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Why is it important to take your medication?

Skipping, modifying or ignoring your medication can be bad for your health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 50% of patients do not take their medications as prescribed by their doctor. Are you taking your medications as prescribed?

Medication adherence, or taking medications correctly, is generally defined as the extent to which patients take medication as prescribed by their doctors. This involves factors such as getting prescriptions filled, remembering to take medication on time, and understanding the directions.
Common barriers to medication adherence include:

  • The inability to pay for medications
  • Disbelief that the treatment is necessary or helping
  • Difficulty keeping up with multiple medications and complex dosing schedules
  • Confusion about how and when to take the medication

Poor adherence can interfere with the ability to treat many diseases, leading to greater complications from the illness and a lower quality of life for patients. Here are some examples of areas in which medication adherence can pose challenges, along with tips for taking medications correctly and talking with your doctor or pharmacist about your questions and concerns.

Taking your medication as prescribed can possibly:

  • Improve survival
  • Decrease symptoms
  • Prevent hospitalization
  • Lower costs

So, it’s important to follow the directions that are on your prescription bottle. For example:

  • Take your medicine the right way. The label may say to take twice daily, or with or without food.
  • For the right amount of time. If your prescription says to take until finished, or do not abruptly stop taking it; follow those instructions.
  • Take the right amount. If you are to take 2 tablets twice a day, don’t adjust and take more thinking it will make you feel better, or take less thinking it will last longer. If your prescription is in a liquid form, be sure to get a dosage cup so you know exactly how much to pour each time and avoid the teaspoon vs. Tablespoon confusion.
  • Take it at the right time. You may be instructed to take your medicine at bedtime, or early in the morning.

Our pharmacists can help you stay on track with your prescriptions be offering these services:

  • Auto Refill: We will call you when your refills are due.
  • Medication Sync: We can align all of your medications to fill once a month.
  • Blister Packing: We can put your prescribed doses in blister packs to make remembering to take (and if you took) your medications easier.
  • Mobile App: Use our app to scan and refill your prescriptions.
  • Texting: We can text you when your prescription is ready.
  • Drive-thru or Curbside Service: Our Rocky Point location features a Drive-thru and our Hampstead location offers curbside service for your convenience.
  • Spanish Translation: Hablamos Español.

If you have any questions about our medication, please ask a pharmacist. And be sure your doctor and pharmacist know all the medications you are taking. It could save your life!

Child ID Kits are here!

According to FBI crime statistics, there are nearly 650,000 missing kids reported every year in the United States. As part of our back-to-school safety initiative, we are providing FREE Child ID Kits at both of our stores. More information about the kit is found below, but that’s just part of keeping our kids safe. We as parents know that the world can be a scary place and we don’t even like to think about the possibility of something bad happening to our kids. Part of educating our kids beyond reading and writing is instilling good safety habits.

Here are some tips to begin building a strong foundation of safety awareness:

  • Talk about safety with you child in ways that teaches them to use caution and be aware of their surrounding.
  • Encourage your child to trust their intuition and let them know they can come to you and tell you when something feels wrong.
  • Do they know their name and address? Be sure they know their full name, address and phone number, as well as where you work and your phone number. Also teach them to dial 911 in an emergency.
  • Teach your child the rules about strangers. Let them know that adults should not ask children for help, and adults should never threaten children. Make sure your child understands they should never go anywhere with an adult they don’t know — even if it is to help them find their missing puppy.
  • Never label clothing, backpacks or personal items with your child’s name or information. This is an easy way for a stranger to approach your child and pretend to know your child and gain their trust.
  • Teach your child what to do if they get lost or separated from you in a public place. Make a point to show them where to meet if they can’t find you and show them adults they can approach if they are in trouble, like police officers, firefighters, or store clerks if they get lost in a department store.
  • Let your child know that their body belongs to them. No one has the right to touch them inappropriately. If someone is making them feel uncomfortable, let them know to tell you right away.
  • Do you know where your child is? It sounds simple, but with the busy lives that we live and everyone seeming to be going in different directions, it’s easy to lose track. Keep a list of your child’s activities, and addresses and phone numbers for places they frequent. So, in the event of an emergency you, friends, or family can get to them quickly.
  • Create a secret Code Word. Tell your child that if anyone approaches them and says they are a family friend, they must ask for the code word. If the person is really a friend, they will know the word. If they don’t know the code word, tell you child to run away as quickly as possible.
  • Remember to update your child’s records every few months. Younger children grow and change quickly and even small changes in height, weight and hair styles can significantly alter their appearance. Most people have phones with a camera, so take frequent pictures of them. It’s also a good idea to note any birthmarks, scars or other identifying marks in addition to their physical characteristics like hair and eye color.

There is no waiting period required to report a missing child to the police.

In the event your child does go missing, it’s important to have the latest and most up-to-date identification records for them. Many lost and abducted children can be recovered if parents can provide police with a complete record of identification. The Child ID Kits that are available at our stores will help parents create a confidential and comprehensive record of their child’s personal and medical information to immediately give to police. Every second is important when searching for missing children and most of us would not be thinking clearly if such an event should occur. This FREE kit will help save time and speed up the search process.

Each kit is individually packaged in a heavy gauge, clear, protective plastic sleeve and contains:

  • A 1”x 5” non-toxic fingerprinting ink strip
  • A heavy gauge freezer-safe bag for a DNA hair sample or cheek swabs
  • Space to record complete contact, personal, medical, and physical information
  • Space to store a 4” x 6” photograph
  • A 10-finger fingerprint chart
  • Dental charts for permanent and baby teeth
  • Two pages of essential educational safety tips

Store the booklet in a safe, accessible place, and update it annually (or every few months if you have small children).

Come by our store in Hampstead or Rocky Point and get your free kit today!

Bone Density

The older you get the greater your risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which bones are brittle, weak and more likely to break. People with osteoporosis most often break bones in the hip, spine, and wrist. There are no signs or symptoms of osteoporosis. You might not know you have the disease until you break a bone. That’s why it’s so important to get a bone density test to measure your bone strength.

A bone mineral density (BMD) test is like an x-ray or scan of your body. A bone density test estimates the true mass of the bone. It doesn’t hurt, and you don’t need to do anything to prepare for it. It only takes about 15 minutes. By measuring BMD, it is possible to predict fracture risk. A BMD test is recommended for all women between the ages of 50 and 65 with risk factors such as family history, bone structure and body weight, and ethnicity, to name a few. The test is recommended for all women over the age of 65. Men and women who take certain medications or have certain diseases should talk to their doctor about having a bone density test, too. Men over 65 who have concerns about osteoporosis, should talk to their doctor about a bone density test.

  • About 40% of postmenopausal women in the U.S. have osteopenia (low bone density). An additional 7% have osteoporosis (substantially low bone density).
  • One in three women and one of five men over the age of 50 will experience a bone fracture related to osteoporosis.
  • About 33% of people who suffer a hip fracture are totally dependent or in a nursing home in the year following the fracture, stressing the importance of early detection and appropriate therapy.
  • Osteoporosis has many available prescription and nonprescription treatment options once the diagnosis is made.

These things can also increase your risk for osteoporosis:

  • Hormone changes (especially for women who have gone through menopause)
  • Not getting enough calcium and Vitamin D
  • Taking certain medicines
  • Smoking cigarettes or drinking too much alcohol
  • Not getting enough physical activity

If you have osteoporosis, you can still slow down bone loss. Finding and treating this disease early can keep you healthier and more active, lowering your chances of breaking a bone.

Get enough calcium.
Calcium helps keep your bones strong. Good sources of calcium include:

  • Low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Broccoli and greens
  • Tofu with added calcium
  • Orange juice with added calcium
  • Calcium pills

Get enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Your body makes vitamin D when you are out in the sun. You can also get vitamin D from:

  • Salmon or tuna
  • Fat-free or low-fat milk and yogurt with added vitamin D
  • Breakfast cereals and juices with added vitamin D
  • Vitamin D pills

Get active.
Physical activity can help slow down bone loss. Weight-bearing activities (like running or doing jumping jacks) help keep your bones strong.

  • Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity. If you are new to exercise, start with 10 minutes of activity at a time.
  • Do strengthening activities at least 2 days a week. These include lifting weights or using resistance bands (long rubber strips that stretch).
  • Find an exercise buddy or go walking with friends. You will be more likely to stick with it if you exercise with other people.

You don’t need special equipment or a gym membership to stay active. Check with your local community center or senior center to find fun, low-cost, or free exercise options.

If you have a health condition or a disability, be as active as you can be. Your doctor can help you choose activities that are right for you.

Stay away from cigarettes and alcohol.

Smoking cigarettes and drinking too much alcohol can weaken your bones. Find ways to stop smoking. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. This means no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men.

Take steps to prevent falls.

Falls can be especially serious for people with weak bones. You can make small changes to lower your risk of falling, like doing exercises that improve your balance. For example, try walking backwards or standing up from a sitting position without using your hands.

It’s never too late to get on the right track to being and staying healthy!