Month: July 2014

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

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

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

Veramyst and Flonase sound nothing alike at first—but if you take a look at their active ingredients, this is where some people run into confusion. These medications treat the same condition, allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergies or hay fever), but are available in different strengths, have different salt forms, and are indicated to treat different ages. What is allergic rhinitis? Allergic… Read More

pill bottles with health symbols

Having a sick child can leave you, the parent, feeling helpless. After spending your morning in the doctor’s office the last thing you need to worry about is your child’s prescription. Here are 5 key things to know when your child is prescribed an antibiotic: 1.  Not all liquid medications have to taste bad All liquid… Read More

Benzodiazepines (Ativan, Valium, Xanax) are more often prescribed in the South and less often in the West, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Benzodiazepines are a class of prescription drugs prone to abuse, and in 2012 doctors wrote 37.6 benzodiazepine prescriptions per 100 persons in the United States. Remember benzodiazepines come in short-acting forms… Read More