Posts Tagged ‘Drug Safety’

An Orange a Day? Eating Citrus Fruit May Lower Stroke Risk.

Posted by on February 29th, 2012

Researchers have identified a compound found in oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits that may lower a woman’s stroke risk. According to a study published online last week in the journal Stroke, eating more oranges and grapefruit may help reduce stroke risk thanks to their flavonoid content.

Flavonoids give fruits and veggies their vibrant colors. They are also found in chocolate and red wine. By some estimates there are more than 5,000 of them. Flavonoids are plant-based compounds with powerful antioxidant properties, which means they reduce inflammation, promote healthy arteries, and help prevent and repair cellular damage.

The study analyzed 14 years of data from the U.S. Nurses’ Health Study involving 69,622 healthy women who reported their food intake every four years. The research found that women who ate high amounts of citrus products, which contain a specific class of flavonoid called flavanones, had a 19 per cent lower risk of ischemic (blood clot-related) stroke than women who didn’t consume as much.

Previous studies have shown increased consumption of flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables may help protect against stroke, but this study showed most of the antioxidant-rich products that the woman tracked themsegles eating over the long course of the study were oranges, grapefruit and their juices.

The women with higher total flavonoid intake also tended to:

  • Smoke less.
  • Exercise more.
  • Have greater intakes of fibre, folate, fruits and vegetables.
  • Have lower intakes of caffeine and alcohol.

So, to expect that simply increasing citrus in your diet is enough of a lifestyle change to ward off stroke risk would be premature, as combining a healthy diet with those other positive health steps had the greatest factor in lowering the rate of strokes in the studies subjects.

The health message is further complicated by the fact that grapefruit juice and fresh grapefruit can sometimes cause dangerous interactions with medications commonly prescribed to lower heart attack and stroke risk such as Lipitor and Plavix. Certain medications used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, migraines, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and impotence don’t mix with grapefruit or grapefruit juice as well, so pharmacists at Canada Drugs, Canadian Pharmacy and other pharmacies often urge caution when eating grapefruit when on these medications.


September 25 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Posted by on September 20th, 2010

The Federal Drug Enforcement Agency is encouraging people across the United States to clean out their medicine cabinets on September 25th.  That day is the first ever DEA Take-Back Prescription event, where at over 3400 sites nationwide, the DEA and local law enforcement, along with public heath partners will collect potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for safe destruction.

Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to www.dea.gov . This site is continuously updated with new take-back locations. In addition, you can now go to: www.nationaltakebackday.com to download a public service announcement about the initiative and learn more about the dangers of keeping old prescription medication around the home.

It’s unsafe to keep old and expired medication around the home, as it is a danger to children and teenagers who might take them, as well, over time the chemical properties in the pills change and make them no longer effective.

If you can’t dispose of your pills at an event like this, or at a local health centre that accepts old medication, the DEA advises that to throw out old pills you should:

  • Take the meds out of their bottles;
  • Mix them with something unappealing like used kitty litter or coffee grounds
  • Seal them in a bag of disposable container, and throw them away
  • Drugs thrown in the thrash in their bottles can be retrieved and abused

The Problem with Household Spoons and Dosing Medication

Posted by on September 14th, 2010

A spoonful of sugar might help the medicine go down in a most delightful way, but the size of that spoonful could be dangerous to you or your children’s health. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that people who use household spoons to dispense common over-the-counter medicine rarely get the dosage correct.

The study looked at 71 teaspoons and 49 tablespoons collected from 25 households in Attica, Greece. It found that the capacity of the teaspoons ranged from 2.5ml to 7.3ml, with an average and median volume of 4.4ml. The capacity of the tablespoons ranged from 6.7ml to 13.4ml, with an average of 10.4ml and a median of 10.3ml. What this means is a parent using one of the biggest domestic teaspoons would be giving their child 192 per cent more medicine than a parent using the smallest teaspoon and the difference was 100 per cent for the tablespoons. This increases the chance of a child receiving an overdose or indeed too little medication. It’s recommended that instead of reaching for the spoon, that it’s always best to use the measuring syringe that comes with most liquid children’s medication, and pour a correct dosage. Save the spoons strictly for the spoonful of sugar! If your medication didn’t come with the measuring syringe, or a dose spoon, they are easy to pick up at many stores.

The side effects of too much medicine can be more pronounced in children, Excitability may occur — or extreme drowsiness, nausea or dizziness. Another thing to be concerned about is the common ingredient, acetaminophen, which can do serious liver damage if used to excess.


Tips for Summer Traveling with Prescription Medication

Posted by on July 8th, 2010

Our Canada Drugs pharmacists are always available for consultation and can answer any of your questions via e-mail or over the phone. One of the questions our pharmacists get quite often over the summer months has to do with patients looking for advice on how best to travel with their prescription medication as they get away from it all on summer vacation.

Here are a few tips from our pharmacists concerning best practices when traveling with your prescriptions from Canada Drugs Canadian Pharmacy.

  • Always order enough medication to cover your needs during travel. Canada Drugs offers Free World-Wide Shipping and can ship to your vacation house, or even to the hotel you will be staying at.
  • Pack your prescription medication properly. Use tightly closed containers, such as the containers your medicines came in, and make sure to protect your medications from heat and light.
  • Put your prescription medications in your carry-on bag, rather than in checked luggage. It’s never fun when the airline loses your luggage, but it’s even worse if you are without your prescription medication as well as your clothing.
  • Bring extra medication just in case. If you are traveling for 7 days, for example, you may want to bring 12 days of medication. You never know what kind of delays might happen when you travel and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Obtain a duplicate prescription and bring it with you when you travel. Canada Drugs can ship your medication almost anywhere, but it will take some time. If the worst case happens and you are stranded without your prescription, it’s best to have the opportunity to fill it locally.
  • Carry a list of the prescription number and other pertinent information on the specific medication (brands, generic names, and dosage) to identify your “lost” medicine in case you need to describe it to authorities.
  • Write out a medication schedule and bring this with you in your carry on bag. Since your routine while traveling will change, a written medication schedule helps you remember when to take your medications.
  • Have your doctor’s phone number handy, just in case you need to get touch while traveling.