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The Honest Apothecary

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

Hobby Lobby and the Politics of Prevention

 

By Jason Poquette, Bpharm, R.Ph

I’ve never been a big fan of heated political debates.  On my blog I much prefer to focus on topics that provide helpful resources to patients and health care professionals alike.  But the recent Supreme Court decision about Hobby Lobby and their right to not cover certain forms of contraception has received so much attention that silence seems impossible.  Since the issue... Read More

Hot Weather Concerns and Prescription Medication

by Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

Gertrude Jekyll, the British artist and horticulturist, once wrote “What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.”  We’re in June, the birthplace of summer, but for all its beauty it can still be something of a beast... Read More

CVS Quits Smoking - Should You?

by Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

In a virtually unprecedented move among the largest retail pharmacy chains in our country, CVS pharmacy recently announced it would discontinue the sale of tobacco products by the end of this year.  The move is predicted to take upwards of 2 billion dollars of revenue out of their stores.  Though that is less than 2% of their total operating budget, a couple billion dollars is a pretty signi... Read More

Is Marijuana Really Good Medicine for Massachusetts?

by Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

Our current culture seems crazy about cannabis.  Access to this supposed “wonder weed” is spreading throughout the country, with 20 states now legalizing the purchase for medical purposes, two of which allow the sale for recreational use.  Massachusetts voted in November of 2012 to join the fray, and recently gave official approval to 20 not-for-profit businesses to operate dispensaries for... Read More

Alzheimer’s Disease and Vitamin E

by Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), first described by German physician Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and so named in 1910, is a degenerative condition causing progressive memory loss affecting over 5 million patients in the U.S.  Incidents of Alzheimer’s disease rise with age, and with the number of individuals aged 65 years or older expected to double over the next 40 years, prevention and treatment are... Read More

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