Info

The Pharmacist Answers Podcast

Have a question for the pharmacist? Get your answers here! Clear explanations about complicated medical topics that anyone can understand. Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog and related podcast are not to be taken as medical advice, they are for informational and educational purposes only. If you resemble anything that is mentioned in this blog or related podcast, contact your doctor. The information contained in this blog and related podcasts is the opinion of the author and does not relfect the views of her employer, Walgreens. If you want to know what Walgreens thinks, ask Walgreens!
RSS Feed Subscribe in iTunes
The Pharmacist Answers Podcast
2017
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: April, 2017
Apr 24, 2017

Anaphylaxis = an out of control allergic reaction that can be life-threatening if medical treatment is not sought immediately
EpiPens are a first-step self-treatment in the case of a major allergic reaction or anaphylaxis.

I got 33 injections!!

It started with a serum test as a baseline - just to see how strongly my histamine reaction was.

The injections are sub-dermal (under the dermis layer of the skin).  It's the same level if injection that a TB skin test is done (to see if you've been exposed to tuberculosis).

The next step was a prick-test or scratch test - these plastic claw things that poke down in my forearms.  This test required me to sit completely still for 20 minutes.  COMPLETE TORTURE!

Numbers 1-20 are plants (trees, grasses, flowers).  C = cat. D = dog (Good news - I'm not allergic to dogs!) M = skin mites (don't think about this one too hard). CL = cockroaches.  The other letters are household and common molds.

The skin pricks on my forearm was a preliminary test to determine how much serum she was going to inject of each in my upper arms. The mites injection hurt the worse of all of them, but i had minimal reaction.

Slowest tattoo EVAR!

One of my higher reactions was to Fescue (this is the type of grass that Ken grows on the farm as hay to feed the cows!)
The one the nurse was most concerned about was Cocklebur

They didn't want me to wash the mold markings off until I go in for a delayed reading a few days later.

The next step that they prefer you do is allergy shots - 2 years of weekly injections of what you're allergic to in hopes to desensitize you to those triggers.  NOPE!  Not doing it!

Support us on Patreon

*NEW* Join the Pharmacist Answers Podcast Community on Facebook

Subscribe: iTunes, Stitcher, GooglePlay, TuneIn Radio

Like the Facebook page

"Radio Martini" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Apr 10, 2017

Dry eye: 48% of Americans over age 18 complain of dry eyes.  Caused by environment, genetics, health conditions, eye procedures, medications.
There are 2 reasons for dry eye:
1. Inflammation blocks the free flow of fluid through the eye.
2. Tear duct insufficiency - the ducts and glands don't produce adequate moisture for the eye (can be solved by a tear duct stent)
If a medication dries up another part of your body, then it has the potential to dry out your eyes (antihistamines, medications for overactive bladder) - these medications can also lead to constipation.
Many of the common diseases that many Americans deal with can cause dry eye - hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, obesity.
They light from electronic devices tricks your eyes into not blinking as often, therefore your eyes can dry out more easily (blinking is your eyes' remoisturizing process).  The solution is to give your eyes long breaks from electronic light , especially late at night before sleeping.
Callback: Sleep 
Air conditions in hotels can make your eyes feel dry because they work to remove excess humidity from the air.
Hormones - whether in pregnancy, menopause, or during the use of prescription birth control products, can cause changes in the moisture content of your eyes.
The Solution: eye drops (either OTC or Rx)

Presbyopia = old or elderly vision
Presby = elders
Presbyterian church = the church's decision-maker was a group of people called Elders
This seems to happen somewhere around age 40.  The lens of your eye loses some of its flexibility.  The lens has to be really curved to see up close, and then flattens out a bit to see far away.  So, if the flexibility decreases, it means it can't curve up enough to clearly see things up close.
The solution: wear reading glasses.

Stye = infected oil duct or hair follicle.  Looks like a zit
**DO NOT TRY TO POP A STYE LIKE A ZIT!!**
They will usually clear out on their own in 6-7 days.  Not too troublesome other than being sore, swollen, and not pleasant to look at.
The Solution: warm compress for 15-20 min, then take a shower or wash your face, then leave it alone!  Can use drops or an ointment to help lubricate the eye.  Worst cases will require antibiotic drops or ointment from the doctor.

Corneal dystrophy = a genetic condition that causes the accumulation of protein material build up in the layers of the cornea (recap: cornea = the very front layer of your eye that starts to focus the light into the eye).  If this fluid gets cloudy with junk, then your vision gets blurry. No other symptoms really except worsening vision.  A surgical procedure can be used to clear out the cloudy liquid, but no cure.
This can lead to corneal erosion (where the layers of the cornea begin to separate = painful). Corneal erosion has to be corrected by surgery.  Erosion can also be a result of eye injury - either instant trauma or more gradual like an unhealed corneal abrasion (which can lead to ulceration and eventually erosion).

Take care of your eyes and treat them nicely!

Support us on Patreon

*NEW* Join the Pharmacist Answers Podcast Community on Facebook

Subscribe: iTunes, Stitcher, GooglePlay, TuneIn Radio

Like the Facebook page

"Radio Martini" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Apr 3, 2017

If something happens to your eyes that makes you want to ask the pharmacist if you should go to the doctor, the answer will most likely be "yes, go see a doctor."  Even at emergency rooms, they will treat you and make you comfortable but always tell you to follow up with your eye doctor.

Photopsias = seeing things that aren't really there, the visual cortex translates other sensations as "sight"
Floaters - "shadows" that float around in your field of vision.  They *can* be a sign of a detaching retina, but that is usually not the case.  They are normal for most people.
Inside your eyeball is a gel, called vitreous gel.  Throughout your life, that gel begins to liquify.  As it turns to liquid, it may have other bits of gel still floating in that liquid.  And you see "shadows" because they block light from reaching your retina.  Floaters may worsen with dehydration or exhaustion.  If you try to focus on them, they "float" away.
Flashes - "seeing stars" - when the vitreous gel/liquid combo gets shook up and sloshed around (i.e. head trauma).  You can also get "flashes" with Digitalis toxicity (Digoxin is a medication derived from the Foxglove plant and developed for arrhythmias.)  This is a medication that the doctor will test your levels for to make sure toxicity doesn't happen.
Waves = looks like radiating heat; caused by spasms of the blood vessels in your eyes.  This may be one explanation of the "aura" that comes before a migraine.  If it happens and no headache follows, it's caused an "ocular migraine".

Glaucoma = 2nd leading cause of blindness in the US and around the world; increased pressure in your eyes.  The fluid around the eyes typically have adequate drainage so nutrients can flow in and waste can flow out.  If that drainage becomes inadequate, the pressure builds up and it can put pressure on the optic nerve (the nerve that connects from the retina to the brain).  It starts with decreasing peripheral vision, and can become "tunnel vision" where a person can only see right in the middle of their field of vision.  Medications are eye drops that control pressure and help open up drainage pathways as much as possible.
(Macular Degeneration is the #1 cause of blindness in the US, Cataract is the #1 cause of blindness worldwide).  It doesn't hurt, and it takes a while for the decreased peripheral vision to be noticeable.  It's not reversible, but it can be slowed with medication.
Eye doctors have a way to check the pressure in your eyes each time you get your eyes checked.

Nystagmus (Nigh-stag-mus) = involuntary rapid eye movement side to side.  Caused by a neurological issue - either related to the eye muscles and nerves or the inner ear (one cause a vertigo).  The shaking seems to be worse when a person looks straight at something or someone.  For someone dealing with nystagmus, they usually discover they can tilt or turn their head to make their eyes slightly off center where the shaking wills stop - this is called a "null point".  Strengthening eye muscles can help the shaking, but it still worsens with exhaustion or stress.
This can be a result of a stroke, multiple sclerosis (autoimmune).  Dilantin is a medication for seizures, and is another medication that has to be regularly measured because too much can cause temporary nystagmus.

Support us on Patreon

*NEW* Join the Pharmacist Answers Podcast Community on Facebook

Subscribe: iTunes, Stitcher, GooglePlay, TuneIn Radio

Like the Facebook page

"Radio Martini" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

1