– introduce tomatoes, artichokes, onions, greens, asparagus, garlic, leeks, berries and bananas.
-Veggies and fruits are most effective when pickled or fermented like pickles, sauerkraut and brined olives.
-Whole grains like oatmeal, barley, flaxseeds, wheat and legumes are also a great source of good bacteria.
-Supermarkets also now carry kombucha and water kefir which have high doses of probiotics.

If you would like guidance on how to add probiotics to your diet through food or supplements, VH Pharmacy can help. More tips for eating right found here.


Common Food & Drug Adverse Reactions

Common Food & Drug Adverse ReactionsMany of our favorite foods are more satisfying when paired with another. For example, chocolate on its own is delicious but many people find that chocolate and peanut butter is a tastier combination. But did you know eating chocolate and taking certain drugs might carry risks? What you eat or drink can alter or even negatively affect the way your medicines work. Food can affect the degree and rate at which a drug is absorbed into your system, alter your metabolism and the excretion of certain medications.

Although the specifics of “food-drug interactions” are complex, here are examples of foods and beverages often red-flagged when on medication:

Alcohol: If you are taking any sort of medication, it’s recommended that you avoid alcohol, which can increase or decrease the effect of many drugs.

Grapefruit juice: Grapefruit juice is often mentioned as a beverage that negatively interacts with many drugs because it modifies the body’s way of metabolizing medication, affecting the liver’s ability to work the drug through a person’s system. Certain drugs that interact negatively with grapefruit juice include those for the prevention of organ transplant rejection, medication used to treat insomnia, and anti-anxiety medicine.

Licorice: I know licorice appears to be a fairly harmless snack food and you’re probably thinking, “What’s so harmful about Twizzlers?” The fact is some forms of licorice increase the risk of toxicity in those individuals on medication to treat congestive heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms. Licorice may also reduce the effects of blood pressure drugs or certain diuretic drugs.

Chocolate: Eating chocolate and taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, could be dangerous. MAO inhibitors are used to treat depression and are just one set of drugs that shouldn’t be consumed with excessive amounts of chocolate. The caffeine in chocolate, when mixed with medication, can lead to a sharp rise in blood pressure; and can also have adverse affects with stimulant drugs such as Ritalin, increasing their effect, or by decreasing the effect of sleep-enhancing drugs like Ambien.

New drugs are introduced every year. Because of that, it’s important to remain diligent about other interactions and side effects you could have with the medicines you use. If you have any questions, talk to your doctor or pharmacist so you can try to avoid any unnecessary problems.

ABOUT VH PHARMACY:  VH Pharmacy is a family-owned and operated neighborhood pharmacy.  In business for more than 40 years, VH Pharmacy has been under the leadership of Pharmacist Eddy Blanco for the past 11 years.  With his extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical compounding, Eddy Blanco has transformed VH Pharmacy into a technologically cutting-edge facility.  To learn more about our services, please visit our website at or call us today at 305.324.8777.


ADHD Awareness Month

ADHD Awareness

Because October is Global ADHD Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight the fact that standard prescription drugs don’t always provide adequate relief, especially for patients dealing with complex conditions such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder. In those cases, compounded medications, which are personalized for each patient, are always a great alternative.

There are several ways to help a person that suffers from ADHD. Besides finding a personalized, compounded medication to treat ADHD, making certain changes to diet and routine may help. Many doctors and patients are noticing an improvement by simply eliminating processed foods and those containing chemical additives and sugars. Consider incorporating calming foods into the diet like camomille, passion flower and St. John’s Wort.

By establishing a strict routine, children and even adults have shown improved focus when they work, live and study. Practice relaxation techniques. Take a few minutes of your daily schedule to breathe, meditate or simply be still. It is best to schedule these times during moments of highest stimulation such as after work or school, or before dinner or bedtime. If possible, a bedtime massage can help relax each part of the body. Touch has also been proved to help with relaxation. Finally, reducing screen time can help with overstimulation and focus.

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