Here are 5 things you should know.
1. If you’re unsure what medications do and don’t work together, you can always call Poison Control and ask them what is safe to take or avoid. Never feel bad about this, as their stated purpose is to be a proactive measure as much as a reactive aid.
This time of year we’re all getting a bit sick and if you’re not sure if you can cross a painkiller with cold medicine or allergy pills it never hurts to ask. Of course, you can always call or visit your pharmacy, but if there isn’t one nearby poison control will always pick up the phone.
The American National Poison Control hotline is 1-800-222-1222, but if you live outside the states they will still take your call, and it’s toll-free!
You can also text ‘POISON’ to 797979, but standard message rates apply
2. You shouldn’t give aspirin to children and teens during and after a viral infection like the flu.
It can cause Reye’s Syndrome which can really be a lot more dangerous.
3. Tylenol/ acetaminophen can cause liver failure and should not be taken long-term or outside the recommended dose unless instructed by a doctor.
The recommended dose of acetaminophen in adults is 650 to 1,000 mg every 4 to 6 hours, not to exceed 4,000 mg in a 24-hour period; in children, the recommended dose is 10 to 15 mg/kg every 4 to 6 hours, not to exceed 50 to 70 mg/kg in 24 hours. Single doses of more than 150 mg/kg or 7.5 g in adults have been considered potentially toxic. Once ingested, there is only a 30-60 minute window to either pump the person’s stomach or administer activated charcoal. A medication called Acetylcysteine can also be used, but it is most effective within only the first 8 hours.
Acetaminophen is in Actifed, Alka-Seltzer Plus, Benadryl, Co-Gesic, Contac, Excedrin, Fioricet, Lortab, Midrin, Norco, Percocet, Robitussin, Sedapap, Sinutab, Sudafed, TheraFlu, Tylenol, Unisom PM Pain, Vick’s Nyquil and DayQuil, Vicodin, and Zydone. Being in so many medications that can be used in unison for colds, flu, sleep, and pain makes accidental overdose extremely easy so please read the drug facts on the bottles/ box to make sure you don’t do more harm than good!
Also, note that intentional overdose makes a person ineligible for organ transplants. This means a slow and extremely painful death with no escape as your liver fails. You’ll have to go to the hospital anyway, so please skip this step and get the help you need!
4. Pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. are not the only ones to blame for high-priced drugs. Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) work on behalf of insurance providers and earn money based on how much they are able to reduce the price of a drug for the consumer.
Pharmaceutical companies have earned plenty of blame and anger because of the way they have come to treat good health as not a right, but a reward for wealth. It should be known that they are not the only ones to blame.
In the process of how drug prices are determined, the pharmaceutical company individually determines what the price of a drug should be. This is, obviously, where the initial stage of greed comes from.
PBMs, which are behemoth third-party companies around the U.S., are employed by different health plans (insurance providers, Medicare, etc). Their job is to make deals with the drug companies to push certain medications or generic brands, negotiate large contracts to only buy one type of medicine from that one drug company and manage the distribution of the drugs amongst pharmacies.
They also determine which drugs are covered by different insurance plans, process claims from consumers and pharmacies, offer rebates for consumers and pharmacies, and make sure the drugs are properly taken by patients.
Additionally, many of them run drug delivery companies, (think about those companies who offer to deliver your medication via mail for a discounted price).
These companies gain revenue based on how much of a discount they are able to offer the insurance companies and health plan providers. It would seem, this would encourage them to keep prices low for the consumers, but it actually creates an economy for extremely overpriced drugs that can be sold in bulk for a huge discount. For example, a name brand medication might cost $100 per pill. The same drug company may offer a generic at $10 a pill. If the PBM can encourage the insurance company to only cover the $10 generic, they can get a contract with the drug company to only provide their one kind of generic, thus forcing demand for that product.
On top of all this, PBMs do not release how much they save the consumer on drug prices because it is considered an “industry secret.”
All in all, this information may not be helpful in your day-to-day life, but it’s at least important to know.
Here’s some information on the whole thing:
General Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmacy_benefit_management
5. You suffer from Neovascularisation if you wear contact lenses for extended periods of time.
Continuous use without allowing time for your eyes to recover can result in the tissue feeling starved of oxygen, even in high oxygen transmission lenses. This results in the eye growing new blood vessels to supply the tissue. This presents as red rings around the iris.
Providing relief to the eye can alleviate the redness, but carves “trenches” into the tissue that allows the regrowth to occur much faster if you return to the same habits.