Cervical Health – by Peggy Wu, Pharmacist Intern

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month: Vaccinate EARLY. PAP Test REGULARLY. HPV Test when RECOMMENDED

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Admix Compounding Pharmacy wants you to know that there is a lot you can do to prevent cervical cancer. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV (human papillomavirus), the most common sexually transmitted disease. Each year, about 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and about one-third of those will die as a result of the cancer. HPV is a major cause of cervical cancer.
The good news?
• HPV can be prevented by the HPV vaccine.
• Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests (called Pap tests) and follow-up care.
HPV Vaccines
HPV vaccines can help prevent infection from both high risk HPV types that can lead to cervical cancer and low risk types that cause genital warts. There are currently two HPV vaccines available.
• Gardasil® is a vaccine available for both men and women. Gardasil® is effective at preventing infection associated with HPV types 6 & 11 (types associated with 90% of all genital warts) and type 16 & 18 (types associated with 70% of all cervical cancers, and many vulvar and vaginal cancers).
• Cervarix® is a vaccine just for women. This vaccine is effective at preventing infection associated with HPV 16 & 18 (associated with 70% of all cervical cancers).
The Pap Test
The Pap test finds changes in the cells of the cervix (the mouth of the womb). When a female gets Pap test, she is being screened for to make sure that there are no abnormal or precancerous changes in the cells on her cervix. Most of the time, the cell changes and abnormalities are due to HPV. If abnormalities were found, it does not mean its cervical cancer. It just means the healthcare provider will want to closely monitor the cervix often, and possibly do treatment, to prevent further cell changes that could become cancerous over time if left unchecked.
The HPV Test
HPV tests can find any of the high-risk types of HPV that are most commonly found in cervical cancer. The presence of any of these HPV types in a woman for many years can lead to cell changes that may need to be treated so that cervical cancer does not occur.
In women 30 and over, screening using both an HPV test and a Pap test is more likely to find abnormal cervical cell changes than either test alone. If both tests are negative (normal), a woman may safely have her next Pap and HPV test in three years depending on their past Pap test findings and other risk factors.
In women under age 30, consensus guidelines do not currently recommend this. HPV is very common in women under the age of 30 but cervical cancer is very rare in this age group. Most women under 30 with HPV will get rid of the virus without treatment.
In honor of National Cervical Health Awareness Month. Admix Compounding Pharmacy encourages:
• Women to start getting regular Pap tests at age 21
• Women to start getting HPV test after age 30 or recommended by physicians
• Women to get the HPV vaccine before age 27
• Parents to make sure their pre-teens get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12
• Men to get HPV vaccine if you are under age 22
Thanks to the health care reform law, you and your family members may be able to get these services at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company.
Taking small steps can help keep you safe and healthy!

Reference:

http://healthfinder.gov/NHO/

http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/get-screened-january-cervical-health-awareness-month

http://www.nccc-online.org/

Testosterone Talk – by Robert Valadez, Pharmacist Intern

The holiday season is quickly approaching and with shopping, decorating, and having to deal with all of the hustle and bustle one can definitely be left feeling tired and exhausted. Recently there have been many commercials on TV talking about Low T and its effects on a male as he ages.
What is Low T?
Low T is medically defined as hypogonadism, and the “T” is actually referring to “testosterone” a natural steroid created by the body in both men and women. As we develop as humans, it is responsible for sexual characteristics and maturity. As we get older testosterone is essential for our general health and well-being. This helps prevent things such as osteoporosis, stimulating and maintaining sexual function, and promoting increased energy. However, with the advancement of age comes a steady decline in the production of testosterone. This can lead to a decrease in performance, and feeling tired and sluggish. Studies have even shown an increased risk for things such as bone fractures and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Personalized compounded testosterone replacement therapy requires a prescription from your doctor, but is an option worth exploring if you are experiencing these symptoms.
November is here!
November has been declared prostate cancer awareness month. As the years have evolved we as healthcare providers are trying to encompass “men’s health awareness” overall throughout the nation. Surveys have shown that men are at least 24% less likely to go and see a doctor about any underlying conditions as compared to their female counterparts. Here at Admix Compounding Pharmacy we are dedicated to the wellbeing of all of our patients and encourage them to take a proactive approach to learning about their health. As the holidays approach we want to provide our patients with the gift of good health and well-being. If you have any questions about your general health we would be happy to help you, and can even refer you to a number of prescribing physicians who specialize in men’s health.

At home with Acne – by Tameka Maiden, Pharmacist Intern


Everyone has experienced some sort of acne problems at some point in the their lives. This type of condition can ruin your entire day especially when there is a big event planned, meeting someone new or just simple day-to-day activities. No one likes the appearance of pimples anywhere on their body. Acne is the most common skin disease here in the United States. The cause of acne is due to the over production of sebum when it is combined with dead skin. When this happens the pores are clogged, producing inflammation and sometimes infection. Sebum is naturally produced by the body to keep the skin and other tissues moist. The problem occurs when there is an over production causing the pores to become clogged and creating pimples. Studies have shown that poor diet, stress, bacteria and hormonal imbalance can cause acne. The number one question of acne is “how do I get rid of it?” We all understand the scientific knowledge of acne but what else can be done to help my condition? We have all heard of the acne products on TV, radio, billboards, Internet and word of mouth. However, we are here to suggest some home remedies to try and would love to hear about your results.

Lemon Juice combined with Rose Water: Lemons contain high amounts of acidity that act as an astringent and can kill the bacteria on the skin. It acts as a natural astringent and a mild antibacterial. Rose water is also an antibacterial. Mix the lemon juice and rose water equally and apply it to the face. The lemon juice will make an initial stinging affect. Leave on for 15-30 minutes and rinse off completely. Be careful not to expose the skin to direct sunlight.

Olive Oil: This can be used as a scarring treatment. Sounds crazy because we think more oil will cause more pimples. But the oil can help bring the skin back to its normal, undamaged, moisturized texture. Mix the olive oil and a tiny bit of salt and apply it to the face. Massage gently on the face and remove with warm water.

Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe Vera is a plant that is often used for many skin complications. Aloe Vera helps to heal the scarring caused by acne. Apply the liquid substance inside the plant to your face twice a day. Do not rinse off.

Strawberries and Honey: Yes, honey and strawberries can help with acne. A strawberry is a fruit that is cheap and we enjoy eating. Strawberries contain an ingredient called salicylic acid. This ingredient can be found in many of the acne products that are brought over the counter at your local stores. Salicylic acid helps with bacteria, unclogging of pores on the skin, shrinking pores and shedding of the epidermis layer of the skin. The honey has antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory effects. Take 2-3 washed strawberries and 2 teaspoonful of unprocessed honey. Clean your face with water and pat dry. Mash the strawberries well, but do not make it too mushy. Add honey to strawberries and mix together. Apply to the face for 15-20 minutes then rinse with warm water. If face tends to dry out, apply a moisturizer. Try this for a month 2-3 times a week.

Let us know your results!

Compounding for Animals

Most of us who have pets love our animals like they are own children.  Just as we want the best medical care for our children, we also expect nothing less for our furry family members.   Animals can have the same diseases that afflict humans, such as diabetes, seizures, heart disease, obesity, skin issues, and cancer.  For their unique health needs, compounding pharmacies may help.

Compounding allows for innovative solutions to address challenging veterinary problems. The challenges pet owners face when it comes to pet meds include effective dosage administration, appropriate doses based on animal size, and commercially unavailable products.

Everyone knows how difficult it is to get a cat to swallow a pill.  Even if you hide medicine in food, most animals could sniff it out and avoid taking it.  By working with a veterinarian, compounding pharmacists could prepare meds with enticing flavors, such as grilled chicken, beef, fish, fruit, etc.  Medication doses could also be manipulated to treat different animal sizes to increase effectiveness and decrease negative effects.  In addition, if your pet is sensitive to an ingredient in a medication (i.e. lactose), that particular ingredient could be omitted in a compound prescription.  With medications that work well for your pets, but have suddenly become unavailable or discontinued by the manufacturer, compounding pharmacies may help continue to provide your pet’s therapy.

Admix Compounding Pharmacy will work closely with your veterinarian to assist with any of your pets’ specific needs.  A healthy pet = a happy pet :)

The hCG Diet

Happy New Year, Everyone!

The start of the new year will mean new beginnings for many of you.  What is your new year’s resolution?  If it involves losing weight…lots of it…consider the hCG approach.  Many of you have heard of Dr. Simeon’s discovery of how hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) could allow people to lose significant weight (1-2 lbs/day) within a month’s time.  I am still amazed at the amount of weight people lose after dedicating a month to this very scientific approach.  Our patients have seen anywhere from 10-30 lbs lost in 30 days!  If you’d like to read a more detailed explanation of Dr. Simeon’s research, click here: Dr_SimeonsDiet.

hCG is a hormone produced by pregnant women.  At our pharmacy, the sublingual hCG drops compounded is of pharmaceutical grade and requires a prescription from a doctor who has checked your labs and will be monitoring you during the very low caloric diet (VLCD). It is important to know that homeopathic hCG’s or over-the-counter herbals that claim to mimic hCG are not FDA-approved nor shown to be safe or effective.  A physician must supervise the patient during their therapy with hCG in order to maintain safety during significant weight loss.

To better understand how hCG works, here is an excerpt from Dr. Simeon’s publication:

“Pregnancy is an obese woman’s one great chance to reduce her excess weight. That she so rarely makes use of this opportunity is due to the erroneous notion, usually fostered by her elder relations, that she now has “two mouths to feed” and must “keep up her strength for the coming event. All modern obstetricians know that this is nonsense and that the more superfluous fat is lost the less difficult will be the confinement, though some still hesitate to prescribe a diet sufficiently low in Calories to bring about a drastic reduction.
A woman may gain weight during pregnancy, but she never becomes obese in the strict sense of the word. Under the influence of the HCG which circulates in enormous quantities in her body during pregnancy, her diencephalic banking capacity seems to be unlimited, and abnormal fixed deposits are never formed. At confinement [end of pregnancy] she is suddenly deprived of HCG, and her diencephalic fat-center reverts to its normal capacity. It is only then that the abnormally accumulated fat is locked away again in a fixed deposit. From that moment on she is suffering from obesity and is subject to all its consequences.”

Call us at Admix Compounding Pharmacy if you would like to learn more about the hCG protocol.  Our pharmacist could go over the diet with you and refer you to a prescribing physician who specializes in weight-loss therapies and is familiar with hCG.

“RUNNING” OUT OF MEDICATION OPTIONS? TRY COMPOUNDING!

Whether you are an experienced marathon runner or a beginner, chances are you will encounter some form of foot/leg problem during or after your run.  The medication options available for runners are limited to oral painkillers and anti-inflammatory pills to alleviate pain and inflammation.  However, these drugs are often associated with negative side effects that could outweigh its benefits.  Taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) by mouth can increase the risk of bleeding and ulcers and damage to the GI lining.  In addition, kidneys and the liver could be overexerted if too much medication is taken.  Running performance will also be affected with certain painkillers or muscle relaxants that may cause drowsiness or discomfort.

Pharmacy compounding can provide many great benefits for all runners.  Compounding is the art and science of preparing medications that are customized to the needs of each individual.  Working closely with a healthcare provider and the athlete, compounding allows innovative solutions that focus on accurate medication dosing and more efficient delivery systems.

The following are some examples of common runners’ issues and what can be compounded to treat these problems:

* Corns/Callouses- Salicylic acid & menthol – used to remove corns and callouses.

* Black toenails – Urea – softens the nails and helps with nail removal.

* Numbness – Nifedipine cream (aka Toe Butter) – increases circulation.

* Hyperhidrosis of feet – Glycopyrrolate solution – minimizes excessive sweating.

* Plantar Fasciitis – combination pain creams that may include amitriptyline, baclofen, ketoprofen, ketamine, lidocaine, gabapentin, or capsaicin – relieves neuropathic and inflammatory pain associated with irritation of the tissue.

* Inflammation from Injury/ITB syndrome – Diclofenac, Ketoprofen, Ibuprofen or Piroxicam gels/creams – topical anti-inflammatories.

* Foot/Leg cramps – Guaifenesin, Magnesium Chloride/Peppermint, or Ketoprofen/Cyclobenzaprine cream – has muscle relaxant properties.

To find out more ways that compounding could optimize your foot care, don’t hesitate to contact Admix Compounding Pharmacy at 832-532-3113, tu-nhi@admixrx.com, located at 1403 Highway 6, Suite 300B, Sugar Land, Texas 77478.

 

December is Diabetes Awareness Month

If you are a diabetic, diagnosed with conditions such as PAD (peripheral arterial disease) or DPN (diabetic peripheral neuropathy), you are most likely suffering from some kind of foot pain. With poor circulation and damaged nerves caused by diabetes, pain may present itself as tingling, burning, sharp or shooting pain, or even numbness. Thankfully, you do not have to live with this discomfort!

Compounding pharmacies can create transdermal gels or creams that allow medication to penetrate the tissues to directly target the affected area. Common drugs that are prescribed for neuropathy include: amitriptyline, lidocaine, gabapentin, ketamine, nifedipine, and clonidine. A compounder may combine these ingredients together to effectively relieve localized pain while minimizing the side effects that would be experienced if these medications were taken orally.

An example of a cream that can be made to increase blood circulation in the toes is nifedipine in strengths between 1% and 16%. Nifedipine has vasodilating properties that aid in blood flow and will help bring sensation back into the toes/feet. For neuropathic pain, tricyclic anti-depressants such as amitriptyline have proven to be very effective by working on the nervous system to suppress pain messages in the spinal cord. You will therefore see amitriptyline typically combined with other pain relievers (such as ketoprofen, baclofen, gabapentin, etc.) in compounding formulas made for neuropathic pain.

The compounding pharmacist can work with your podiatrist to create a formula especially made to alleviate your unique foot issues. You do not have to suffer through it alone! Call an Admix Compounding Pharmacist now for a free consultation on your current medications, 832-532-3113, and let us help you get back on your feet and regain control over your quality of life!

Excerpt from Tanglewood Foot Specialists’ November Newsletter: The Next Step…

Compounding and Podiatry

Just as there is a myriad of podiatry issues that we could possibly encounter throughout our lifetime, there are fortunately many different ways to treat foot conditions. In addition to commercially available products, podiatrists may prescribe compounded medications to their patients to treat a variety of foot disorders.

Many of you may have heard of compounding pharmacies, but are still unsure of the difference between a compounding pharmacy and a traditional retail pharmacy. Compounding occurs when a pharmacist prepares a customized medication for a patient based on a prescribed formula ordered by the doctor.  The process involves mixing raw ingredients together in a sanitary manner to complete the prescription.  A traditional pharmacy dispenses a conventional prescription mass-produced by the manufacturer in fixed strengths that the pharmacy purchases from a wholesaler.

Compounding can open the door to endless possibilities because the strengths, dosage forms, and even flavors of medications could be manipulated to maximize the benefits for the patient.   A compounding pharmacist may work closely with the podiatrist to help formulate unique combinations to address your foot condition.  The pharmacist is also in an excellent position to complement podiatrists in educating patients about proper use of medication and providing self-care tips to prevent further podiatric problems.

Some of the different types of compounds that could be made for podiatry include the following:

-       Topical anti-fungals for toenails

-       Transdermal anti-inflammatory agents

-       Skin softeners and moisturizers for rough or dry feet

-       Transdermal treatments for neuropathic pain (often related to diabetic toes)

-       Powders or solutions for excessive foot odor/wetness

-       Wound care treatment

-       Anti-virals for wart removal

-       Keratolytic agents to loosen or dissolve excess skin flakes

-       Plantar fasciitis treatments

Compounded topical treatments provide many options for the patient and the prescriber to include multiple active ingredients without overloading the liver and kidneys.  Topical medications typically produce less adverse reactions compared to oral, systemic medications.  In addition, topical therapy targets the problem site directly, which creates faster relief through the affected tissues.

If you would like to learn more about what kind of solutions compounding could offer you, please do not hesitate to contact us at Admix Compounding Pharmacy, 1403 Highway 6, Suite 300B, Sugar Land, Texas 77478, 832-532-311.

If you are in need of a great podiatrist, make an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider with Tanglewood Foot Specialists.

Compounding Pharmacy Concerns

In light of the latest meningitis outbreak that has led to 257 cases and 20 deaths in 23 different states, the safety of compounding pharmacies have suddenly become a major topic of discussion in the news. NECC is the New England Compounding Center that is responsible for the fungal meningitis infections in patients who received contaminated steroid injections.

Understandably, this recent tragedy has caused many to be wary of compounding pharmacies and raises a lot of questions surrounding this niche market. Fear can spread very quickly, but discerning the facts of the situation could help the public be more informed in order to protect themselves.

It is very important to know that NECC was practicing outside of laws and regulations by acting as a manufacturer without having a manufacturer license. Compounding pharmacies typically fill specifically dosed prescriptions written by a doctor to meet an individual patient’s need. Manufacturers make FDA-approved drugs for mass markets in predetermined strengths and dosage forms. NECC was found to be mass-producing thousands of injections and shipping them to 76 medical facilities across 23 states.

Raw materials used in compounding pharmacies must come from FDA-registered suppliers, which are registered and inspected by the FDA. At Admix Compounding Pharmacy, we purchase materials from PCCA, Professional Compounding Centers of America, where each chemical goes through a nine-step potency process and a fourteen-step process on every chemical lot to ensure proper identification and high quality standards. In addition, Admix Compounding Pharmacy conducts quarterly potency tests of compounded products with Eagle Analytical Labs. NECC, which compounds many sterile products, did not appear to have any consistent procedures on quality testing.

Manufactured medication has an equal potential to cause patient harm as with customized medication. Both could have the potential to be recalled and tainted, both could cause severe side effects, and regardless of how the medication was made, dosing errors could occur at the prescribing level.
Here are some suggestions as to how you could take more control over your safety:

- Get to know your compounding pharmacy. Visit the pharmacy, ask to see the conditions of the lab, and ask if the pharmacy performs tests on the quality of their products.
- Build a trusting relationship with your pharmacist. He or she should always be available to answer your questions about your medication. Consultation could be done over the phone, email, or in person.
- Research the pharmacy. Anyone may go online on the State Board of Pharmacy (i.e. Texas State Board of pharmacy website: http://www.tsbp.state.tx.us/dbsearch/phy_search.asp) to look up whether the pharmacy license is active, disciplinary history against the pharmacy, services, etc.
- Ask questions. If you do not know why your doctor prescribed you something, stay informed. Ask your doctor about your medication, dose, and what to expect. The pharmacist could provide you more details about how to take the medication, proper care and storage of the medication, and side effects to look out for.