days from August 22, 2014. It is currently a schedule 3 medication that allows a patient to have up to 5 refills and the prescription will expire in 6 months. The prescription can also be phoned, faxed, or written.
A study published this month in The American Journal of Gastroenterology found that most patients are not taking their heartburn medications correctly. The study compared patients who purchased heartburn medications like Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec. It showed that 39% of patients took the medication correctly when purchased over the counter, 47% with a prescription from their primary care physician, and 71% with a prescription from a specialist.
If the patients would have purchased them from us, I’m sure the percentage of patients knowing how to take their medication would be higher. Our pharmacists are here to educate you on your medications. Nexium is now over the counter too. If you purchase over the counter medications feel free to ask your pharmacist questions.
If you don’t take this medication correctly it won’t work as well and you’ll be wasting your money. It is important to take this type of heartburn medication a half hour before you eat. Most patients take this in the morning before breakfast.
Also, if you take these medications as needed, it won’t work as well since it takes about 3 to 7 days to start working. It is best to think of these acid reducers as preventative that need to be used daily. If you are experiencing heartburn, Tums or Rolaids can treat your heartburn.
For more information about the study you can visit www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_146760.html.
You may have heard about some new medications to help treat Type 2 Diabetes – Invokana® and Farxiga®. These medications are the newest addition to treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and are unique in their action inside the body. These medications work by taking glucose (sugar) out of the blood and into the urine for excretion. Here are a few things to remember about Invokana and Farxiga:
- Invokana offers a coupon that pays up to $325 of your copay per month providing a $0 copay (FREE) 30 day supply for the first FOUR months, and as low as a $5 copay permonth on the next eight fills.
- Farxiga offers a coupon that pays up to $346 of your copay per month providing a $0 copay (FREE) 30 day supply for the first THREE months, and as low as a $10 copay per month on the next eight fills.
Consult with your doctor to determine if either of these medications would be a good option in your treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.
This month is often the worst month of the year for asthma and allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has a lot of information and resources on their website at www.aafa.org. There is a link on their site to check the pollen counts for the day and you can see how challenging it is to live in your city with asthma and allergies. The comparisons of cities for allergies can be found at www.aafa.org/pdfs/FINAL_public_LIST_Spring_2014.pdf.
It is important to use your inhalers as directed. A way to see how well your asthma is controlled is by how often you need your rescue inhaler. If you need this more than twice a week, you may need to have your medications adjusted. They will often add a steroid inhaler or up the dose on the steroid inhaler, if you are already using one. If you are using a steroid inhaler or montelukast (Singulair), it is important to use these on a daily basis. These medications are preventative and shouldn’t be used as needed.
Allergies are controlled best with preventative medications like antihistamines and nasal steroids. If you are using a non-drowsy antihistamine like Claritin, Zyrtec, or Allegra, you will need to use these on a daily basis during the allergy season. For some, the allergy season is year round. If you use these medications as needed, you will likely have your allergies flare up more often. We see people ever year in the pharmacy that have had a cold for a couple weeks and then find out they are suffering from allergies.
If you have questions about asthma or allergies just ask your Harmons pharmacist.
The American Diabetes Association has a new website feature that can be a great help in maintaining your health – My Health Advisor. You can discover your risk for Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke all in one place! In addition, this site will create a personal action plan to help you lower your risk. If you or a loved one are concerned about your risks associated with any of these diseases, My Heath Advisor is a great place to start.
At times, we are asked about any issues with getting prescriptions through mail order from pharmacies outside of the country. This comes up occasionally when someone is looking for ways to save money. There are, however, several issues with doing this. The Utah Division of Professional Licensing released a statement about this a while back. The article can be found at http://www.dopl.utah.gov/licensing/forms/canadian_RX.pdf. This discusses some key issues with this being illegal and unsafe.
If you are trying to save money, pharmacists at Harmons can suggest generic medications in the same class to your doctor and, if you don’t have insurance, we can sign you up for our savings club. If there isn’t a generic alternative, sometimes the manufacturer has coupons you can find on their website. Let us know if you have any questions about your medications.
March is National Kidney Month! So let’s take the opportunity to examine some methods to help protect our kidneys. Many of you may know that diabetes can be hard on many of the organs, especially the kidneys. You
may be surprised to know that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease and kidney transplant. So, how do we prevent this from happening, if we are living with diabetes? Here are some tips about how we can all keep our kidneys healthy:
Taking just one of these steps can help to prevent long-term kidney problems associated with diabetes. If you’re ever confused about where to start, our dietitians at Harmons are a fantastic resource! Let’s celebrate our bodies during National Kidney Month by taking steps to prevent kidney disease!
Nasacort and Oxytrol are the newest prescription medications that you can now get over the counter (OTC). Nasacort is a steroid nasal spray for allergies. We have this in stock and there is a coupon on their website at www.nasacort.com. It is also on sale this month at our stores. Oxytrol is patch used for overactive bladder. You can learn more about this medication at www.oxytrol.com.
Some of the recent medications that were prescription and are now OTC are Allegra, Allegra-D, Prevacid, Zegerid, Alli, Zyrtec, Zyrtec-D, Plan B, Miralax, Zaditor, Lamisil, Prilosec, Claritin, and Claritin-D.
This helps more patients to have access to these medications and is more convenient since you don’t need a prescription. If you take a prescription version of these medications you may see some changes with your insurance.
If you have any questions about these medications we are here to help you. Just ask your local Harmons pharmacist.
It’s that time again. Harmons is sponsoring the American Diabetes Association Expo for the third year! Admission to the expo is FREE! Whether you are personally living with diabetes or know someone who is, you will find a wealth of information at this Expo.
Come learn more about healthy living with diabetes in a FUN way! Register online to receive event announcements at www.diabetes.org/exposaltlakecity or call 1-888-DIABETES (extension 7072) for more information.
Or just stop by! It’s FREE!
South Towne Expo Center
March 1, 2014
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
9575 South State Street
Sandy, UT 84070
If you are not able to visit us at the Expo, there are still some great diabetes events you can take advantage of at Harmons Grocery Stores. We will be teaming up with our Cooking School Chefs for some great diabetes-friendly cooking classes and offering free diabetes store tours.
Registration for all events is available online or by contacting the dietitian hosting the event. For a full listing of events, check out our Great Health Calendar at www.harmonsgrocery.com/health/event-calendar/. And as always, you are welcome to schedule a one-on-one store tour at any time by giving us a call.
Dietitian Jonnell Masson, Bangerter Crossing Harmons (801) 617-0119
Dietitian Laura Holtrop Kohl, City Creek Harmons (801) 428-0364
Dietitian Jessica LaRoche, Station Park Harmons (801) 928-2634
Dietitian Kayla Leitzke, The District Harmons (801) 495-5402
For lots of us, a new year comes with our deductibles starting over. A lot of people are shocked how much their medications are when they don’t have the set copay. We are also seeing a lot more companies move to high deductible plans. Even if you have a deductible, you still get a discount on your medications.
When we bill your insurance they give you their contracted price for the medication. Pharmacists at Harmons can also talk to you about possible generics that the doctor may consider trying before going to a more expensive brand name medication. If the doctor still wants the brand name, you could ask their office about manufacture coupons or samples.
We also have the Harmons Prescription Plan. This plan gets you discounts on prescriptions you get at Harmons. At times, this prescription discount program may be better than your insurance for some generics. For more information on the Harmons Prescription Plan, please talk to your local Harmons Pharmacy.