For pennies a day, aspirin saves many lives from stroke and heart disease. Having said that . . . an aspirin a day carries risks, so not everyone should be taking it. Remember, the benefits of a low dose aspirin a day outweigh the risks only in some people. This is not a grey area, but an area that has been well-studied so know these things:
- Men age 45 to 79 years with two or more cardiac risk factors should consider a low dose aspirin (81 mg or 100 mg) a day.
- Cardiac risk factors include high blood pressure, family history (a sibling or parent in their 40’s or 50’s with heart disease), smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity.
- Women age 55 to 79 with two or more cardiac risk factors should consider taking a daily low-dose aspirin.
- The use of daily aspirin for cardiovascular disease prevention in men and women 80 years or older is hotly debated as the risks may outweigh the benefits.
- Aspirin is not recommended in women younger than 55 years and in men younger than 45 years who are healthy without risk factors for heart disease.
- Using aspirin for prevention of cardiovascular disease in healthy people increases the risk of major bleeding events including gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic (bleeding into the brain) strokes. Stomach ulcers, blood in the urine, easy bruising, and nosebleeds are much more common in folks taking an aspirin a day.
- The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association recommend aspirin therapy (75 mg to 162 mg per day) for any diabetic older than 40 years.
- Before you run away from aspirin remember that the median age of a first heart attack in men is 65.8 years and 70.4 years in women. So as mentioned above, for those with risk factors for heart disease an aspirin a day can help lower that risk.
Our brand new, custom-designed iPad app is now available in the app store! Like our other mobile apps (and GoodRx) the iPad app is free to download and use. It also has some handy features:
- Search or browse by top drugs, health conditions, or your recent searches
- See manufacturer coupons, assistance programs, shortages, and other tips that might help you at the pharmacy
- View the latest news from our blog for your prescriptions
- Find images and information about using your prescription, side effects, and more
How do you use a coupon from the iPad? You can still email or text yourself the coupon, or save it to your photos for later. If you want to bring your iPad with you, that will work too—just show the coupon information on the screen to your pharmacist like a regular GoodRx discount.
Questions, comments, or suggestions about the new app? We’d love to hear from you!
Zohydro ER is an extended-release class II controlled substance used for the management of severe pain that requires around-the-clock treatment. It was approved on October 25, 2013, and will be available for the first time this month (March 2014).
What is different about Zohydro ER?
What strengths are available?
Zohydro ER is available as an extended-release capsule in the following strengths: 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, and 50 mg.
How is this medication to be taken?
Zohydro ER is to be taken every 12 hours and is NOT to be used on an as needed basis like other hydrocodone-containing products.
The new formulation of Oxycontin, extended-release oxycodone, is crush-resistant to help eliminate the potential for abuse. Abuse in this case can include—but is not limited to—crushing, snorting, or injecting a medication that is intended for extended-release absorption. Zohydro ER does not have an abuse-deterrent formulation, which may lead to use not in line with the manufacturer’s intended product labeling.
What is the controversy surrounding Zohydro ER?
Zohydro ER has drummed up attention due to the fact that the extended-release hydrocodone product is a powerful narcotic, 5 – 10 times more potent than a similar hydrocodone-containing product, Vicodin. There is concern that an overdose is possible with only a few tablets of Zohydro ER.
Zohydro ER has also been approved without an abuse-deterrent formulation, which could mean that the potential for abusing the product is high. Zohydro ER, unfortunately, is able to be crushed and then snorted or injected due to its current formulation. The FDA advisory committee voted 11-2 against approval of this medication; however, it was ultimately approved by the FDA.
More information on Zohydro ER:
The official product website is currently under construction, but can be found here.
Zohydro ER has a REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) program intended to educate patients and healthcare professionals, and reduce the risk of adverse outcomes like addiction or overdose. More information can be found here.
When a patient comes in who has been taking vitamin E every day I ask them why they take it: isn’t it to prevent cancer? Turns out for vitamin E and other antioxidant supplements it may be the opposite. For years many have associated antioxidants with cancer and heart disease prevention. In fact the word “antioxidant” does as well in marketing as “natural” and “organic”. The buzz started decades ago because a diet high in vegetables and fruits rich in antioxidants is associated with a lower risk of cancer and heart disease—but taking antioxidant supplements is not. Is it too much of a good thing?
What is an antioxidant? The antioxidant vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Many foods, especially vegetables and fruits, also have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are believed to help the body dispose of toxic free radicals, thereby slowing oxidative damage.
The last several years of studies have shown a lack of evidence that antioxidant vitamins are beneficial in disease prevention. Let’s take a closer look.
Vitamin A consists of preformed vitamin A (retinol) and the carotenoids such as beta-carotene. In countries where dietary intake of vitamin A is adequate (most countries) you don’t need to take vitamin A or beta-carotene supplements given the lack of any benefit and the possibility of harm. Vitamin A does not help cancer risk and in fact, studies done on vitamin A supplements and lung cancer showed those taking vitamin A had an increased risk of lung cancer. Whoops. The Physicians Health Study found that 12 years of beta-carotene supplements (50 mg every other day) produced neither benefit nor harm with respect to the incidence of cancers. Another study showed an increase prostate cancer risk if you took beta-carotene. Don’t take it.
For heart disease it was the same thing, there is no benefit of vitamin A for prevention of heart disease and one trial suggested potential harm with regard to cardiovascular mortality.
What about the eyes? Vitamin A doesn’t need to be taken for the eyes either as there is no benefit for prevention of cataracts or macular degeneration.
Vitamin C has been promoted as stimulating the immune system, strengthening connective tissues, and promoting wound healing. Vitamin C may have a minor role in preventing the common cold, specifically for persons involved in high-intensity physical activity in extreme cold climates (marathoners, etc). Current evidence does not support taking vitamin C supplements for disease prevention as it has never been shown to reduce your risk of cancer. Vitamin C also does not work to prevent cataracts or macular degeneration.
Despite numerous studies on Vitamin E, current evidence does not support taking Vitamin E for prevention or treatment of cancers, cardiovascular disease, dementia, or infection. Please know this: not only does Vitamin E not prevent cancer, some studies actually showed an increased risk of prostate and other cancers with Vitamin E. Vitamin E supplements also don’t protect against the development of Alzheimer disease.
What is one exception? The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) supplement has antioxidants in it and is recommended only for folks with an early form of macular degeneration (dry macular degeneration) to help prevent the progression to visual loss. If recommended by your eye doctor you should probably listen.
Generic Avelox is now available as moxifloxacin 400 mg tablets! The FDA approved moxifloxacin on February 18, 2014. The first company to launch a generic was Teva Pharmaceuticals. Other generic manufacturers will be launching their products in March 2014.
Who and what is this medication for?
• Chronic bronchitis
• Community-acquired pneumonia
• Intra-abdominal infections
• Skin and skin structure infections
What kind of antibiotic is moxifloxacin?
Moxifloxacin is a fluoroquinolone (also known as a “quinolone”) antibiotic.
I have a sulfa allergy, can I take this medication?
Yes. Moxifloxacin is in an entirely different drug class that is NOT structurally similar to sulfa antibiotics.
I have a penicillin allergy, can I take this medication?
Yes. Moxifloxacin is also in an entirely different drug class that is NOT structurally similar to penicillin antibiotics.
- It is usually taken once-daily with or without food.
- You should take it at least 4 hours before or 8 hours after using products containing magnesium, aluminum, iron, or zinc—including antacids, sucralfate, multivitamins, and didanosine chewable/buffered tablets or pediatric powder for oral solution.
- Avoid excess sunlight/artificial light while taking moxifloxacin.
- Some possible side effects include diarrhea, or pain, swelling, or inflammation of a tendon, or weakness or inability to use your joints.