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Project Lazarus

Have you heard about Project Lazarus? It could save your or a loved one’s life.

Established in 2008 in response to extremely high drug overdose death rates in Wilkes County, NC, Project Lazarus is now in a statewide partnership with Community Care of North Carolina. At one time, Wilkes County had the third highest drug overdose rate in the United States! Thanks to the research and compassion of this group, they have created locally tailored drug overdose programs to connect families and individuals to state and national resources to prevent drug overdoses.

Village Pharmacy in Hampstead is now selling Project Lazarus Rescue kits. Each kit includes two nasal atomizers  (a device used to inhale the prescription medication Naloxone from the vial), a step by step Naloxone use guide, and an overdose prevention DVD and are sold for $12 each.

Beginning April 9, we will stock the kit for easy access to the public.  Kits can also be ordered directly from Project Lazarus via:

Anyone can order the kit without a prescription, but the medication (Naloxone) to be used in conjunction with the kit in ONLY available by PRESCRIPTION. Doctors and medical providers can prescribe Naloxone to people at risk for an overdose, AND to family members, friends, or any other persons who could administer Naloxone in  the case of an overdose.

Medicaid and some private insurance companies will pay for the Naloxone.  However, at this time, we are not certain if the kit will be be covered by medicaid and/or private insurance.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please get help today by clicking this link and finding a resource near you.

The site is full of information that can help you better understand this epidemic and get you the help you need.

Diabetes Risk Test: Take it. Share it. Step Out.

The American Diabetes Association is marking its 75th anniversary with their Alert Day campaign: “Take it. Share It. Step Out.”

American Diabetes Association Alert Day, which is held every fourth Tuesday in March, is a “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Last year, over 118,000 people took the risk test from March 25 through April 25, and 37% of them were found to be at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. So, this year, we are asking on behalf of the American Diabetes Association, for all our readers to take the risk test found at diabetes.org/takeitshareit and share the test with friends and loved ones. We’ll also have copies at both of our stores for your convenience.

Not only is taking the test important, but so is the beginning of living a healthy and active lifestyle by either starting or joining a team for one of the nationwide Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes® events. ? The majority of Step Out events occur in October. The public can search and register for events at diabetes.org/stepoutalert.

Why is Alert Day important?
Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States, and more than a quarter of them—eight million—do not even know they have it. An additional 86 million have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes 7 to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop.

Early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing complications such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Blindness
  • Kidney disease
  • Stroke
  • Amputation
  • Death

Who should participate in Alert Day?

  • Overweight
  • Under active
  • Over 45
  • African Americans
  • Hispanics/Latinos
  • Native Americans
  • Asian Americans
  • Pacific Islanders
  • Family history of the disease

By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic in the United States, but it can be controlled with knowledge and healthy behavior.

Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7% of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating.

There are an estimated 86 million who have prediabetes. Those with prediabetes have blood glucose (sugar) higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Early intervention via lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased physical activity can help delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

The following are at greater risk for having undiagnosed diabetes:

  • Older Americans: As people grow older, they are at an increased risk for developing diabetes. One out of every four Americans 65 and older has diabetes.
  • High risk ethnic populations: African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are also at higher risk.

Get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish), as well as information about diabetes and joining or starting a team, for a Step Out event by visiting diabetes.org/alert or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).

Although Alert Day starts on March 24 and continues through April 21st, the Diabetes Risk Test is available online year-round.


Source: The American Diabetes Association

Poison Prevention Week

A poisoning is when someone swallows, breathes, touches or gets splashed in the eye with a substance that can cause sickness or death. Many times the substances alone are not poisonous. An adult may take an aspirin to ease some pain, but when a two-year-old ingests a handful of pills thinking they’re candy, it can result in a much more serious issue.

Though your home is an environment where you think you have the most control, 90% of all poisonings occur in the home.

Top 5 causes of poisoning:

  • Painkillers
  • Cosmetic or personal products
  • Household cleaning products
  • Foreign bodies, toys and other objects
  • Sedatives, hypnotics and antipsychotics medicine

How common is poisoning?

  • Drug-related poisonings cause nearly 700,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms each year.
  • Poisonings cause more than 35,000 deaths each year.

Who’s at risk?

  • Children under then age of 6 years old account for half of all poisonings.
  • More than 60,000 young children end up in emergency departments every year because they got into medicines while their parent or caregiver wasn’t looking.
  • 92% of poisoning deaths occur among people over the age of 20.

Here are some simple precautions you can share with your friends and family to help prevent poisoning accidents from occurring in your home:

How to prevent poisonings:

  • Keep all medicines – including prescriptions or over-the-counter –  and vitamins out of reach. Find a storage place that is too high for a child to reach or see. This could even be the top of your refrigerator.
  • Never leave medicines out on a kitchen counter or bedside table. Put them away every time you use them – even if you use them every day.
  • Make sure the safety cap is locked. If the bottle has a locking cap, be sure to twist it until you hear the click or cannot twist it anymore. Some children can open lids, too –so store them away after each use.
  • Teach your children about medicine safety. Tell your children what medicine is and why they need you to give it to them. Don’t encourage them by telling them that  medicine is candy.
  • Tell guests about medicine safety. Ask visitors and house guests to keep purses, bags, coats, etc, that have medicines in them to keep them up and away from children while they are in your home. Grandparents who have pill boxes and haven’t had young children in the house for many years may need to be reminded to keep their medications out of the reach of children.
  • Store cleaning products in an area which is away from food and not accessible to young children or pets.
  • Store products in their original containers and keep the original label intact. Product use and storage, disposal instructions, precautions and first aid instructions vary according to their ingredients. It can be dangerous to use a product incorrectly or to follow the wrong emergency procedures.
  •  Put cleaning products away immediately after use. This will help limit accessibility to young children and help prevent accidental spills.
  • Keep buckets containing cleaning solutions out of the reach of young children.
  • Don’t Mix cleaning products. Products which are safe when used alone can sometimes cause dangerous fumes if mixed with other products.
  • Don’t Reuse an empty household cleaning product container for any other purpose. The label instructions and precautions for the original product may be inaccurate or dangerous if used for a different product.

If you do find yourself facing a suspected poisoning, the Poisoning Help line is open year-round 24 hours a day and is staffed by nurses, pharmacists, doctors and poison experts year-round.

Be sure to program the poison prevention hotline number into your home and mobile phones: 1-800-222-1222

Sources: American Cleaning Institute and Poison Prevention.org

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month - Are you 50 or older? Time to get screenedColon cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups, and is most often found in people 50 years or older. It is the third most common cancer in the United States, behind only lung and prostate cancers in men and lung and breast cancers in women.

However, if everyone 50 years or older had a regular screening test, then as many as 80% of deaths from colon cancer could be prevented.

Screening tests detect precancerous polyps and allows them to be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colon cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.

Quick facts:

  • Colon cancer is the second leading cause of all cancer-related deaths in the U.S.
  • On average, your risk is about 1 in 20, although this varies widely according to individual risk factors.
  • 90% of new cases occur in people 50 or older.
  • People with a first-degree relative (parent, sibling or offspring) who has colon cancer have 2 to 3 times the risk of developing the disease.
  • Most colon cancers develop first as colorectal polyps, which are abnormal growths inside the colon or rectum that may later become cancerous.

Symptoms may include:

  • A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool
  • Feeling that your bowel does not empty completely, rectal bleeding, or finding blood (either bright red or very dark) in your stool
  • Finding your stools are narrower than usual
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, pain, or feeling full or bloated
  • Losing weight with no known reason
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Having nausea or vomiting

These symptoms can also be associated with many other health conditions. Only your doctor can determine why you’re having these symptoms. Usually, early cancer does not cause pain. It is important not to wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor.

  • All men and women should be screened for colon cancer beginning at age 50, if not earlier.
  • People with personal or family history of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or are experiencing symptoms are considered “high risk” and should begin screening before age 50.
  • African Americans should begin screening at the age of 45.

If you’re turning 50 or are experiencing abnormal symptoms, make an appointment today to get screened. and tell your loved ones to do the same.

When choosing a screening method, remember that each test has its advantages and disadvantages. We encourage you to talk to your doctor and educate yourself on the effectiveness, costs, and risks in order to select the best method for you.

The majority of colon cancer patients do not have a family history or genetic connection to the disease. This is when the cancer occurs by chance, and is often called “sporadic cancer.”

However, in some families, we see more cancer than we would expect. About one in four patients have a family history of colon cancer that could suggest a genetic and/or hereditary factor.

If you have a family history, you may need to be screened at age 40, or 10 years before the youngest case in your immediate family, whichever is earlier.

Take the quiz to see if you’re at risk.


Two new drugs recently approved by the FDA

Two new drugs have recently been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Avycaz (ceftazidime-avibactam), is a new antibacterial drug product, to treat adults with complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI), in combination with metronidazole, and complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI), including kidney infections (pyelonephritis), who have limited or no alternative treatment options.

Avycaz is a fixed-combination drug containing ceftazidime, a previously approved cephalosporin antibacterial drug, and avibactam, a new beta-lactamase inhibitor.

“It is important that the use of Avycaz be reserved to situations when there are limited or no alternative antibacterial drugs for treating a patient’s infection”, says Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Avycaz is the fifth approved antibacterial drug product designated as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP). This designation is given to antibacterial products to treat serious or life-threatening infections under the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) title of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act. And as part of its QIDP designation, Avycaz was given priority review, which provides an expedited review of the drug’s application.

The FDA has also given approval for a long-term birth control option for women. Actavis and Medicines360 announced that the FDA has approved their levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (Liletta) for the prevention of pregnancy for up to 3 years.

A plastic T-shaped intrauterine device (IUD) inserted in the uterus by a health care professional, Liletta works by slowly releasing levonorgestrel at an average of 15.6 mcg/day over a 3-year period.

“At Actavis, we are committed to developing alternative forms of contraceptive options,” said Actavis Executive Vice President David Nicholson, PhD, in a press release. “With the FDA’s approval of Liletta, we are pleased to offer women a novel IUD which provides three years of safe and effective contraception.”

The FDA based its nod on a clinical trial evaluating Liletta in 1751 women. The research team deemed the contraceptive system safe and effective in women regardless of age, parity, or body mass index, with the system achieving a 3-year efficacy rate of 99.45%. Of the trial participants who chose to discontinue the study early, 97% returned to menses within three months after the system’s removal. Additionally, in a group of women trying to conceive, 87% became pregnant within one year of removal, with some women conceiving as soon as 12 days after removal.

“This new hormonal IUD was proven more than 99% effective in the largest ever IUD trial conducted in the US. It offers a long-term, highly-effective yet reversible option to prevent pregnancy for many women regardless of whether or not they’ve had a child before,” said the study’s principal investigator and lead author, David L. Eisenberg, MD. “This long-acting reversible contraceptive is a desirable option for women looking to prevent pregnancy.”

Approximately 19% and 33% of trial participants treated with Liletta experienced amenorrhea within 1 year of treatment and after 3 years of treatment, respectively. As a result of the collaboration between Actavis and Medicines360, Liletta will be both commercially available and accessible at a lower cost at public health clinics enrolled in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

“The FDA’s approval of Liletta marks an important milestone for women, providers, and the reproductive health community. Liletta was designed from the beginning to be accessible by women, regardless of socioeconomic status,” said Medicines360 COO Pamela Weir. “In the past, many barriers including expensive upfront costs or lack of insurance coverage have prevented women from obtaining IUDs.”

Actavis and Medicines360 plan to launch Liletta in the United States in the second quarter of 2015, according to a manufacturer press release.

Sources: U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Pharmacy Times