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Unusually Warm Winter Will Increase Heartworm Risk

Posted by on May 26th, 2016

buddyHeartworm disease is a serious disease that results in severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and death in pets, mainly dogs, cats, and ferrets. A parasitic worm called, Dirofilaria immitis, causes this disease. These worms are spread through a mosquito bite. The dog is the definitive host, meaning that the worms mature into adults, mate, and produce offspring while living inside a dog. The mosquito is the intermediate host, meaning that the worms live inside a mosquito for a short transition period in order to become infective (able to cause heartworm disease). The worms are called “heartworms” because the adults live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of an infected animal.
Inside the host, the heartworm can grow into a parasite up to a foot in length. The parasite can cause injury to the lungs, arteries and the heart. Symptoms include:

• Lethargy
• Coughing
• Vomiting
• Difficulty breathing
• Fainting
• Exercise intolerance

These symptoms are also associated with other canine diseases so diagnosis can be difficult. Often, a blood test is required to confirm the diagnosis. Treatments are available but prevention and mosquito control are most important. In the United States, heartworm disease is most common along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from the Gulf of Mexico to New Jersey and along the Mississippi River and its major tributaries, but it has been reported in dogs in all 50 states.

Your best weapon against heartworm is prevention. Heartworm treatment is difficult and expensive — and further complications to your dog’s health can occur. Medications used to prevent heartworm infections are called preventives. Preventives kill the heartworm larvae before they have a chance to grow and mature into adult heartworms. A number of heartworm preventives are available to pet owners today. Some heartworm preventives contain additional ingredients that will control other parasites, such as roundworms or hookworms. A monthly preventive should be given to all pets. Remember that mosquitoes can get indoors, so even though your pet may not go outside, he is still susceptible. Before administering heartworm medication, it’s important to have your dog tested by your veterinarian to make sure she is not already infected. Once your veterinarian has determined your dog is free of heartworm, you can start your dog on below listed medications, as prescribed by your veterinarian. If the test is positive, your veterinarian may discuss your treatment options.

Medications Available:


Celebrating Spring With a Barbados Themed Party

Posted by on May 11th, 2016

It’s that time of year when Canadians wonder if winter will ever end. We’ll spare you a rundown of winter’s many, unpleasant ramifications, but we were now able to get a glimpse of the light at end of winter’s dark tunnel. During the end of April we at CanadaDrugs focused on trying to welcome in the change of seasons. The snow has melted outside and our thoughts are fast turning to the summer months and actives.

The social committee hosted a Spring Barbados party. We able to sample some Caribbean cuisine from Caribbean Catering and spend some much needed time together to celebrate the coming spring. Take a moment and look through some of our photos and see how we dance away the winter blues, to the Reggae beat right here in Winnipeg.
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Early Spring Brings Early Allergy Season

Posted by on April 27th, 2016

honey-bee-flower For allergy sufferers, allergy season has started early. You can blame warm spring temperatures for opening up flowers and releasing pollen, seven weeks early. Sneezing, runny nose, and red eyes are just some of the symptoms you may experience, if you suffer from allergies. In any average spring, there’s a fairly typical pattern to how different tree species release the pollen that they produced during the previous year’s summer and fall (winter has much less impact on pollen season). Some tree species – Alder, Cedars, Maples and Poplar – pollinate earlier in spring, while other species – Ash, Birch, Oak and Pines – pollinate later in the season. How the weather behaves in spring can have a significant impact on this schedule, though.

Regardless of similarities in weather and general trends in pollen counts, pollen seasons can still be very different from one another. The amount of pollen a tree species produces is dependent on the weather they experienced during the previous year’s summer and fall. If the weather was favourable, they may have a large supply of pollen to release when they finally get their chance in spring, and if it was unfavourable, there will be less pollen to release, no matter how the spring plays out.

For those who put up with seasonal allergies each year, it’s important to have an idea of what you may reacting to. Some species of tree, such as Alder, Birch and Oak, tend to cause allergic reactions more than species like Maples and Poplar. Also, while one species of tree may be putting out a very large amount of pollen, others may be releasing far less. Watching the pollen forecasts from day to day and comparing them to how you feel could help identify which species you react to most. A visit to your doctor, to be specifically tested for allergies, would make it far more clear.

Also, although trees are the main seasonal allergy in spring, there are other sources of seasonal allergies throughout the year. Grass pollen is typically what’s responsible for allergic reactions during June and July, after the trees are usually done. Mould spores and fungal spores cause reactions as well, although they do not receive as much attention as pollen when considering seasonal allergies.

Treatment

The primary aim of treatment for seasonal allergy is to reduce the symptoms so that the patient can continue participating in daily activities as normal.

A corticosteroid nasal spray is very effective to relieve nasal symptoms and is usually recommended as a first-line option. this kind of spray reduces swelling and mucus in the nasal passageway. It also relieves bothersome nasal symptoms. The sprays work well for treating congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itching, or swelling of the nasal passageway.

Flonase Allergy Relief (fluticasone propionate) is a corticosteroid nasal sprays is available over the counter.

Antihistamine medications for oral administration or in a nasal spray can also be used to manage nasal symptoms, in addition to corticosteroid spray or alone. Some patients may notice anticholinergic side effect with antihistamine medications, such as sleepiness, dry mouth or blurred vision.

Examples of antihistamines that are available over the counter:
Allegra (fexofenadine)
Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
Claritin (loratadine)
Tavist (clemastine)
Chlor-Trimeton (chlorpheniramine)
Zyrtec (certirizine)

Other medications that are sometimes used in the treatment of seasonal allergy include cromolyn, azelastine and montelukast.


10 Easy to Keep Healthy New Years Resolutions

Posted by on January 22nd, 2016

New-Years-ResolutionFailing to keep New Year’s Resolutions seems to be one resolution people seem to be able to keep. So, how do you keep your resolutions? Keep them simple, specific and not as grand. Resolving to “take the stairs more often” is much easier to follow through on than “lose 30 pounds”. With that in mind, here are 10 easy to follow, healthy resolutions for you to consider:

  1. Walk or ride your bike more often instead of driving.
  2. Take the stairs instead of elevators and escalators to get daily exercise.
  3. Sign up for a dance or art class.
  4. You know it’s the most important meal of the day, so why skip it? Give yourself an extra 15 minutes in the morning to prepare and eat a good breakfast, like free run eggs, oatmeal or a green smoothie.
  5. Grow a simple garden: start with herbs that are easy to grow and maintain.
  6. Incorporate more vegetables in your meals.
  7. Listen to more of your favorite type of music. Music boosts spirits and helps reduce depression.
  8. Cut down your sodium intake by using spices and herbs to flavor your dishes instead of salt.
  9. Eat five new foods this year. Have you tried kale, quinoa, and coconut oil or almond butter yet?
  10. Preserve seasonal fruits and vegetables by learning how to can them. Bulk up on produce that is in season and on sale.

Immediate Release vs Modified Release Formulations

Posted by on January 12th, 2016

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There has been much speculation and confusion among patients as it relates to the different types of formulations for tablets and capsules.

Most oral drug preparations such as tablets and capsules are formulated to release the active ingredient of the drug immediately after it has been administered. These types of drugs are known as immediate-release and are absorbed rapidly within the body. Therefore, their effects are felt quickly, in as little as 20 to 30 minutes but last for a shorter period. These are usually given more frequently during the day.

The next type of formulation is the modified-release dosage forms. These fall into two categories and change the time and/or rate and location at which the active ingredient is released in the body. This is done to achieve the desired effect of the drug and increase patient compliance.

Delayed-Release drugs:
In these types of preparations the active ingredient is released into the body some time after they have been administered. These drugs by-pass the stomach to prevent the gastric juices from destroying the drug or making it inactive. Sometimes these drugs may also be too harsh on the stomach. These types of drugs are usually enteric coated. With these drugs the effects can start within 1-2 hours, can last from 12 to 24 hours. Example: Depakoate.

Extended-Release drugs:
These types of drugs are released into the body at a slower rate over a period of time. This causes the effect of the drug to last longer in the body and can reduce the frequency you the patient may have to take the medication. Drugs which fall into this category may carry the abbreviations such as SR, CR, CD ER, XL etc. These can be taken also every 12-24 hours with the majority lasting for 24 hours and the effect can start within the first 2-4 hours. Examples are: Voltaren SR, Cardizem CD and Effexor XR.

With modified-release drugs it is important not to crush, chew or break them. These actions can sometimes release the drug too rapidly into your system and cause an increase in side effects or result in drug poisoning. Food can also affect how these drugs may work. Consult your pharmacist before taking these types of drugs, as each drug may be different.

It is very important for you the patient, to be aware of which formulation you are using or your doctor has prescribed for you. Some drugs carry more than one type of formulation which varies in how they are released in your body. These slight variations can be sometimes harmful or fatal if taken incorrectly and/or not recognized at an early stage. Eg: Depakoate and Depakote ER. Hence, to get the utmost from your medication, please discuss further with your doctor and/or pharmacist.

We at Canada Drugs have a team of professional pharmacists, working together with you and your provider to ensure optimal drug care. We value you, our customer and take this opportunity to thank you for allowing us to serve you over the years.