When to supplement with Vitamins and Minerals?

JAMA recently published an article entitled, Vitamin and Mineral Supplements – What Clinicians Need to know by Dr. JoAnne E. Manson . It is a good read as it highlights what supplements are clinically indicated.

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Common Side Effects – Icons and Images

Patients are often concerned about the potential side effects of a medication.  At the pharmacy, we may affix various ancillary labels on the prescription vials. But those labels have been around for a long time.  It is time to upgrade them to be something easy to comprehend. I also need your help! I am looking for your votes on whether the following icons illustrate the side effects as described. Help me out by participating in the poll.

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How should I take my medication?

ISMP Canada has developed the 5 questions that each patient should ask about medications? Of the 5 questions, I find that proper use is one that tends to be most difficult to communicate clearly and succinctly. How to take your medication? Do you take it with food? Without food?  What does it mean to take it on an empty stomach? Can you take it with dairy products? Or mix with supplements and alcohol?

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Viagra or Revatio?

At face value, they are two different drugs, indicated for different reasons – Viagra for erectile dysfunction and Revatio for pulmonary arterial hypertension. But any pharmacist / clinician should know that we are talking about the same drug, sildenafil. While using two different brand names can avoid stigma associated with taking one or the other, it also raises safety concerns.

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Demystifying Drug Interactions

Many people find drug interactions a difficult concept to grasp. And many people assume the only way to manage a drug interaction is to avoid the combination. Often time, it is impractical, nor is it necessary. We do need to actively understand how to best manage the interaction based on many factors including the patient’s specific factors, the indications of the medications, the risk of side effects as well as the potential of the drug interactions. But first, we need to understand what type of interactions we are dealing with.

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Drug Shortage – A Request for Further Research

I have ranted about drug shortages in the past. It is extremely frustrating that medications go on drug shortage with little warning, or when drug shortages occur, simple modification of the therapy isn’t an option.

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Medical Device or Medication?

Recently, I have come across few treatment modalities that have been classified as medical devices, when I think they fit more appropriately as medications. So I start to wonder what are some of the benefits when a treatment is considered as a medical device?  Continue reading Medical Device or Medication?