Month: July 2014

blood pressure meter and heart

ACE Inhibitors and ARBS – these abbreviations may not look all that similar or even have any meaning to you as a patient. However, 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure and are likely on one of these two types of medication even if they do not know it. Drugs in these classes have the… Read More

Melasma, a disorder of facial hyperpigmentation, is most common in women 20 – 50 years of age. Melasma looks like brown, tan, or blue-gray spots on the face and is caused partly by sun, genetic predisposition, and hormonal changes. Combination therapy with hydroquinone, tretinoin, and fluocinolone acetonide has proven effective, but is generally more expensive… Read More

Byetta (exenatide) and Bydureon (exenatide) for type 2 diabetes can be confusing—they have similar names, and both are injected rather than taken orally. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to each, and they are available in different strengths, and have different directions for use. What is type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes, also known as… Read More

With almost identical active ingredient names, these medications can be easy to confuse—but esomeprazole strontium is not a generic equivalent to Nexium. Although both treat GERD (heartburn), they are available in different strengths and have different advantages. What is GERD? GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is more commonly known as heartburn. Heartburn is a form… Read More

The Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis. Of the Americans with hepatitis C, 70 – 90 percent have genotype 1 hep C. Chronic HCV infection often follows a progressive course over many years and can ultimately result in cirrhosis, liver (hepatocellular) cancer, and the need for liver transplantation. Chronic hepatitis… Read More

Generic drugs are crucial to the treatment of heart disease. Generics save lives in our heart patients, ranging from blood pressure meds and blood thinners to anti-arrhythmic drugs. They are cheap and well tolerated. Why is it, then, that so many patients stop taking them? One half of patients with heart disease don’t take their… Read More

a doctor's prescription pad

Albuterol and levalbuterol can be confusing right off the bat due to the sound-alike active ingredient names. Both are available as various brand name inhalers, though there are no generic albuterol or levalbuterol HFA inhalers at the moment. Both types of inhaler treat asthma and in some cases COPD, but they have different strengths and side effects and can… Read More

two prescription bottles with pills next to them

With a difference of only two letters in their names, Sudafed and Sudafed PE look nearly identical and can be extremely confusing to the unsuspecting patient. Both are used to treat nasal congestion—but they are available in different strengths, have different active ingredients, and are kept in different locations in your pharmacy. What is nasal congestion? Nasal congestion is the blockage… Read More

The long expected arrival of generic Diovan (valsartan) is finally here! I know there has been a lot of anticipation for the release of this highly popular blood pressure medication and it is now finally available. Diovan combined with hydrochlorothiazide (Diovan HCT) has been available as generic valsartan/hctz for quite some time now, and there… Read More

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has officially declared tramadol (Ultram) a Class IV substance. This new scheduling will go into effect August 18, 2014 and means you will need a triplicate prescription to get tramadol. A scheduled drug is one whose use and distribution is tightly monitored. Tramadol is an opioid analgesic that was initially approved… Read More