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Health Tip: Get to Know Your Pharmacist

Posted 3 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Your pharmacist may be the health professional that you see more than any other. It's important to get to know that person, since a pharmacist can support your health in many ways. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentions some examples: Discussing your medication --Pharmacists know all about medication side effects, and the best ways to use medicines. Identifying generic alternatives – Pharmacists can suggest generic alternatives to more expensive prescription drugs. Discussing medicine safety --Your pharmacist can offer advice on which over-the-counter medicines are safe to use in combination with prescription meds. Managing health issues --For example, you may be able to check your blood pressure at the pharmacy and talk to the pharmacist about the risks of high blood pressure. He or she may direct you to medical care, if needed. Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Losartan, Hydrochlorothiazide, Benicar, Diovan, Lasix, Furosemide, Ramipril, Valsartan, Minoxidil, Enalapril, Cozaar, Benazepril, Micardis, Atacand, Avapro, Nitroglycerin, Irbesartan

Taking Four or More Prescription Meds? Consider Scaling Back

Posted 1 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 31, 2017 – More than half of Americans regularly take about four prescription medications, increasing the likelihood that mistakes could occur, according to Consumer Reports. People taking multiple prescription medications should visit their doctor for a "medication checkup." By showing their doctor or pharmacist a comprehensive list of every drug they are taking, including vitamins and other dietary supplements, patients can be warned about potentially harmful interactions. They can also find out if any of these medications are no longer necessary, which would save them money. Consumer Reports encourages patients to have this type of medication review at least once a year. "Much medication use is lifesaving, without a doubt. But some drugs can potentially do more harm than good," said Lisa Gill, deputy editor of Consumer Reports. "Our concern is that inappropriate ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Lisinopril, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Ibuprofen, Opana, Naproxen, Subutex, Losartan, Dilaudid

Can You 'Om' Your Way to a Healthy Heart?

Posted 28 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 – Meditation may help reduce some risk factors for heart disease, according to a new statement from the American Heart Association. The statement, released Thursday, also noted that a healthy lifestyle and medicines to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other heart threats are the most effective ways to prevent heart disease. "Although studies of meditation suggest a possible benefit on cardiovascular risk, there hasn't been enough research to conclude it has a definite role," said Dr. Glenn Levine, chair of the statement writing group. Levine and his colleagues reviewed studies on common types of sitting meditation, such as Zen meditation, Raja yoga and transcendental meditation, and their effects on heart disease risk factors. The investigators concluded that these types of meditation may be associated with decreased stress, anxiety and ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Amlodipine, Losartan, High Cholesterol, Benicar, Diovan, Diltiazem, Lasix, Norvasc, Furosemide, Verapamil, Nifedipine, Valsartan, Minoxidil, Cozaar, Cardizem, Micardis, Atacand, Avapro

Some May Need a Little Help Monitoring Blood Pressure at Home

Posted 17 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Sept. 16, 2017 – Home blood pressure monitoring is on the upswing in the United States. But some adults are less likely to do so than others, a new study finds. Lower rates of home monitoring were found among those who did not have at least a high school diploma and those with no partner, according to the study. The American Heart Association advises anyone with high blood pressure, also called hypertension, to monitor it at home. "Home monitoring allows hypertensive individuals to take ownership of their treatment and helps health care providers determine whether treatments are working," the association says in a news release. Home monitoring also may point to differences between readings at the doctor's office and at home. For the new study, researchers analyzed data from more than 6,100 adults who took part in a 2013-14 federal government health survey. They found that ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Losartan, Atenolol, Benicar, Diovan, Bystolic, Bisoprolol, Valsartan, Cozaar, Micardis, Toprol-XL, Atacand, Avapro, Irbesartan, Lopressor, Metoprolol Succinate ER, Metoprolol Tartrate, Telmisartan

As Temperatures Fall, Heart Attacks May Rise

Posted 30 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 29, 2017 – If the cold weather makes you shiver, your blood vessels and heart may be quivering, too – and that may be enough to trigger a heart attack in some people, new research suggests. The study found that more heart attacks occur when temperatures drop below freezing, suggesting people with plaques in their coronary arteries may not cope well with the body's response to cold. "There is seasonal variation in the occurrence of heart attack, with incidence declining in summer and peaking in winter," said study first author Moman Mohammad, a doctoral student from Lund University in Sweden. "It is unclear whether this is due to colder temperatures or behavioral changes," Mohammad said. The body responds to cold by narrowing superficial blood vessels, reducing heat conduction in the skin and raising blood pressure, the researchers explained. The body also shivers and ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Heart Attack, Cold Symptoms, Pseudoephedrine, Minoxidil, Phenylephrine, Nitroglycerin, Myocardial Infarction, Ranexa, Imdur, Muse, Hydralazine, Isosorbide Mononitrate, Alprostadil, Caverject, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Ephedrine, Edex, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Nitrostat

Lower Blood Pressure Best for Seniors' Minds

Posted 21 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 21, 2017 – For seniors and particularly blacks with high blood pressure, lowering it may help keep their minds sharp, a new study suggests. The association between high blood pressure and the risk for mental decline is well-documented. But the ideal systolic blood pressure for older adults has been less clear-cut, with recommended targets ranging from 150 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) to 120 mm Hg. Systolic blood pressure, the amount of pressure exerted by the heart as it pumps blood throughout the body, is the top or first number in a blood pressure reading. Recent evidence has suggested that while people in general benefit from a systolic blood pressure of 120 mm Hg or less, older adults might fare better with a higher systolic pressure. But this latest study found that lower systolic pressure was best for seniors. "Lower blood pressure levels are safe and probably ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Losartan, Benicar, Dementia, Diovan, Ramipril, Valsartan, Enalapril, Cozaar, Benazepril, Micardis, Atacand, Avapro, Irbesartan, Perindopril, Telmisartan, Candesartan, Mild Cognitive Impairment

Could Newborn Heart Stem Cells Jump-Start Old Hearts?

Posted 15 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 15, 2017 – Stem cells from young hearts might breathe new life into aging ones, research in rats suggests. In the study, a special type of stem cells was taken from the hearts of newborn rats and injected into the hearts of old rats, average age 22 months. Other rats from the same age group were given saline shots instead. Baseline heart function was measured in all the rats, using echocardiograms, treadmill stress tests and blood analysis. The group of older rats underwent an additional round of testing one month after receiving the stem cells from the hearts of the young rats. The old rats who were given stem cells showed better heart function, a 20 percent increase in exercise capacity and, oddly enough, an improved ability to regrow hair. "Our previous lab studies and human clinical trials have shown promise in treating heart failure using cardiac [heart] stem cell ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Losartan, Benicar, Diovan, Ramipril, Valsartan, Enalapril, Cozaar, Benazepril, Micardis, Atacand, Avapro, Irbesartan, Perindopril, Telmisartan, Candesartan, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Olmesartan, Quinapril, Edarbi

Steep Price Hikes Led to Drop in Use of 2 Heart Drugs at U.S. Hospitals

Posted 10 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 9, 2017 – After steep price hikes, use of two common heart medications declined significantly in U.S. hospitals, a new study shows. The drugs, nitroprusside (Nitropress) and isoproterenol (Isuprel), have been used for decades. The findings disprove claims that price increases do not reduce patient access to and use of certain medications, the Cleveland Clinic researchers said. "In public testimony, it had been stated that these price increases would not decrease patient access or utilization of these two critical drugs, both of which have been used for decades in patient care," said lead author Dr. Umesh Khot, vice chairman of cardiovascular medicine. "However, our research shows that these price hikes are not benign. Further research will determine if there has been any effect on patient outcomes, but it's clear that utilization has been impacted," Khot said in a ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Nitroglycerin, Heart Block, Nitrostat, Nitro-Bid, Dobutamine, Hypertensive Emergency, Nitro-Dur, NitroQuick, Nitrolingual Pumpspray, Minitran, Hypertensive Congestive Heart Failure, Nitrostat Tablets, GoNitro, Dobutrex, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Nitro-Time, Nitrong, Deponit

More U.S. Airports Offer Hands-Only CPR Training

Posted 26 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 25, 2017 – Hands-only CPR training is now available at kiosks in three more major U.S. airports, bringing the total number to seven. The three airports are Cleveland Hopkins International, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, and Orlando International, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Since 2016, more than 20,000 visitors have learned hands-only CPR from the kiosks at O'Hare International in Chicago, Indianapolis International, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and Baltimore-Washington International, the AHA said. "Only 46 percent of people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive bystander CPR before professional help arrives," said Dr. Clifton Callaway, a volunteer on the AHA's Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee and a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. "The airport kiosks have proven to be an ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Metoprolol, Losartan, Atenolol, Heart Attack, Propranolol, Benicar, Diovan, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Valsartan, Coreg, Enalapril, Minoxidil, Sotalol, Cozaar, Inderal, Benazepril

'Simple 7' Steps Can Help Improve Blood Pressure in Blacks

Posted 5 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – Just a few healthy lifestyle habits can reduce black Americans' risk of high blood pressure, researchers say. "We found that even small improvements in cardiovascular health can reduce risk for developing high blood pressure," said study lead author John Booth III, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Nearly one-third of American adults have high blood pressure, but it is more common among blacks than whites. Among blacks, 45 percent of men and 46 percent of women have high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke. For the study, Booth's team assessed how closely more than 5,000 black Americans followed modifiable healthy behaviors recommended by the heart association. The AHA's "Life's Simple 7" guidelines include: not smoking; ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Weight Loss, Losartan, Atenolol, Propranolol, High Cholesterol, Benicar, Diovan, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Valsartan, Coreg, Enalapril, Minoxidil

Home Blood Pressure Monitors Wrong 7 of 10 Times: Study

Posted 14 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 14, 2017 – Millions of older people often turn to do-it-yourself home blood pressure monitors to track that vital health sign. But a small, new Canadian study suggests that readings from the devices are wrong most of the time and could put patients at risk. A team led by Jennifer Ringrose, of the University of Alberta in Calgary, tested dozens of home monitors used by 85 patients averaging 66 years of age. The researchers found the units weren't accurate within five mmHg of blood pressure about 70 percent of the time. And the devices were off the mark by at least 10 mmHg about 30 percent of the time, the investigators added. That inaccuracy could have serious consequences for people's health, Ringrose said. "Monitoring for and treating hypertension [high blood pressure] can decrease the consequences of this disease," she said. "We need to make sure that home blood ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Losartan, Atenolol, Propranolol, Benicar, Diovan, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Valsartan, Coreg, Enalapril, Minoxidil, Sotalol, Cozaar, Inderal

Many People Don't Take Their High Blood Pressure Meds: Study

Posted 7 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 6, 2017 – Only 20 percent of patients seeking care for stubborn high blood pressure take all the medicine they're supposed to, a new Dutch study finds. "Another 20 percent are not taking any of their blood pressure medications," study senior author Dr. Peter Blankestijn said in an American Heart Association news release. As a result, patients sought care for a condition they could have addressed by simply following their doctor's orders, the findings suggested. "People mistakenly thought to have resistant hypertension – which is high blood pressure despite taking three or more medications – end up seeing specialists and undergoing extra tests because we don't understand why they are so difficult to treat," said Blankestijn. He is a professor of nephrology and hypertension at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands. The researchers didn't set out to ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Amlodipine, Atenolol, Hydrochlorothiazide, Spironolactone, Diltiazem, Lasix, Bystolic, Norvasc, Furosemide, Verapamil, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Nifedipine, Minoxidil, Enalapril, Cardizem

Heart Disease Affects Far More Than the Heart

Posted 14 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 14, 2017 – Heart disease affects more than just the heart. It also can take a toll on the legs, feet, kidneys and even the brain, according to vascular surgery experts. Heart disease is a general term, usually linked to arteriosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries," the Society for Vascular Surgery explained. Arteriosclerosis is a progressive disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries. As the arteries become blocked, it becomes harder for oxygen-rich blood to flow throughout the body, said Dr. Ali AbuRahma, secretary of the society. AbuRahma is also chief of vascular-endovascular surgery at West Virginia University's Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) develops when heart disease affects the legs and feet. This condition affects about 8.5 million people in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Losartan, Heart Disease, Benicar, Diovan, Ramipril, Insulin Resistance, Valsartan, Enalapril, Minoxidil, Cozaar, Benazepril, Micardis, Atacand, Avapro, Nitroglycerin, Irbesartan

Calcium Buildup in Young Arteries May Signal Heart Attack Risk

Posted 8 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – Young adults with any amount of calcified plaque in their arteries are already at risk of a heart attack, a new study finds. Among those 32 to 46 years old, even a little calcified plaque – called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries – can boost the odds for fatal or nonfatal heart disease fivefold over the next 12 years, researchers found. "Heart disease really begins in adolescence and early adulthood," said lead researcher Dr. Jeffrey Carr. Carr is a professor of radiology, biomedical informatics and cardiovascular medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. For the study, CT scans, which can detect these potentially deadly blockages, were performed on more than 3,000 participants whose average age was 40. Just a small amount of plaque increased the risk of heart attack over the next decade by 10 percent, regardless of other risk ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Smoking, Losartan, Atenolol, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Propranolol, High Cholesterol, Heart Failure, Benicar, Congestive Heart Failure, Diovan, Spironolactone, Lasix, Bystolic

Know Your Heart's Numbers

Posted 7 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 7, 2017 – More than two-thirds of Americans fret about heart disease, but few know the specific information that can help them boost their heart health, a new survey finds. "Studies have suggested the majority of coronary artery disease events can be prevented by addressing treatable risk factors," said Dr. Steve Nissen, chair of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. "That means, a little knowledge regarding your 'numbers' could go a long way to helping keep your heart healthy and avoiding future problems," he added in a clinic news release. Treatable risk factors for heart disease include blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI - an estimate of body fat based on height and weight), waist circumference, blood sugar and weight. The telephone survey of just over 1,000 adults, aged 18 and older, found that 68 percent were worried about heart disease. But ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Vitamins, Metoprolol, Losartan, Atenolol, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Benicar, Diovan, Spironolactone, Lasix, Multivitamin, Bystolic, Furosemide, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Fish Oil, Valsartan

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