Dear Gatti Friends,
With my young family, we’ve created the habit of taking turns at dinner each night sharing for what we’re thankful. It’s turned out to be a great way for us to remember that we always have something to be grateful for, regardless of what kind of day we’ve had. And this Thanksgiving month, it is my turn to thank you for your patronage.
We consider it a privilege that you choose us as your pharmacy, and we are grateful for you. The guiding reason for our efforts is your health, and we use that philosophy to inform everything we do at Gatti Pharmacy. We focus on programs that make your life easier, improve your medication experience, or otherwise contribute to a better life for you.
Please be sure that we don’t take your trust lightly, and we are constantly striving to improve the quality of your experience with us.
I welcome your email or phone call with feedback about what we could do better to improve your Gatti experience. Thank you!
Stephanie Smith Cooney, Pharm.D., President
By: Kyle McCormick, Pharm. D
The flu - it has a starring actor, will keep you in your seat, lasts an entire season, and is coming to a town near you. The big difference between it and Hollywood? One you want to experience, the other you don’t.
Sticking with the analogy made above, the actor behind the illness commonly referred to as the “flu” is the influenza virus, which presents itself in various forms. For this reason, the flu vaccine is updated every year with components most likely to protect for the current year. The flu is notorious for its fever, chills, fatigue, congestion, and body pains that keeps you on the couch for an average of 5 days. The flu is common any time between October and May, but experiences peaks in transmission between December and February. As it is November, we have already entered this window of activity. In Pennsylvania, flu activity is currently listed at sporadic* but is bound to pick up over the next couple weeks.
The best way to protect yourself and others from the flu is to get a flu shot. Flu shots are recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. More than 118 million doses of the flu vaccine have been administered through October. Although this seems like a large number, it leaves 63% of the US population unvaccinated and susceptible. If you haven’t gotten a flu shot yet this year, be sure to stop by Gatti Pharmacy today. In addition to the flu shot, we can make sure you are up to date on all your routine vaccines.
*Written November 8, 2015 - to view current activity, click here
Kyle is not only a pharmacist here at Gatti but also our Patient Care Director. To learn more about him, visit our about page.
By: Stephanie Smith Cooney, Pharm. D, President
It’s that time of year. The kids are in school, we’re indoors more, and the germs are busy doing their thing. Many myths surround antibiotics and the role they play in sickness. Below, I’ll list six different antibiotic myths that you’ll want to think about the next time you get sick.
Myth #1. Antibiotics are good for colds and flu. The common cold and the flu are caused by viruses. Antibiotics only work against bacterial infections, making them ineffective for colds, sore throats, the flu, and many ear and sinus infections.
Myth #2. Antibiotics have few side effects. They kill off normal bacteria, increasing the risk of other infections. Side effects include diarrhea, yeast infections, and rarely, nerve damage, torn tendons, and allergic reactions like rashes, swelling of face and throat, and breathing problems. Almost 1 in 5 emergency room visits for drug side effects are as a result of antibiotics. In children, antibiotics are the leading cause of such visits.
Myth #3. Antibiotics are taken for at least a week. Not always. For certain infections, such as urinary tract, sinus, and ear infections, a shorter course may work. Always ask the doctor for the shortest course of treatment necessary for your infection.
Myth #4. It’s fine to take leftover medication. Different types of infections require different types of antibiotics. More importantly, you may not even require antibiotic treatment for the infection you have. Taking leftover antibiotics when they’re not needed or correct can cause harmful bacteria to grow. Always discard unused antibiotics.
Myth #5. All bacterial infections require drugs. Mild infections often clear up on their own. Ask your doctor if you can delay treatment before asking for antibiotics. Many ear, sinus, and other infections will clear up on their own without treatment.
Myth #6. The more bacteria a drug kills, the better. Drugs that kill many types of bacteria, called broad-spectrum antibiotics, should be reserved for serious infections. Using the most appropriate antibiotic for the infection type helps to prevent drug resistance and the wiping out of large amounts of healthy bacteria as well.
The next time you get sick, rather than asking the doctor for an antibiotic immediately, consider these myths and have a discussion with your doctor about the best treatment for you. Remember that sometimes no treatment is the best treatment. Pharmacists are a good resource if you’re wondering if you should see the doctor, or you need help with an over-the-counter recommendation for your symptoms.
Remember that adequate sleep, hand-washing, appropriate vaccinations such as the flu shot, and a healthy lifestyle can go a long way to keeping you well. Here’s hoping you won’t need antibiotics and won’t find yourself sick often this winter.
The Gatti Blog
Information, tips and more from the Gatti Pharmacists and staff.