Medication Safety

How are you safely storing and disposing of your unused medication? Safely disposing of old, unneeded, or unused medication is something that is extremely important. Not disposing of medication in the proper manner can lead to drug abuse, addiction, poisoning, and may even be fatal. Making sure that unused medications are being monitored, are secure, and disposed of can help to stop these things from happening.

Monitor:

Monitoring your medication to make sure that no pills are missing and that you aren’t getting refills more frequently than normal, can help to ensure that no one is getting into your medication. If your child or someone who you’re taking care of is prescribed a medication make sure to hold onto them and give them when needed. By doing this you can help to ensure that they are not taking more than they are supposed. It is also extremely important to make sure that you keep your medication safely stored at required temperatures.

Location Temperature Medication Examples
Room 15C to 25C

(59F to 77F)

Methotrexate, Otrexup, Otezla
Refrigerated 2C to 8C

(35F to 46F)

Humira, Enbrel, Cimzia, Simponi

 

Secure:

Securing your medication in the manner that you would your valuables is the best and safest way to go. Keeping your medication in a locked cabinet or in a place that only you know about, ensures that no one can get into your medication but you. Two-thirds of teens that abuse medication, got it from their parents’ medication cabinet or from a friend that took if from their parents’ medication cabinets. Making sure that medication is secure is extremely important.

Dispose:

Disposing of your medications in the proper manner is important. Don’t flush medication down the drain and don’t just throw it in the trash. Some medications have very harmful and toxic side effects, so flushing them down the drain may be dangerous. Pharmacies can’t take your unused or old medication because it is against the law. You can send your medication to a drug mail back program, find a take back location, or use a drug deactivation bag. An alternative option if you can’t get to a site designated to take back medication, after removing all of your personal information you may mix (uncrushed) medication with cat litter or dirt and place it in a plastic bag and throw it away. The proper way to dispose of used needles, syringes, and pens is in a Sharps container. To get a sharps container please reach out to the manufacturer of your drug.

Sharps Containers Contact Information 

Drug Website Phone Number
Humira: Humira Complete https://www.humira.com/humira-complete

 

 

800-448-6472

Enbrel: Enbrel Support https://www.enbrel.com/support/enbrel 888-436-2735
Forteo: Forteo Connect https://www.forteo.com/savings/forteo 866-436-7836
Cimzia: Cimplicty Support Program https://www.cimzia.com/cimplicity-program 844-599-2223
Simponi: Jansen CarePath https://www.janssencarepath.com/patient/simponi/patient 877-227-3728
Cosentyx:

Cosentyx Connect

https://www.cosentyx.com/cosentyx-connect-personal-support-program 844-267-3689

The DEA website or the American Medicine Chest Challenge provides specifics on how and where to properly dispose of your medication. If you have any questions on how to find this information, please reach out to the DEA Division Control Center at 1-800-882-9539.

References:

Take Action to Address Medicine Abuse

 

Alcohol Awareness

April is national Alcohol awareness month. Alcohol addiction is a chronic, progressive disease, genetically predisposed and fatal if untreated. Drinking too much alcohol may lead to liver disease, some forms of cancer, risk of injury, and violence. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and at high concentrations it can induce coma, respiratory depression, and death. Alcohol comes in many forms such as ethanol, methanol, ethylene glycol, and isopropyl alcohol. The main form consumed in alcoholic beverages is Ethanol.

Drinking Levels

There are levels to drinking alcohol and although harmful at any amount, drinking in moderation is always safer. The different levels include Moderate, Binge, and Heavy. Level one is moderate drinking, which is up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. Level two is binge drinking, which is 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men in about 2 hours and brings the blood alcohol concentration levels to 80 mg/dL. Level three is heavy drinking, which is 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days.

Blood Alcohol Concentrations and the Clinical effects

50-100 mg/dL: Sedation, slower reaction times

100-200 mg/dL: Slurred speech, impaired motor function

200-300 mg/dL: stupor, emesis

300-400 mg/dL: coma

>400: Respiratory depression, death

Acute Effects

Gastrointestinal (decreased motility)

Renal (increased production of urine)

Vascular Smooth Muscle (hypothermia)

Skin (increased temperature of the skin)

Cardiovascular (depresses the heart)

Chronic Effects

Liver (fatty liver, cirrhosis)

Neurotoxicity (abnormal eye movement)

Cancer (mouth, esophagus, larynx)

Immune (pancreas and inflammation of the liver)

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Cardiovascular (heart failure, irregular heart beat)

Treatment

Withdrawal syndrome Abuse/Alcoholism

Librium Campral

Valium Antabuse

Ativan Vivitrol

Serax

Thiamine

These treatment options are only provided if a patient is being treated for alcohol dependence in an inpatient or outpatient clinic. During this the time the patient is also going through counseling and may be seeing a doctor regularly.

Consuming alcohol while taking any medications can be extremely harmful and sometimes fatal. A lot of medications that are metabolized through the liver have a risk of causing liver toxicity (such as some rheumatoid arthritis medications), and alcohol also has the same risk. Consuming both at the same time puts a person at a greater risk of cirrhosis of the liver. It is extremely important to consume a safe amount of alcohol at all times and not to combine it with any medications.

References

https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2017-12-22/can-you-drink-alcohol-if-you-have-rheumatoid-arthritis

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/alcohol/art-20044551 https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/what-standard-drink

https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/AprilToolkit.aspx

Monthly Education Topic: PAIN

September is the official month of Pain Awareness. Organizations come together with a common goal to bring awareness and highlight how pain affects individuals, families, communities and the nation. For more information, please visit the American Chronic Pain Association website to learn how different partnerships have come together to help educate and remove traditional stigma associated with chronic pain.

Click Here for our Pain Informational Handout

2018 FOSRX/FAST Pharmacy Scholarship Winners Announced 

Factor One Source FAST Pharmacy (FOSRX/FAST) announced today that it has selected four worthy recipients to award a combined worth of $11,000 of scholarships for the 2018-2019 school year to: Isaiah Reeves of Iowa City, Josh Williams of New Albany, OH, Emily Manning of Tallahassee, FL, and Chance Abrams of Birmingham AL.

All past and current recipients of the FOSRX/FAST Scholarship not only demonstrate extraordinary academic, extracurricular, and personal backgrounds, they also all live with chronic illnesses. The FOSRX/FAST scholarship program is part of an FOSRX/FAST initiative to support people living with life-long disorders/diseases to achieve academic success despite their diagnoses.

“Providing these scholarships will help the lives of four exceptional and deserving people who show promising futures despite challenging life circumstances,” FOSRX/FAST CEO, Sajal Roy said. “They are capable of achieving great things in their future college experiences and represent our company values well.”

After receiving their highest volume of applicants to date, the FOSRX/FAST Scholarship Committee for identified outstanding candidates for the FOSRX/FAST Scholarship Program based on their personal statements, academic achievements, extracurricular involvements, financial need, and potential future impact.  Since 2014, Factor One Source Pharmacy has publicly awarded over $30,000 in scholarships to 12 students across the nation and plans to continue awarding outstanding applicants annually.

“Our communities will benefit by enabling ambitious students to fully develop their talents and achieve their goals,” Roy said.

FOSRX/FAST is a nationwide specialty pharmacy focused on customized care and providing medications and services to people with complex or hard-to-manage conditions. While FOSRX/FAST has brick and mortar locations in Maryland, Louisiana and Texas, it is also licensed and able to serve patients in all 50 of the United States with a variety of medical conditions. To learn more about the Factor One Source FAST Pharmacy, click here, and to learn more about the FOSRX/FAST Scholarship Program, click here.

Listed below are the 2018 FOSRX/FAST Scholarship winners, their associated hometown, diagnosis, the college or university they will be/are attending, and their plans for the future. 

Silver Scholarship Recipient ($1,000): 

Emily Manning, from Tallahassee, Florida lives with a rare disorder of the blood called Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). While working full time, receiving regular treatments, and coaching incoming students, Emily is also pursuing an internship for her master’s degree in Social Work. She is a mentor, volunteer, teacher, researcher, and a soon-to-be MSW graduate from Florida State University.

“This scholarship does not only change my life but sustains it! With a Master’s in Social Work, I hope to continue to inspire young people who are faced with similar obstacles and empower them to achieve their dreams.”-Emily Manning

Gold Scholarship Recipient ($2,500): 

Joshua Williams, from New Albany, Ohio has undergone two bone marrow transplants (BMT). Josh is attending Ohio State University majoring in Chemistry with the goal of becoming a chemical researcher. He has experience researching the usage of gene therapy to treat muscular dystrophy at a laboratory in the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and plans to earn a PhD in Chemistry working on cutting edge research.

“My goal is a career developing new materials such as new medicines or nanotechnology therapies that will help address various medical disorders. Receiving this scholarship will help me achieve that goal.” -Joshua Williams

Platinum Scholarship Recipient ($5,000): 

Isaiah Reeves is from Iowa City, IA, and is attending the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Isaiah has severe hemophilia A which requires regular infusions, plans to become a hematologist. During his sophomore year he worked under a doctor researching Factor IX clotting and plans to continue working in hemophilia-related research throughout his career.

“Medical school is a large financial endeavor, and scholarship programs like this one are extremely helpful in reducing that burden. I am excited to continue my medical education and hopefully pursue a career in hematology, where I will be able to give back to the community that has supported me throughout my life.” -Isaiah Reeves

 

Rising Healthcare Scholarship Recipient ($2,500):

Chance Abrams is from Wetumpka Alabama and lives with hemophilia A with inhibitors. Chance is majoring in pre-nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Not only does he undergo frequent treatments and maintenance for his disorder, he is also a high-achiever academically and volunteers regularly with his local hemophilia chapter. Chance aims to become a registered nurse anesthetist after he completes his undergraduate degree.

The scholarship will help benefit my future because with it, I will be able to take classes that I need to have in order to be able to apply for Nursing School next Spring.” -Chance Abrams

Monthly Education: Hepatitis

Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease of the liver which can lead to scarring, cirrhosis, or cancer of the liver. Hepatitis is also caused by other toxic substances and autoimmune disease which can present similar to viral hepatitis. There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. These 5 types are of greatest concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread.

To see more information, click here.

Monthly Education: Tuberculosis

Patients who receive biologics such as Humira, Enbrel, Actemra, etc. are at an increased risk for serious infections which may result in hospitalization and/or death. Tuberculosis may lie dormant in the body for years without notice. Biologics are medications that may suppress the immune systems function. Suppression of the immune system increases the risk that the infection will become more active.

References:

https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/medication/drug-types/biologics/precautions-biologics.php

https://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/factsheets/testing/skintesting.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/factsheets/general/tb.pdf

Scholarship FAQs

Have you heard about our scholarship program? Every year our company gives thousands of dollars away to people living with chronic/complex medical conditions seeking higher education. You can learn more on our Scholarship Page, here.

We are currently taking applications, which means we get a lot of phone calls at this time of year to ask questions or clarify certain eligibility requirements. We’d like to tackle the most common questions in this post today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can my high school age student apply now, and use the scholarship money in the future?

A: Only people attending college/university in Fall, 2018 are eligible to apply (including students at any point during their secondary education). That means high school seniors ARE able to apply if they are enrolled in college come fall semester, but that juniors, sophomores, and freshman are ineligible to apply until they are college-bound. It also sometimes means that they are competing against people in graduate or doctoral programs.

Q: I applied last year and didn’t receive the scholarship. Can I reapply?

A: YES, you can reapply. However, if you are a previous winner, you are no longer eligible. We have many new applicants every year, and want as many as possible to have the opportunity at being awarded our scholarships.

Q: Does my doctor’s office need to sign the form and fax it to you directly?

A: Many clinics have different policies on this type of thing, so we accept both electronic signatures and ink signatures that have been scanned in. Ideally you will have as few attachments as possible in your submission email to us.

Q:  Can we apply for multiple tiers of scholarship if we qualify for more than one?

A: No. Please only select the highest tier you qualify for. This is in your best interest, as the lower tiers generally have more applicants.

Q: If we applied in a previous year, can we use the same application form?

A: We do not recommend this, as eligibility requirements have changed. As we grow, we make adjustments to the process to make it easier on our committee to sort through the applicants.

Q: If I am from out of the country but plan to study abroad in the U.S., may I apply?

A: Our scholarship program is only for permanent residents of the U.S., but thanks for checking.

Q: I have been diagnosed with a condition listed under Treated Conditions, so does that mean my [son, daughter, sibling, spouse] can apply since they are in my family?

A: While we understand that a condition can affect an entire family, only the diagnosed individual may apply, and that money must be used on their own education.

Q: What does the committee look for when selecting an applicant?

A: Obviously there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this since we see a diverse group every year, and our committee votes in two rounds in order to narrow it down the the winners. What we CAN tell you is that paying attention to the instructions is important. Those who complete the instructions accurately are better positioned because it demonstrates an attention to detail. We also encourage applicants to thoughtfully write their essay section to stand out, demonstrate why they need the scholarship, and to show us who they really are through the written portion.

 

If you’d like to stay up to date on future scholarship insights and announcements, remember to follow us on social media @fosrxfast, or sign up for our scholarship newsletter on our scholarship page

 

Monthly Education: Nutrition

March is National Nutrition Month. We acknowledge that it is also Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month and Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month among other things, but have chosen to focus on nutrition this year during the month of March since it affects all patients regardless of their condition.

Nutrition Month, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

We loved this list of 27 Health and Nutrition Tips based on science, and encourage you to read it for the great advice and explanations. The list recommends things like: eating nuts, minimizing your intake of added sugars, using extra virgin olive oil, remembering to do cardio, avoiding bright lights before sleep, not overcooking/burning your meat, drinking water before meals, eating fatty fish, etc. etc.

At FOSRX/FAST, we encourage everyone to set nutritional goal that they can make steps to achieve this month through healthy eating. Share your goal with us on social media @fosrxfast!

EatRightWithMyPlate 3-18

 

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