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The Honest Apothecary

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

Massachusetts and the Opioid Overdose Epidemic

By Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

Medical professionals, law enforcement and politicians are scrambling to address what has been called an “opioid overdose epidemic” in Massachusetts.  Deaths related to the misuse of prescription pain relievers like hydrocodone and oxycodone are on the rise.  In 2012 we saw 668 documented cases of opioid-related overdose deaths.  Last year the number was 1089.  And according to some early re... Read More

‘Tis the season...for Medicare Part D!

By Jason Poquette, Bpharm, R.Ph

Soon our green-garbed summer trees will be putting on their golden autumn apparel and covering our dying grass with a blanket of brilliant colors.  We can feel a bit of the nip in the air already.  Fall has arrived, bringing with her all the wonderful things we have come to expect of this time of year in New England: foliage, football and family fun.  And for our seniors, and anyone else eli... Read More

FDA Issues Stronger NSAID Warning

By Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

In July of this year the FDA issued a stronger warning to patients and providers about the risks associated with very commonly used prescription and OTC products known as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs).  These products include medicines frequently taken for minor aches and pains such as ibuprofen (i.e. Advil® or MotrinIB®) and naproxen (Aleve®), as well as prescription medici... Read More

FDA Issues Stronger NSAID Warning

By Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

In July of this year the FDA issued a stronger warning to patients and providers about the risks associated with very commonly used prescription and OTC products known as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs).  These products include medicines frequently taken for minor aches and pains such as ibuprofen (i.e. Advil® or MotrinIB®) and naproxen (Aleve®), as well as prescription medici... Read More

A Tough Pill to Swallow

By Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

It may be a tough pill to swallow, but the medical community is finally becoming more aware of the number of patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules.  A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics (April 14, 2015) revealed the problem may be more widespread than we thought.  According to research, greater than 50% of parents indicate their child co... Read More

Flu shot may have missed the mark

by Jason Poquette, RPh

Maybe you heard the news.  According to sources at the CDC the currently available influenza (flu) vaccines do not contain the Type-A strain that might predominate this flu season.  The result is that even vaccinated people may not be as well protected as we move into the traditional peak season of flu activity over the coming months.  Dr. Alfred DeMaria, an epidemiologist at the Massachusetts Depart... Read More

Popular Medicine and FDA Warnings

by Jason Poquette BPharm, R.Ph

Norman Cousins, the late professor, peace-activist and journalist, once wrote “history is a vast early warning system.”  In medicine, the history of any one particular drug (or class of drugs) is a useful early warning system too.  Consequently, from time to time, the FDA will take a look at the history of a drug and require that new warnings be placed into the prescribing informatio... Read More

What can your pharmacist do for you?

by Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

October is officially American Pharmacists Month. Well, at least it has been since 2004 when “National Pharmacy Week” (begun in 1925) was expanded.  I’m not sure assigning any profession a particular ‘week’ or ‘month’ is the key to promoting awareness.  Lately it seems ice buckets do a better job of that.  But for what it is worth, I am grateful for the career I’ve been allowed to p... Read More

What? Why Was My Prescription Rescheduled?

by Jason Poquette

It has only happened a couple times in the course of my 20+ year pharmacy career.  And now it has happened two times in less than two months.  I am talking about the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) decision to reschedule tramadol as of August 18, 2014 and now hydrocodone combination products (HCP) as of October 6, 2014. 

Many patients have been asking questions about this.  I’m going to try a... Read More

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