Measuring prescription medication for your child

Nearly all small children are prescribed liquid medication until they are old enough to swallow capsules. As a result, it’s important that adults be informed about the proper way to dispense the medication and protect their children’s health. According to the FDA, some of the most common types of dosing instruments include:

  • Dosage cups: These cups are designed for children who are old enough to drink from a cup without spilling. Adults should be sure to look carefully at the small numbers printed on the side of the cup to determine the correct fill level. Medicine should then be poured to that exact level when the cup is sitting on a flat surface.
  • Droppers: These are geared toward children who cannot drink from a cup, and require the adult to squeeze the proper amount of medication into the child’s mouth. Like the dosage cups, medicine must be brought to the exact line on the side of the dropper that was recommended by a doctor. Adults should squeeze the liquid quickly out of the dropper so it cannot fall on the floor before it gets into the child’s mouth.
  • Cylindrical dosage spoons: These spoons look like a large straw with a spoon at one end and are used for children who can drink from a cup, but are likely to spill. In this case, adults should again fill the liquid to the appropriate marked line and be sure it is even at eye level. Children then drink the medicine from the spoon.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your child’s prescription medication. It’s important to be educated so you can protect the health of your young child.

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Insomnia prescription solutions

Have you ever found yourself lying awake, unable to sleep? For some people, this annoyance can turn into full-blown insomnia, which makes it hard to sleep for days or weeks at a time. In certain chronic cases, prescription medication can be a good solution for this disorder. Doctors will often examine a patient’s behaviors and stressors to determine whether the insomnia is best treated with medication, or if there are other contributing factors. If it is determined that a person would benefit from medication, a doctor will mostly likely prescribe a hypnotic/sedative. Hypnotics increase chemical activity in the brain to produce drowsiness and allow a person to maintain a regular sleep schedule. They do carry a risk of side effects, including irritability, headaches, confusion and depression, but in most cases, the benefit outweighs the potential complications.

If you struggle with chronic insomnia, talk to your doctor about possible prescription medications. She will be able to determine which hypnotic is best suited for your particular routine and can monitor any changes in your sleeping patterns. Also, make sure you use your discount RX plan to receive discounts on your prescriptions. You could save up to 60 percent on a prescription that treats your insomnia, allowing you to sleep twice as soundly.

Listing your medications

One of the smartest things a person can do in regard to their prescription health is to make a list of all the medications, dietary supplements and vitamins that they take, according to the FDA. This list should include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Then, take this list with you to all of your doctor’s appointments. Doctors will be able to check the list before prescribing another medication that could possibly conflict with one you are already taking or that has the same active ingredient. Update this list every time you add or stop taking another medicine, including herbal supplements. The FDA suggests that it’s also a good idea to keep this list on your person at all times, or at least tell your emergency contact where it is in your house. This way, in case of an emergency, doctors and medical personnel will be able to immediately know what medicines you are taking.

One final tip is to do a “brown bag checkup.” This involves putting all of your prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements in a bag to show to your doctor at your next appointment. He or she can check the bag to ensure your medicines work together safely and effectively. If you need help keeping track of your current medications, the FDA offers a chart online that will organize and categorize your prescriptions. If you have any questions about your medication or the interactions of your various prescriptions, talk to your doctor. It’s always better to stay informed than be left in the dark when it comes to your prescription health.

Has your prescription expired?

Everyone, at one point or another, has probably considered taking medication that is past its expiration date, but not everyone knows the potential risks posed by old prescriptions. Even if the bottle says it lasts until February and it’s now March, it’s not wise or healthy to continue taking medication once it is expired. For starters, medication loses its effectiveness once it passes its predetermined shelf-life. That means that expired prescriptions may not work as well once they’re expired, and people may be fooled into thinking they can safely go to work or school after having taken the medicine.

They may expect it to “kick in” later, when in reality, it has become too deteriorated to produce the same effect. Secondly, expired medication can actually have serious health implications, depending on their chemical make-up. In some cases, these expired drugs will undergo a change in physical or chemical properties, making them unsafe to continue ingesting. It’s always better to be cautious and get a new prescription than risk taking the old one. In the best interest of your health, be sure to check the printed expiration date before taking any medication. Also, consult with your pharmacist about the proper way to dispose of expired pills so you can keep the environment – as well as your own body – healthy.

This prescription can cause what?

Television commercials for prescription drugs today are filled with disclaimers about the risks of side effects. All drugs – even aspirin – have side effects, but they range from minor and slightly irritating to very serious. According to pharmacist Jim Morelli, the most common side effects of medication involve the gastrointestinal system (such as upset stomachs). Fortunately, the FDA must approve all new drugs released on the market to protect consumers and weigh the benefits vs. risks of each medication. However, many side effects are not known until after the product has been released. Because of this, the FDA recently mandated that all dispensed prescriptions (as well as many over-the-counter medications) must be labeled with a toll-free number. This number gives anyone the opportunity to report adverse effects they experience from taking the medication.

The risk of side effects alone should not discourage people from taking medicine that is necessary for their health, so talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any potential effects of prescriptions you’ve been taking. He or she can explain the benefits vs. risks of each drug and show you how to prevent certain irritating symptoms such as dry mouth. If you do happen to notice adverse effects from your prescriptions, it is important to tell your doctor because he or she can help you find a different prescription that works best for your body and your overall health.

Prescription helps relieve pain after shingles

Anyone who has ever experienced shingles is aware of the intense pain that often accompanies this rash-causing condition. In particular, a serious complication called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) can occur as the result of shingles. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, PHN affects a person’s nerve fibers, causing him or her to experience severe pain for long periods of time. Although it affects elderly patients most often, PHN occurs in up to 15 percent of all shingles patients.

Fortunately, a new medicated skin patch called Qutenza was approved in November to help relieve the pain of PHN patients. The drug contains a concentrated dose of capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers, and is offered by prescription only. According to the FDA and RxList, Qutenza must be applied by a health care professional because application often involves a topical anesthetic and an increased risk of high blood pressure. Side effects include swelling, itching, pain, and redness. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if this new patch could be right for you. If it is, you may be able to receive it at a discounted rate with the help of your True Dental Discounts, prescription plan.  Why wait?

Tips for Treating asthma with prescriptions

Imagine this scenario: You walk into a room and immediately notice something different in the air. Your lungs begin to feel different – tighter – and breathing becomes difficult. Suddenly, you’re struggling to get enough air, and you begin to panic. It feels like you’re trying to breathe through a coffee stirrer. Right away, you realize you’re having an asthma attack. More than 15 million Americans suffer from this condition, which, according to the Rx List, is “a chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes that causes swelling and narrowing of the airways.

Symptoms of asthma include chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing. In some patients, an asthma attack can be triggered by allergies or another irritant, while others have trouble during sports or other physical activities. Fortunately, medications can help people control their asthma. According to the experts at Rx List, most prescriptions work by relaxing bronchospasm or by reducing inflammation. Most medications are inhaled because they work directly on the air passages and muscles affected by asthma. In severe cases, patients may be given corticosteroids orally; however, serious side effects can result over long periods of time, including osteoporosis and high blood pressure.

Often, patients can benefit by identifying and systematically avoiding known irritants, including animal dander. To learn more about asthma and treating it with prescription medication, talk to a doctor. By purchasing medication at a participating pharmacy, True Dental Discounts members can save 10 to 60 percent on most prescriptions. Find out how you can uncover your own savings today.

New prescription drug rids children of stubborn head lice

If you or your child has ever had lice, you know how difficult it can be to clear up. This is especially true if the lice have become resistant to the products usually recommended to kill them. Studies have shown that in some cases, lice become resistant to the typical pyrethroid treatments, leaving parents at a loss of what to do to remove the parasites. In these instances, many people are now turning to Stromectol, a pill newly introduced that contains ivermectin, which is used to prevent heartworm in dogs.

When tested, the drug cleared all lice in 95 percent of patients after two weeks. The effectiveness of Stromectol was discussed in the New England Journal of Medicine in March. In the article, study results indicated that one young girl experienced seizures after taking the pill, but such negative side effects are not expected to be common. To learn more about drugs like Stromectol, talk your doctor. By using your True Dental Discounts prescription plan, you can get significant savings on everyday prescriptions. Find out how by calling 1-800-747-6190.

Questions to ask about child prescriptions

If your child needs medication to recover from an illness, talk to your True Dental Discounts prescription plan doctor about the medicine she has prescribed before you take it home. Some questions to ask include:

  • What exactly is the drug?
  • What does it prevent or do?
  • How often does my child need to take this medication?
  • In what dosage?
  • What side effects come with taking this medication?
  • Should I be alert for any changes in condition?
  • How soon after taking the medication will it start working?
  • What if my child skips a dose?
  • How long should I continue giving my child this medicine?
  • Should I continue administering the remaining medication, even if the child appears to be recovered?
  • Could this medication possibly interfere with another medication my child currently takes?

Dry mouth and your prescriptions

It may seem like it’s just a minor hassle, but dry mouth – officially known as xerostomia – can have a major impact on a person’s oral health. The condition is appropriately referred to as dry mouth because it indicates a lack of saliva and is often accompanied by symptoms such as bad breath, a sore throat, and cracked lips. The causes of dry mouth range from normal aging to cancer treatments, but one of the major triggers is taking certain prescription medication. Specifically, the Mayo Clinic names drugs aimed at treating depression, anxiety, diarrhea, urinary incontinence and Parkinson’s disease as having a side effect of dry mouth. Because the number of medications taken typically rises with age, dry mouth is much more prevalent in older adults.

On its own, saliva plays a very important function in preserving a person’s oral health. It helps remove food and plaque from the teeth, preventing tooth decay; it limits infection-causing bacteria; and it neutralizes acids in the mouth. Not to mention, it makes food easier to swallow and taste, and it helps a person’s digestion. For these reasons, it’s very important to talk to your doctor or dentist if you notice persistent periods of dry mouth. If it is determined that a prescription is causing the condition, he or she can adjust your dosage or prescribe a similar drug that doesn’t have dry mouth as a side effect. You can also try drinking more water, breathing through your nose, or quitting any use of tobacco. Regardless of the treatment, it’s crucial that you work with your dentist to prevent future occurrences of dry mouth. The health of your teeth and mouth could depend on it.