Dorm Safety and Bacterial Meningitis
Bacterial meningitis is probably the last thing on your mind as you help your child prepare for college. Buying books and stocking up on necessities may top your list, but it’s a good idea to ensure your student is up-to-date on their meningitis vaccine. How Bacterial Meningitis Spreads According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people living in close quarters are more likely to spread this illness to one another. For example, you may have heard about the higher risk of meningococcal (or bacterial) meningitis for new college students. The risk is so serious that many colleges and universities require proof of a vaccine for new students moving into campus housing. This includes the University of Nevada, Reno. To clarify, all incoming freshmen under 23 years of age must show proof of their up-to-date meningitis shot. “Bacterial meningitis is considered a medical emergency, and anyone with the signs and symptoms should be evaluated in the emergency room immediately,” says Vanessa Slots, MD, Renown pediatrician. Symptoms of Bacterial Meningitis Fever Nausea Vomiting Irritability Headache Confusion Back pain Stiff or painful neck Leg pain Light sensitivity Rash on the torso or lower extremities It’s important to know many of these symptoms for both bacterial and viral meningitis are the same. However, the viral type is more common, often clearing up in seven to 10 days without complications. Nonetheless, you should go to the emergency room to be looked at, as the signs are similar for both illnesses. Why is Bacterial Meningitis Dangerous? This illness moves quickly, and in some cases, it can seem like the flu or severe strep throat and take a few days to develop. Or, it can hit in just hours. “Bacterial meningitis has an overall death rate of 10 to 15 percent despite treatment with antibiotics,” Dr. Slots warns. Another critical point is problems after recovery can also be severe. Frequently these include brain damage, amputations, infections around the heart, seizures and shock.
Five Reasons to Switch to Renown’s Modern-Day Pharmacy
Renown Health has two retail pharmacy locations – one at Renown Regional on Pringle Way and another on Locust Street. And while many people think of a pharmacy as where we get prescriptions and pick up refills, it’s so much more. Adam Porath, vice president of pharmacy services at Renown, discusses five benefits of switching to a Renown Pharmacy. 1. Hospital Integration With the Meds-to-Beds Program, the Renown Health Pharmacy delivers prescriptions to patients on the floor when they leave the hospital. Another thing that is interesting about the pharmacy is its integration with providers. So, if there is a problem with your prescription, the Renown Pharmacy can get hold of your provider right away. We also can see your lab results and make sure that the dose you are prescribed is the right one. 2. On-Site Vaccinations The Renown Health Pharmacy has a private consultation area to administer vaccines on-site. Their team routinely stocks more than a dozen vaccines, and you can call either location (Regional: 775-982-7737 and Locust Street: 775-982-5280) to see if what you're looking for is in stock. Appointments are available in MyChart. 3. Compounding Services Only a fraction of pharmacies in the United States provides compounding services. In the Reno/Sparks area, there are just a few and Renown Pharmacy is one of them. Traditional retail pharmacies take drugs received from a drug manufacturer and put them into a smaller container in the individual amount that the doctor prescribed for a patient. A compounding pharmacy provides medications that are not available commercially. For example, a doctor has prescribed a dose that is smaller than what is commercially available. Compounding the medication will provide the dosage as prescribed. Another example could be a child who can’t take a tablet. The pharmacy may be able to use compounding to convert medications into something that is the child can take.
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Pharmacists Answer Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccines
Vaccines that provide protection against the COVID-19 virus are bringing us closer to the end of this deadly pandemic. Two different COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in the U.S. today: one from Pfizer and the other from Moderna. Kate Ward, PharmD, BCPS, Director of Clinical Pharmacy at Renown Health and Adam Porath, PharmD, Vice President of Pharmacy at Renown, share what you need to know about these vaccines. When two COVID-19 vaccines were approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2020, it was cause for celebration. Why? Because according to the CDC, the vaccines are 94 percent or more effective in providing protection against the COVID-19 virus! Many people are seeking information about the new Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Below, our pharmacy leaders provide answers to some commonly asked questions. How do the COVID-19 Vaccines Work? The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both mRNA vaccines that help your immune system develop antibodies against the COVID-19 virus. The vaccines use messenger RNA, or mRNA, to show our bodies’ protein-making cells how to make the spike proteins of the COVID-19 virus. Our immune system reacts to these spike proteins by creating antibodies that can recognize and destroy them. So when a person is exposed to the virus in the future, they will be less likely to get sick. What are the Differences between the Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines? The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are very similar, with just a few small differences worth noting. The main difference between the two vaccines is when you should receive your follow-up dose. Patients who receive a first dose of Pfizer should receive their second dose about three weeks later. Those who receive a first dose of Moderna should receive their follow-up vaccination roughly four weeks after their first dose. People 18 years and older can receive the Moderna vaccine while people 16 years and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine. Dosage for the Moderna vaccine is 0.5 ml (100 mcg). Dosage for the Pfizer vaccine is 0.3 ml (30 mcg).
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Generic Drugs – What You Need to Know About Them
Without a doubt, taking medications can not only be expensive, but also confusing. In the United States, generic prescriptions are widely used, with 9 out of 10 people choosing them over a name brand. Pharmacists are a great resource to help us understand the benefits and side effects of any medication. We asked Adam Porath, PharmD, Vice President of Pharmacy at Renown Health, to answer some common questions about generic drugs. What is a generic drug? A generic drug has the same active ingredients of brand-name drugs. Brand-name drugs have a patent (special license) protecting them from competition to help the drug company recover research and development costs. When the patent expires other manufacturers are able to seek approval for a generic drug. However, the color, shape and inactive elements may be different. Per the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), a generic medicine works in the same way and provides the same clinical benefit as its brand-name version. Why do they cost less? Generic drug makers do not have the expense of costly development, research, animal and human clinical trials, marketing and advertising. This savings is passed on to the public. Also after a patent expires, several companies will compete on a generic version of a drug, further driving down prices.
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Name-Brand Medication vs. Generic: What's the Difference?
Most prescriptions meds are available in generic form. Find out the similarities and differences between the two and how to determine whether a generic is right for you. Approximately 80 percent of prescriptions sold today are generics. If you’re taking a prescription medication, chances are it’s a generic form of the brand-name drug. But are you getting the same quality in a generic medication? Do generics measure up? The answer in most cases is yes — generics, just like branded products, are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. “To have a generic product approved by the FDA, the generic manufacturer must prove that its product is bioequivalent to the branded product,” explains Adam Porath, PharmD, BCPS AQ-Cardiology, BCACP and Vice President of Pharmacy Services. Basically, it has to function the same. “Generic products are extremely well tolerated and will provide the same results as using a branded product,” Porath says. Here’s how generics are the same as name-brand prescriptions: Generic products contain the same active ingredients. They produce the same desired clinical effect and accompanying side effects. Generics come in the same form as their branded counterparts: pill, liquid or inhaler, for example. Release into the bloodstream matches the name brand in timing and strength. Here’s how they differ: Generics generally cost less. Federal law requires generics have different names and look different: shape, size, markings and color. Generics contain different inactive ingredients, like binders, fillers and artificial colors. Different side effects with generics can usually be attributed to these additions. Why do generics cost less? When pharmaceutical companies develop a new drug, they are paying for research, development, clinical studies, marketing — in some cases it can cost more than $800 million and take 10 to 15 years to develop a new drug. “The manufacturers of branded medication products have to recoup their research and development costs,” Porath says. So companies are granted a limited patent to sell their drug without the competition of generic counterparts. “When patent exclusivity ends, the market is open for any generic manufacturer to make a competing product with FDA approval.” Without the same startup costs, companies can sell generics at 80 to 85 percent less. And because more than one company can produce the same generics, competition drives prices even lower.
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