Shingles

vaccine

Written by: Clinical Marketing Project Students, Taylor Mills, Rebecca Reeve, Sarah Ruggles, Tonia Hall-Wade

According to the CDC, nearly 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. To put it in a different perspective, there is an estimated one million cases of shingles virus that are reported in the U.S. each year. Due to the frequency of the virus, it is important that people know characteristics of the virus and how to prevent it.

            Shingles is a painful rash that occurs on one side of the body or face. It is caused by the presence of the same virus that causes chicken pox. Therefore, anyone that has had chicken pox in the past is at risk for shingles. Once a person recovers from chicken pox, it is alleged that the virus lays dormant within the nervous system. When the varicella-zoster virus reactivates, the virus moves back down the nerve fibers to the skin and leads to the burning rash.

            The symptoms that characterize shingles can range from minor irritation to severe pain. Before the rash develops, individuals can experience pain or irritation around the area where the rash will occur. The rash first appears as bumps that are red and inflamed. After a few days, the rash then develops into pustules full of clear fluid. Finally, the rash forms into scabs and disappears after two weeks. However, the rash can leave scars on the skin. In addition to the rash, individuals can develop a condition called post herpetic neuralgia. Post herpetic neuralgia is characterized by severe and debilitating pain in the area where the rash was present. This complication can last from weeks to years.

            Shingles usually occurs in those who are over the age of 60, have immunodeficiency disorders such as HIV or AIDS or those who are on medications that weaken the immune system such as steroids. However, there are numerous cases that occur in younger individuals that have had chicken pox in the past. For instance, at the age of sixteen I had the shingles virus. I did not have any immunosuppressive conditions and I was not taking any medications that weakened my immune system. My doctor could not figure out exactly what triggered the varicella virus to reactivate; although, my doctor strongly believed that stress played a big role in weakening my immune system.

            Fortunately there are treatment options and preventative measures against the shingles virus. Typically, the virus is treated with antiviral medicines such as acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir which function to decrease the length of the illness.1 Pain medication such as analgesics is also recommended to help relieve pain caused by the virus.

            However, there is only one preventative measure against shingles which involves vaccination. The CDC recommends that individuals aged 60 years and older should get the shingles vaccination.

            Given that the shingles virus occurs frequently and involves severe pain in some circumstances, it is important for people to be more aware of the virus. If you want to know whether or not you would be a good applicant for the shingles vaccine, contact your local Fruth pharmacy location for more details.

  1. Updated recommendations for use of VariZIG – United States, 2013. MMWR. 2013;62(28):574-6.
Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

Leaves of Three Let Them Be

PoisonIvy

Written by Clinical Marketing Students: Taylor Mills, Rebecca Reeve, Sarah Ruggles, Tonia Hall-Wade

“Leaves of three, let them be.” Well it’s that time again! Poison ivy, oak, and sumac are back and everyone should take care when going outside. There are certain practices that could help prevent coming into contact with these plants. Identification is key! Both poison ivy and oak have three leaves per cluster of leaves, while poison sumac can have 7 to 13 leaves per branch. If you do come into contact with one of these plants, it is very important to wash the area first by rinsing with rubbing alcohol and then washing with soap and water to remove any of the oil left on your skin and remove and launder any clothing. Only by coming into direct contact with the urushiol oil from the plants will you contract the rash. Use caution while burning and mowing around these plants because it will cause the oil to become airborne. That allows the oil to be inhaled into the lungs. If this happens and you begin to feel short of breath or your throat feels swollen go to the emergency room immediately. If the rash is located around your mouth or genital areas you should to go to the emergency room for treatment also.

Urushiol oil stays active on any surface, including dead plants, for up to 5 years. So even if the plant seems to be dead, it is still possible to contract the rash if you come into contact with it. The rash is able to spread, not only on the person who first contracted it, but also to anyone that person touches if the oil remains on their skin. You can contract the rash if you come into contact with a surface that has the oil on it such as clothing or equipment.

There are several over the counter products that can aid in prevention and relief for poison ivy/oak/sumac rashes.

  • Zanafel Poison Ivy Wash
  • For use to relieve itching and pain after contracting the rash
  • Cortaid Poison Ivy Care Treatment Kit
  • Includes a removal scrub to wash away any remaining oil and can be used to prevent or relieve rashes.
  • Extra Strength Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream
  • For use to temporarily relieve itching and pain from rash
  • Aveeno Skin Relief Bath Treatment
  • Uses 100% pure natural colloidal oatmeal to soothe rashes
  • Aveeno 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream
  • Uses oatmeal, aloe, and vitamin E to relieve pain and itching.
  • Aveeno Calamine & Pramoxine HCl Anti-Itch Cream
  • Contains oatmeal and calamine for fast temporary relief.
  • Burt’s Bees Poison Ivy Soap
  • Contains jewelweed to naturally relieve irritation.
  • Ivarest
  • Comes in either a foam or cream form and is used for prevention and relief from rashes.
  • IvyComplete
  • Includes IvyBlock to prevent rashes by blocking the oil from contacting your skin, IvyCleanse to remove the oil from your skin once you have come into contact with it, and IvySoothe to relieve itch from poison ivy/oak/ sumac rashes.

If you have any questions on which medications would be best for you, ask your local Fruth pharmacist!

Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

Best Products for Treatment of Ringworm or Athletes Foot?

foot

Article by: Clinical Marketing Project Students, Taylor Mills, Rebecca Reeve, Sarah Ruggles, and Tonia Hall-Wade

When treating cases of fungal infections like ringworm or athletes foot, one may become confused due to the amount of products that are on the market. Other than knowing what a specific brand treats, how often do people actually look at the ingredients on the back of the bottle? It is important to not let the fancy brand names fool customers in the selection of the right product. Fortunately, this article is aimed to inform readers what ingredients are best to treat ringworm and athlete’s foot.

                As gross as this topic may be, it is estimated that over 20% of Americans have some form of fungal infection. Dermatophytes are fungi that cause skin, hair, and nail infections. Infections caused by these fungi are also sometimes known as “ringworm” or “athlete’s foot”.   There are more categories of fungal infections, but this article is reserved to ringworm and athletes foot since they can be treated with over the counter measures.

Most fungi live in the soil and are involved in decomposition, but they can infect living hosts. Usually, ringworm and athlete’s foot are not dangerous because the fungi only feed on dead skin cells. However, fungal infections are easily spread by direct contact with an infected person or animal, bedding, or clothing.

Symptoms of athlete’s foot include irritation and burning between the toes with scaling and odor that proceed. The reason fungal infections occur on the feet is because fungus thrives in warm and humid climates. Ringworm also occurs on areas of the body that are moist such as below the armpit. Ringworm presents as ring shaped, scaly region with central clearing.

Fortunately, these minor conditions can be treated with over the counter products. Before going through the best active ingredients, it is important to go over what form of treatment is best. For instance, there are advertisements all over television for creams, sprays, powders and solutions. So which one is most effective? The best forms of treatment are actually creams and powders because they are rubbed into the skin unlike sprays and solutions. For lesions that are leaking fluid it is best to treat with an astringent like aluminum salt before antifungal treatment. This dries out the lesion so that antifungal treatment will be more effective.

One group of ingredients to look for that treats both ringworm and athlete’s foot are clotrimazole 1% and miconazole nitrate 2%. A common brand containing these ingredients is Lotrimin cream or powder. Another active ingredient that treats both conditions is butenafine which is commonly included in Lotrimin ultra. Lastly, tolnaftate which is in Tinactin, is used to treat both conditions and is the only compound approved for treat and preventing future fungal infections. All of these treatments should last around 2-4 weeks.

It is important to combine these over the counter treatments with nonpharmacological treatments. Nonpharmacological treatment includes keeping the affected area clean and dry, avoiding contact with infected individuals or pets, and not sharing bedding.

If you have any questions regarding more information on the best products to choose, contact a pharmacist at your local Fruth pharmacy.   

Posted in 2011 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

NCPA Launches Any Willing Pharmacy Campaign During August Congressional Recess

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Aug. 11, 2014) –The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) announced today a nationwide campaign to let Congress know the importance of giving Medicare beneficiaries better access to the pharmacy of their choice and letting community pharmacies in medically underserved areas have the opportunity to participate as “preferred” pharmacies in Medicare drug plans.

“The Medicare pharmacy choice proposal, H.R. 4577, is popular with voters, supported by key consumer advocates and has strong, bipartisan backing from dozens of cosponsors,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. “But pharmacy choice supporters need to educate more members of Congress and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 4577. They should ask their senators to introduce ‘any willing pharmacy’ legislation in the Senate. The August congressional recess is the ideal time for pharmacists and other supporters to engage their elected representatives, and these tools and resources that NCPA has provided make it easy.”

 

Grassroots toolkit

To facilitate interaction by pharmacists and other supporters of pharmacy choice with their representative and senators during the month-long congressional recess, NCPA has compiled a grassroots toolkit, available online. It features a checklist of grassroots activities as well as sample material that pharmacy choice supporters can personalize with their own experiences and utilize. These include an email to Capitol Hill, a letter to the editor, social media content, bag stuffers and more.

Radio-ready advertisements

In addition, NCPA has released two 60-second radio advertisements. Both can be utilized by community pharmacies as paid ads on their local radio stations, information for consumers calling the pharmacy, content for pharmacy websites or for other purposes.

The first ad, “George and Joan,” depicts a married couple newly eligible for Medicare and upset to discover that their drug plan is forcing them to pay more for their medications or switch pharmacies. George reacts, “A bunch of darn bureaucrats. Joan, we’re 67 years old and have been running our lives and paying taxes. Now, they tell us how to live.” The ad concludes by noting, “It’s time politicians know – greater access to medicine starts with more choices for you.”

The second ad, “Rigged,” summarizes how insurance middlemen effectively tell people where to get their prescription drugs by making it too expensive to go to another pharmacy of their choosing.

“Three huge corporations control about 70 percent of all prescription orders in our country – 70 percent!” the announcer notes. “That’s big money! And that blocks local community pharmacists from having a real shot at competing.” She concludes, “Don’t let bureaucrats and big money restrict your access to the medicine you need.”

Web banner ads for online use

NCPA also developed banner ads for websites. The ads make the case for patient access to medication and pharmacy choice and can be hyperlinked to more information at NCPA’s dedicated “any willing pharmacy” Web page: www.ncpanet.org/pharmacychoice. Community pharmacies can feature them on their websites or sponsor them as advertisements on local online news outlets such as newspapers. The ads were produced in industry-standard sizes (300×250 and 728×90).

 

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The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America’s community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $88.7 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 300,000 individuals, including over 62,000 pharmacists. To learn more, go to www.ncpanet.org, visit facebook.com/commpharmacy, or follow NCPA on Twitter @Commpharmacy.

Posted in 2011 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Fruth Pharmacy Celebrates Updates, New Manager, and TV Winner

New manager for the Pomeroy location, Tom Hawley, helps a customer load purchases into her vehicle.  Hawley won Manager of the Year for Fruth Pharmacy in 2013.

New manager for the Pomeroy location, Tom Hawley, helps a customer load purchases into her vehicle. Hawley won Manager of the Year for Fruth Pharmacy in 2013.

Left to right:  Grand Prize Winner Lola Whittington is pictured with Lynne Fruth, President of Fruth Pharmacy.

Left to right: Grand Prize Winner Lola Whittington is pictured with Lynne Fruth, President of Fruth Pharmacy.

Pomeroy, OH (June 13, 2014) – Fruth Pharmacy in Pomeroy held a Grand Re-Opening Celebration on May 2nd – May 8th to celebrate new changes in the store.
Pomeroy Fruth Pharmacy received a make-over – with the store receiving a brighter, newer look. New Manager for Pomeroy, Tom Hawley, was able to meet and greet customers this day.
Hawley, winner of Manager of the Year for 2013 for Fruth Pharmacy, was happy to take charge of the Pomeroy location.
“I’m from Pomeroy – this is a ‘homecoming’ of sorts for me. I’m glad to be managing in my home community,” Hawley stated.

Various prizes were awarded during this week. Winning the Grand Prize HDTV was Lola Whittington of Middleport.

About Fruth Pharmacy:
For over 61 years, Fruth Pharmacy has served customers in Ohio and West Virginia. Fruth offers a Prescription Savings Club, Loyalty Rewards Club, and Free Local Prescription Delivery. You can connect with Fruth Pharmacy at http://www.fruthpharmacy.com. Fruth can also be found on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and WordPress.

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