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Archive for July, 2011

Yes, There is Generic Allegra

Monday, July 25th, 2011

I mentioned a few days ago about the recent change in the antihistamine Allegra, as you can now buy it without a prescription. But as one of my colleagues mentioned to me, the generic is now available, also without a prescription.

Allegra's 2 strengths

Allegra's 2 strengths

Drug Safety Tip: Be sure to look carefully at the box of Allegra or fexofenadine before you buy it…there are 2 different tablet strengths sold on the same shelf. The 180mg strength of Allegra or fexofenadine is labeled 24-Hour. The other strength (the 60 mg) is labeled 12-Hour.

Now, you might already be thinking, “Taking 60mg Allegra twice a day only gives you 120mg per day, instead of 180mg. Hmmm…why wouldn’t it be a 60mg tablet every 8 hours http://homepage.westmont.edu/make_account/images/pic/acrobat-xi-standard.html visit this link?”

Good question.

The answer is that the dose of 60mg every 12 hours and 180mg every 24 hours were the doses originally approved by the FDA for the prescription form of Allegra, and had already been approved for non-Rx status.

When the company applied for approval to sell Allegra to consumers, the FDA approved the same doses as the prescription forms had. AND by the way, Allegra was approved as safe for NON-prescription use years ago by an FDA committee. That particular advisory committee decided that Allegra, as well as Claritin, was safe enough to sell directly to consumers. But at that time Allegra and Claritin were VERY, VERY PROFITABLE prescription products for their companies Sanofil-Aventis and Schering-Plough, and those companies chose to keep their profitable products prescription only. Well, until their patent protection expired, anyway.

And now you can purchase Allegra, Claritin and their generic equivalents fexofenadine and loratidine OTC (over the counter), just in time for ragweed season.

Allegra: Good News or Bad News?

Thursday, July 21st, 2011
I was on the phone on hold when I heard a woman’s indignant voice at our pharmacy’s pick up counter.
“$60? Why, that’s ridiculous! There must be some mistake. It’s supposed to be $25.00.”

Uh, oh. Another patient here to pick up her prescription for Allegra. Time for me to explain why her copay jumped from $25.00 to $60.00. I finished my phone call and walked over to rescue the cashier.

I smiled at our frustrated customer. “No, I’m sorry, but your prescription insurance is no longer covering Allegra. It’s because it is no longer a prescription only medicine. Its patent has expired, and it is now available without a prescription.”

“But…can’t you just have it switched to a generic buy levitra online canada buy viagra uk?”

“We could do that. But that won’t help your copay, because your insurance plan is no longer covering that drug AT ALL. And for some reason, there IS no prescription generic available for us to order right now.”

“But if it went generic, it should be cheaper, not MORE expensive!”

“Well, it will eventually be less expensive, when it is available as a generic. But you can still get your Allegra, it just doesn’t NEED a prescription any more.”

I stepped out in front of the pharmacy counter and walked her over to the 2 strengths of Allegra now packaged and sold with the allergy products.

The good news is, you can now buy Allegra at the full prescription strengths, 60mg and 180mg, without a prescription at your pharmacy or grocery.

The bad news is, if you were one of the people who had insurance that paid for most of the cost of prescription Allegra, it is now cheaper for you to buy it yourself than to pay the entire cost of the prescription version.

There are 2 strengths available: Allegra 60mg 12 Hour and Allegra 180mg 24 Hour.

Allegra is a newer type of antihistamine that helps relieve allergic symptoms like itchy and runny nose, watery eyes, and stuffy nose without causing much drowsiness or sedation.

Right now, Allegra is more expensive than similar non-sedating antihistamines such as Loratadine (Claritin) and cetirazine (Zyrtec), because they have generic versions available. But if you are looking for another option for allergy relief without drowsiness, Allegra is now available over the counter (without a prescription).
Allegra 180mg 24 Hour once a day is equivalent to loratadine 10mg or cetirazine 10mg once a day.

Hooray for the Champs!

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

While watching the US and Japan in the FIFA World Cup soccer final yesterday afternoon, I was fascinated with the contrasting styles of the 2 women’s teams: fire and ice. The US style was firey and volatile. They took chances and controlled the ball well. If their goal attempts had managed to quit bouncing off the goal posts, they would probably have taken home the trophy.

The playing style of the Japanese team was more like ice: calm, consistent, and focused. Even though I was rooting for the United States, I had to admire Japan’s team for their composure. They never gave up. They never fell apart. Instead, they played and played with the patience of positive expectations acheter du viagra…like they BELIEVED that a chance to score would eventually show itself, if they just kept going.

And they were ready when it did.

Both teams are champions to me. Each team has inspired me, but in different ways.

I salute the passion and energy of the US team, going out there and working hard to make things happen, and not getting frustrated when shot after shot at the goal refused to go in.

And I admire the spirit and heart of the Japanese team, who never counted themselves out. They played with calm, focused persistance, ready to take advantage of any future opportunity because they believed that their opportunity WOULD come.

So, Hooray for the Champs-BOTH of them!

3 Cheers for Title IX

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

After seeing the amazing game between the US Womens team and France on the way to the World Cup Soccer finals, I have to admit to being a little bit envious.

When I was in school, there were no women’s sports programs. In the spring of my senior year Title IX went into effect at my small high school (a total of 110 students from freshmen through seniors). So we were able to try out for track and field, and have a taste of the pursuit of physical and mental skills and the experience of competition.

Title IX is the law that states that, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”

My daughter Maureen, now 31 years old, benefited from Title IX as she played volleyball and soccer in junior high and high school.

So, as I watch the US National team facing Japan in the title game this weekend, I’ll be cheering not only for the US Womens team, but for Title IX, which helped make it possible.

Go US Women!

Congratulations, USA Women World Cup Soccer Team

Monday, July 11th, 2011

What a thrilling game yesterday! The USA Women’s victory in over Brazil was an amazing mix of ups, downs, good luck and bad…a tribute to their team’s dogged effort, persistence and passion http://levitrakamagra.com/.

When I think about the commitment and tenacity that the USA Women’s team displayed in their win over Brazil, it reminds me of a favorite quote of mine by Bob Moawad:

“You can’t make footprints in the sands of time if you’re sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the the sands of time?”

Here’s to you, USA Women!

The Sands of Time

The Sands of Time

Be A Squeaky Wheel

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

I was working at a community pharmacy last Thursday, heading into the July 4th holiday weekend, when one of the customers that came in to pick up his prescription asked if “one of the pharmacists that gives shots” could please help him out with his injection of blood thinner.

He was picking up a refill of enoxaparin, also called Lovenox, for blood clots in his legs and his lungs. As I prepped his stomach for the shot, he told me that this was the second time that he had to buy this expensive prescription. A week ago, he’d noticed a cramp in his right leg that wouldn’t let up and when he went to the doctor, they did an ultrasound and found several clots in his right leg. Then they did a chest CT which also found clots in his lungs.

His doctor gave him 3 prescriptions: one for injections (enoxaparin, also called Lovenox) one for tablets of a blood thinner called warfarin, and the other for lab work: blood tests every day until his blood test was high enough so he could stop taking the shots. He then explained how he faithfully went to his doctor’s office to get his blood tested every day, from Wednesday to Saturday morning.

The call he got on Saturday wasn’t from his regular doctor. She was out of town over the weekend so another doctor, one he didn’t know, called him back on Saturday afternoon and told him that his level was now too high and he was to stop both the enoxaparin shots and the warfarin pills, and come back to the office for another blood test in 4 days.

As I gave him his shot, put a band-aid on it and dropped the syringe in the plastic container we kept for “sharps”, he added, “At the time I knew it didn’t seem quite right, but I didn’t feel like I could ask the doctor about it. Then when I went back in on Tuesday, my test was way too low and I had to start all over again. Not speaking up cost me over $400 in extra tests and more of these expensive shots.”

I agree with him.
If you don’t understand WHY you are being asked to take –or to NOT take-a particular medicine, please, please, please…SPEAK UP!
Being willing to be a “squeaky wheel”…to ASK if something doesn’t seem right or make sense to you will go a long way to help you take medicine safely.


Copyright © 2009 Louise Achey