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The Honest Apothecary

Weight loss help from the pharmacy?

By Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

So how are those New Year’s Resolutions coming along?  If you are like millions of other Americans you have included some sort of weight loss goal on your list.  This isn’t surprising.  According to statistics from the National Institute of Health, nearly two-thirds of adults are overweight and one-third qualify as obese based on BMI (body mass index). This results in numerous health-related... Read More

Cranberries for UTI? Maybe Not

Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner.  Like others, I’m already anticipating a scrumptious feast including turkey, stuffing and of course, cranberry sauce!

But cranberry producers in Massachusetts might not be pleased with the results of a recent study suggesting cranberry products are really not effective at treating or preventing a UTI (urinary tract infection).  The study, published in the Journal of the American... Read More

Do genes determine your response to drugs?

By Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

Brad Pitt reportedly claimed to be “one of those people you hate because of genetics.” I’m not sure about that, but I do know that genetics determine much more than our good looks or acting talent.  In fact, they have a profound impact on the way individual patients respond to drugs. This field of study is known as pharmacogenomics, and understanding the unique genetic char... Read More

Anger Erupts Over Soaring EpiPen® Prices

By Jason Poquette, BPharm, RPh

Drug manufacturer Mylan Labs has come under severe fire lately for the steep price increases for their prescription-only product known as the EpiPen®.  The EpiPen®, a life-saving auto-injection of the drug epinephrine, is used by children and adults at risk of anaphylaxis from severe allergic reactions caused by things like insect stings or food allergies.  The EpiPen® is intended to... Read More

Treating Caterpillar-Rash

By Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph
Literary caterpillars, like the hookah-smoking blue caterpillar in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, may be quite amusing.  But the recent outbreak of caterpillars across New England has been anything but entertaining, and even has some patients heading for the doctor.  If you have been outdoors at all in the past month or so you have probably seen some of these caterpillars falling from the t... Read More

What is a Naloxone Rescue Kit?

Currently hundreds of pharmacies across Massachusetts carry something known as a Naloxone Rescue Kit.  At many locations these can be obtained without a prescription due to something known as a “standing order.”  The pharmacy that I personally manage has these kits available for any patients who request one.  They save lives, as attested to by many news stories like the one a few days ago about a New York City police off... Read More

Asthma, Allergies and Every Breath You Take

When The Police released their popular 1983 hit, Every Breath You Take, I don’t think they had asthma or allergies on their mind.  But for those who suffer from these conditions, every breath you take is often on your mind.

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.  Many organizations like the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the AAFA (Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America) have... Read More

New Opioid Laws for Massachusetts

By Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

From a legislative perspective, no one could accuse Massachusetts of ignoring the growing opioid addiction and overdose epidemic.  Now, in the latest effort, Governor Baker signed into law several new measures to try and stem the tide of this growing problem.  Deaths due to opioid overdose (drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone) have been climbing for years in our state.  Nearly 1,100 conf... Read More

Zika Myths go Viral

It was Mark Twain who quipped that “a lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”  Maybe lie is a bit too strong a word for some of the uncertain information about Zika virus that is spreading online. Claims that the virus is being transmitted by, or linked to, genetically modified mosquitoes released in Brazil in 2012 have been widely publicized. But other organizations commi... Read More

A Gut Check for Chronic Pain Patients

By Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

Your stomach may not be happy with your dose of OTC (over the counter) pain medications.  That is the conclusion of a survey recently released by the AGA (American Gastroenterological Association).  The online poll entitled “Gut Check: Know Your Medicine” surveyed over 1,000 U.S. patients and over 250 gastroenterologists about the use and risks of OTC medication when treating chronic pain. ... Read More

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