Battling Breast Cancer This Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women and affects over 200,000 people in the United States each year. Every October, we take a month to recognize those with breast cancer and their loved ones. This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Saenz Pharmacy is honoring the battle against breast cancer and raising awareness for breast cancer screenings and treatment.

In the spirit of prevention, your McAllen pharmacist at Saenz Pharmacy has written a guide about how breast cancer is diagnosed and treated, as well as how you can reduce your risk of developing it.

Reducing Your Risk

Unfortunately, there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, but there are several things you can do to lower your risk of getting it.

Maintain a healthy weight—Weight gain and an increase in body weight have both been linked to a higher risk for breast cancer after menopause. A balanced diet and regular physical activity can help you avoid excess weight gain.

Get physically active— Many studies have shown a lower risk of breast cancer in those who exercise on a regular basis, both a moderate and vigorous amount. Read here for more information on the benefits of regular physical activity.

Stay away from alcohol or limit intake— Alcohol, even in small amounts, has been linked to an increased risk for breast cancer. Abstaining from alcohol altogether is recommended, but if you must drink, limit yourself to 1 alcoholic beverage a day.

Although these are ways to lower your risk, there are certain risk factors that are out of your control, including your gender and age. If you are concerned that you may be at risk for breast cancer, talk to your doctor about the prevention steps you can take.

Diagnosing Breast Cancer

Once breast cancer is suspected, there are a number of diagnostic tests that your doctor can run to determine if cancer is present or if the condition is benign. Doctors use three different types of test to check for the presence of breast cancer:

  • Mammogram
  • Ultrasound
  • Breast biopsy

While you will likely need to undergo one of the tests listed above to confirm, there are common symptoms that may be indicators of breast cancer. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor about your risk of breast cancer:

  • Breast pain
  • Swelling in part, or all of the breast
  • Clear or bloody nipple discharge
  • Peeling of the skin on the nipple or breast
  • Changes in the appearance or shape of your breast
  • Swelling under your arm

If you find a lump in your breast, see your doctor as soon as possible for additional tests and a physical examination. Your doctor will decide which tests need to be run and can create a treatment plan that works best for you.

Getting Treatment

Many factors, including the size, stage, and location of the tumor, will all play a part in what treatment you will receive. Your doctor will go over all the data and decide on a treatment plan moving forward.

Surgery

Surgery is the most common treatment for breast cancer. Because every case and form of breast cancer is different, there are several types of surgery that your doctor may choose to perform. Along with surgery, you may need additional forms of treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation, or hormone therapy.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of radiation to find and kill cancer cells. Depending on where the cancer is, your doctor may choose to use external beam radiation outside the body, or brachytherapy inside the body.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that can be done on its own, but it is often used alongside surgery. Chemotherapy shrinks the tumor, getting rid of it altogether or making any necessary surgery less invasive.

Hormone Therapy

The female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, can fuel the growth of breast cancer tumors. Hormone therapy is used to block the body from producing those hormones and can slow or even stop the cancer from growing.

Medications

There are certain prescription medications that can greatly reduce the risk of breast cancer or slow and stop the cancer growth.

Tamoxifen and raloxifene are prescription medications that block estrogen in breast tissue. Herceptin is another medication that is used to block the production of HER2 protein, a protein that aids in cancer cell growth.

Your doctor will work with you to find the right treatments for your specific needs. If you have any questions about your medications, your pharmacist can give you further information on those medications.

Battle Breast Cancer With the Help of Your Pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy!

The battle against breast cancer is one that many men and women in the United States face every year. This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, one of the best ways to honor those battling against breast cancer is by learning about the diagnosis and treatment of the condition, as well as how to reduce your risk of developing it.

Schedule a consultation with your McAllen pharmacists today to discuss any questions you may have regarding your medications, including those you take to treat or prevent cancer development.

Book an appointment to speak with a pharmacist regarding breast cancer medication today.

September 29th is World Heart Day

Shockingly, every year 1 in 3 deaths in the United States are caused by some form of cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, many cases of cardiovascular disease can be treated with medication or lifestyle changes, especially if the condition is caught early enough.

Because of this, each year, on September 29th, we celebrate World Heart Day by raising awareness of cardiovascular disease. Learn who is most at risk for cardiovascular disease and what you can do to reduce that risk from your McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy.

What is Cardiovascular Disease?

Cardiovascular disease refers to a number of conditions dealing with the heart and blood vessels. These conditions include: heart disease, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia, and heart valve problems.

Who is Most at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease?

Cardiovascular disease can develop for a number of reasons, but studies have shown that common risk factors include the following conditions and behaviors:

    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Regular smoking
    • Infrequent exercise
    • Unhealthy eating
    • Excess weight
    • Diabetes

If you think you might be at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss medication or lifestyle changes that might help you avoid or delay any issues.

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease?

Although there are some risk factors that make you more likely to develop cardiovascular disease regardless of your lifestyle choices, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Before making any medical decisions, be sure to consult with your physician.

1.Avoid smoking and tobacco use.

Cigarette smoke has been shown to reduce the oxygen in your blood, making your heart work twice as hard to supply oxygen to your body and resulting in increased blood pressure and heart rate. The chemicals in tobacco can also cause damage to your heart and blood vessels.

2.Stay active.

Exercising on a daily basis will help you control your weight and reduce your chance of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. If physical activity is hard to fit into your day, start with just 5 minutes of moving and work your way up to longer time spans. For many, they find it easy to start by doing chores around the house such as gardening, mowing, and vacuuming.

3.Follow a heart-healthy diet.

Eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, protect your heart and
improve your blood pressure and cholesterol. A heart-healthy diet should rely heavily on the following foods:

    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Beans/legumes
    • Lean meats
    • Low-fat or fat-free dairy
    • Whole grains
    • Healthy fats

Ultimately, the easiest way to start eating a healthy diet is by adding more color to your plate. If you are still unsure how to improve your diet, speak with your doctor or a nutritionist for guidance.

4.Maintain a healthy weight.

Excess weight can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes, which makes you more likely to develop heart disease. To find out what a healthy weight for yourself is, consult your doctor or medical professional. They will be able to advise you on the best diet and exercise plan for your body type.

5.Get a good night’s rest.

The average adult needs at least 7 hours of sleep. Those who do not get good, quality sleep are at a higher risk for obesity, high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes, and depression. If you find yourself still tired after a full-night’s sleep, see your doctor to find out if there is an underlying issue.

6.Find a productive way to manage stress.

For many, stress is dealt with in an unhealthy way by overeating, drinking, and smoking. This can do further damage to your heart as stress itself can lead to high blood pressure and put you at a greater risk for a heart attack or stroke. Some productive ways for dealing with stress include: deep breathing, meditation, exercising, and yoga.

7.Get screened on a regular basis.

Having high blood pressure and cholesterol can do major damage to your heart and blood vessels. Those dealing with these conditions are often unaware of the issue until they are screened for the condition in a doctor’s office. Once patients know for sure, they can receive the proper treatment.

8.Take your medication as directed.

Conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are often managed through the use of medication. For the best results and greatest benefit to your health, always take your medication as prescribed by your doctor. If you have questions on how to take your medication or how it will react with other medications you are taking, talk to your pharmacist or physician.

Celebrate World Heart Day with Your Pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy!

Keeping your heart healthy is the key to living a long, and happy life. While you may not be able to avoid falling into risk groups, you can make choices that will help protect your heart as you age.

If you have questions regarding your medication and how it affects your heart health, make an appointment to speak with one of our knowledgeable McAllen pharmacists.

Schedule a consult with your McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy to get assistance on how to properly take your medication.

How To Prepare a Diabetes Emergency Kit

For those with diabetes, having easy access to an emergency kit is critical to protecting their health and safety in case an emergency should arise. Because such a kit can make such a big difference in an emergency, it’s not surprising that it can be stressful to decide what to include in it.

Learn how to properly prepare a diabetes emergency kit with the help of your reliable pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy. If you have any questions about handling an emergency, be sure to ask us here at your local McAllen pharmacy.

What To Include in Your Emergency Kit

1.Create a Medical History and List of Contacts

If a medical emergency arises and you are unable to speak for yourself, it is important to have your medical information and list of emergency contacts on hand for first responders and other health care providers. Here are a few examples of what type of information to prepare:

  • The dosage of your medication, what time you take it, and the frequency
  • List of other medical conditions you may have, including allergies
  • Contact information for your physician and pharmacy
  • Information for two or more emergency contacts

How you choose to store this is up to you, but it is highly recommended that you wear a diabetes medical ID bracelet, which can provide meaningful information to first responders once they arrive on the scene.

2.Store a Week’s Worth of Extra Medication

For your safety, it is important to pack at least a week’s worth of your medication in your emergency kit. There will be different medication and supplies for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Here are some examples for each type:

Type 1 Diabetes:

  • Insulin
  • Clean syringes
  • Extra supplies for your insulin pump including, extra reservoirs, infusion sets, and batteries

Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Oral or injectable medication
  • Extra insulin
  • A cold pack and insulated bag if you have refrigerated medication

If you need advice on the proper medication to pack, be sure to consult your McAllen pharmacist. Supplies and medication vary depending on the type of diabetes and its severity.

3.Pack Supplies to Test Your Blood Glucose

A major part of managing diabetes is to monitor your glucose levels on a regular basis. Your body needs blood sugar to function properly and if it drops too low, it could lead to seizures and loss of consciousness.

Here are the supplies you will need to test your blood glucose:

  • A blood glucose meter or continuous glucose meter (CGM)
  • Extra test strips
  • Extra batteries
  • Extra sensors
  • Syringes
  • Pen needles for insulin pen
  • Sharps container for needles and syringes
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Sanitizer
  • Blood sugar readings log

After packing your supplies, make sure that you regularly check and update the contents to ensure you have the proper amount in case of an emergency.

4.Include Methods to Raise Your Glucose Levels

Hypoglycemia happens when you have a sudden drop in your blood sugar levels. If this happens in an emergency situation, you need to have sources of glucose on hand to raise those blood sugar levels. Some options include:

  • Over-the-counter glucose tablets (Lift Glucose Chews and ReliOn ™ Glucose Tablets)
  • Over-the-counter glucose gel (Insta-Glucose® and Dex4® Glucose Gel)
  • Snacks high in carbohydrates that your body can convert into glucose like granola bars, trail mix, and dried fruits.

If you are unsure of what to bring as a source of glucose or how to properly package it, do not hesitate to seek the advice of your pharmacist. They will be able to recommend glucose sources and walk you through the proper ways to use and store them.

5.Pack Extra Water for Rehydrating

Being dehydrated can raise your blood sugar levels, causing a diabetic episode. It is advised that people with diabetes have at least three days worth of water on hand in case of an emergency. The CDC also recommends that you have at least one gallon per person a day at home. For your emergency kit, simply pack two or three 16 ounce water bottles inside; this will be enough water for you to re-hydrate.

For Assistance With Your Diabetes Emergency Kit, Consult Your McAllen Pharmacy!

A diabetes emergency kit can make all the difference in an emergency situation, so it is important that the proper supplies are inside.

If you are not sure what to put in your emergency kit, schedule an appointment with your McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy. Our pharmacy staff will be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have!

Why Gut Health Is Key to Your Health (And How To Improve It)

The health of your gut affects not only your digestion, but the overall health of your body.

Today, your McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will impress you with our gut knowledge and let you know how you can improve yours.

Why Is Gut Health So Important?

Your gut is your entire gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) and all the bacteria inside of it. The health of your gut depends on how that bacteria functions and balances out within your GI tract.

Your gut is responsible for breaking down all the food you eat and then sending it into the bloodstream to nourish your body. This only runs seamlessly if you have a healthy gut.

Other benefits of a healthy gut include:

  • Healthy immune cells that fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi
  • Nerve and hormone communication to the brain to help maintain general health

How Do You Know If I Have an Unhealthy Gut?

It is normal for everyone to deal with mild digestive issues every now and then. Certain symptoms that are cause for concern include:

  • Persistent constipation or diarrhea
  • Consistent bloating and gas
  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion or fatigue
  • Changes in weight
  • Itchiness or rashes on the skin
  • Feeling anxious or depressed

All of these symptoms could be a sign of an underlying problem and you should notify your doctor if you are experiencing any of them.

How To Improve Your Gut Health

1.Eat Gut-Healthy Foods

The three main food categories you should be eating from for gut health are fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics.

Fiber

Fiber is necessary when it comes to staying regular. It is responsible for the speed at which your food moves through your gut. Some examples of fiber are:

  • Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, and split peas)
  • Berries (raspberries and blackberries)
  • Whole grains (barley, bran, and bulgar)

Probiotics

Probiotics are known as good bacteria that fight against infection-causing organisms contained in certain foods that we eat. Types of probiotics include:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Miso

There are also over-the-counter probiotic supplements that you can take along with your diet. It is always best to consult your pharmacist on the best option for you.

Prebiotics

The purpose of prebiotics is to nourish the healthy bacteria on your gut. Some examples of prebiotics would be:

  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Bananas
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Soybeans
  • Onions

By adding these foods into your everyday diet, you will see a positive impact in your gut health.

2.Clean Out Your Colon

The food we eat every day can cause us to suffer from various digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic constipation, bloating, and irregular bowel movements. By cleaning out your colon, you are essentially getting rid of the waste and starting fresh. Here are some ways to cleanse your colon:

  • Increase your dietary fiber
  • Drink lots of water
  • Add omega-3 fatty acids into your diet

The best way to cleanse your colon is naturally and not with over-the-counter products that are advertised as colon cleansers.

3.Bring Your Stress Levels Down

Stress is directly associated with your immune response and digestive system. High amounts of stress can put a lot of pressure on your immune system, making it difficult for your body to perform at its best. To lower your stress levels, we suggest:

  • Focus on your breathing
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Do activities that you enjoy
  • Ask for help

Everyone deals with stress on a daily basis, but the important thing is how you choose to handle that stress.

4.Exercise

When thinking about gut health, you tend to think of diet and not exercise. But physical activity can greatly benefit the health of your gut. Research has shown that high-intensity workouts can increase the efficiency at which oxygen is delivered to your tissues, and has a positive impact on the presence of your gut bacteria. If you’re looking for exercise ideas, you may want to try:

  • Going on a walk around your neighborhood or mall
  • Biking with a spouse or family
  • Taking a yoga class
  • Gardening in your backyard
  • Cleaning around your house

Even if it begins with chores around your house, getting your body moving can greatly impact the health of your gut.

Go With Your Gut and Start Improving Your Health With the Help of Saenz Pharmacy!

If you’re looking to improve your gut health, but don’t know where to start, give your local McAllen pharmacy a call and we’ll be glad to offer you assistance.

7 Tips For Healthy Aging From Your McAllen Pharmacist

 

Don’t you wish you could take a magic pill to age gracefully or just stop aging altogether? Well, unfortunately, there isn’t such a magic pill, but there are steps you can take to help you age healthily.

September is Healthy Aging Month, and your knowledgeable team at your local McAllen pharmacy, Saenz Pharmacy, are happy to share our top 7 tips for healthy aging.

Tips for Aging Healthily

1. Get Enough Sleep 

Getting a full night’s sleep is key to healthy aging. 

Sleep gives your body and brain a chance to recover from the previous day and recharge for the next. It can also reduce your risk of high blood pressure, depression, and other various health issues.

According to the Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 24-64 need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep, and those 65 and older need around 7 to 8 hours of rest. Via www.saenzpharmacy.com.

Tossing and turning, waking up to go to the bathroom, and other interruptions mess with your quality of sleep, making it harder for your body to receive all the benefits of deep sleep. 

Here are a few ways to guarantee a deeper sleep:

  • Stick to a consistent bedtime.
  • Find something relaxing to do before bed.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.
  • Invest in a good quality pillow and mattress.

2. Manage Stress In A Healthy Way

Stress can increase your heart rate, constrict your blood vessels, and release adrenaline. If you allow stress to be a frequent problem or to go on for longer periods of time, you are putting yourself at a greater risk for high blood pressure, heart attacks, obesity, and diabetes.

Everyone handles stress differently, therefore, outlets will vary for each individual. 

Here are a few examples of healthy stress management:

  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Getting a massage

3. Eat A Well-Balanced Diet

Eating healthy is preached day in and out when it comes to overall body health and aging. The benefits are great, including a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. 

The easiest and simplest way to eat healthier is to put more color on your plate. Whether it’s spinach, broccoli, blueberries, or tomatoes. There is a variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from that you can add to your diet, along with lean meats such as salmon and chicken.

4. Exercise Regularly

There are many benefits to exercise that don’t include losing weight. Although maintaining a healthy weight is important for healthy aging, the other benefits of exercise include:

  • Reduced risk for heart disease
  • Reduced risk of injury if strength training 
  • Improvement in mood
  • Reduced chronic pain

5. Be Social

The older you get, the easier it can be to feel lonely and secluded. Studies have shown that this can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, depression, and even cognitive decline. 

Whether it’s grabbing coffee with a friend once a week, volunteering at a local shelter, or joining a pilates group, it is important to get out there and have consistent human connection.

6. Stay On Top of Regular Doctor Visits

By visiting your doctor on a regular basis, you are staying ahead of possible illnesses or catching them early. This will also keep you up to date on all your vaccinations and allow your doctor to make adjustments to any medications you are taking.

Seeing your doctor regularly can help you to develop a good relationship with them. This will make you feel more comfortable around them and allow you to open up about certain issues.

7. Properly Manage Medication

Just like it’s important to stay on top of your doctor visits, it is also vital that you see your pharmacist regularly for the following reasons:

  • To get your medication reviewed: Your pharmacist will be able to look over your file and make sure that the medication you are being prescribed is best for your current situation.
  • To receive help for properly managing that medication: It can be tricky figuring out how frequently to take a medication or how to properly use devices like an inhaler or glucometer. Your pharmacists will be able to give you tips and assistance with any of your medications.
  • For advice on over-the-counter medication: Over-the-counter medication seems very practical for headaches, cold relief, and pain management. However, many over-the-counter medications can interact with your prescriptions and cause adverse side effects. It is always best to consult the professionals at your local McAllen pharmacy.

By putting these tips to use, you will age in a healthy way and maybe even enjoy it too!

If you have any questions regarding your medications or medical devices, stop by Saenz Pharmacy and allow our pharmacists to assist you.

Enjoy Aging With Help From Your McAllen Pharmacists At Saenz Pharmacy!

What Your Heart Rate Can Indicate About Your Health

A person’s heart rate can say a lot about them. Heart rate can indicate if you’re physically active, under a lot of stress, or are suffering from an illness.

At Saenz Pharmacy, your McAllen pharmacists will share what your heart rate can tell you about your health and what could be causing abnormalities in that rate.

What To Know About Your Resting Heart Rate

When resting, your body does not need as much oxygen, so the heart is pumping less blood. This is what is known as your resting heart rate (RHR). According to Harvard Health, healthy men and women should have a resting heart rate between 60 to 100 beats per minute.

Those with an RHR below 60 are likely very active and physically fit, therefore their heart functions more efficiently. If your RHR is above 100, it may be due to high amounts of stress, an excessive intake of caffeine, or a possible illness.

It is recommended that you see your doctor if your RHR is below 50 or above 100 without being explained by obvious factors, such as a rigorous exercise program.

What To Know About Your Maximum Heart Rate

Your maximum heart rate is when your heart is working the hardest to meet your body’s need for oxygen. This is the highest pulse your body will have.

If you want to roughly know what a healthy maximum heart rate is for yourself, subtract your current age from the number 220. As always, it is best to consult your doctor, as numbers differ in every individual.

What Could Cause Your Heart Rate To Be Off?

1.You Are Dealing With A Great Amount Of Stress

Large amounts of stress can raise your blood pressure and cause your heart to beat at a faster rate. If this becomes a chronic issue, your heart will be in a constant state of high alert, putting you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.

2.You May Have Diabetes

Although studies are ongoing, a high heart rate and diabetes are linked, but the exact relation is still uncertain. What we do know is that those who have diabetes are less active than they should be, putting a bigger strain on their heart.

3.Your Heart’s Electrical System Has A Short

Did you know that your heart has its own electrical system? It consists of a network of signals that make sure the heart is beating as it should. Those that have this issue often have a slower heartbeat, causing them to feel dizzy and lightheaded. The good news is that your doctor should be able to find the point of malfunction with a routine EKG.

4.You’re Not Physically Active

Your heart is a muscle, and muscles need to be exercised regularly to perform at their best. Those who are not physically active put a lot of strain on the heart, causing it to beat at a higher rate.

5.You’re Not Taking In Enough Water or Too Much

Your body chemistry is made up of a ratio of water to electrolytes. When you take in too little or too much water, it throws off that ratio and can result in abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias. These rhythms often result in a higher heart rate.

6.Your Medication Is Off

The medication you are taking could be resetting your heart to a new normal rate. Certain medications, like beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers, have been known to lower your heart rate. Caffeine, on the other hand, can raise your heart rate quickly. This is found in many headache medications, coffee, tea, and chocolate.

If you’re concerned about the effect your medication is having on your heart rate, give your local pharmacist a call.

Get Your Heart Beating At The Perfect Rate With The Help Of Your McAllen Pharmacists!

The human heart rate can tell you a lot about your health, and that is why it is so important to listen to your body.

If you have any questions about your medication and how it is affecting your heart rate, stop by Saenz Pharmacy. Our friendly pharmacists will be happy to walk you through your medication and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Your Guide To Common Asthma Medications

Navigating all the asthma medication options out there can seem very daunting at first. But you don’t have to go at it alone.

At Saenz Pharmacy, your dedicated McAllen pharmacists are here to walk you through all the common asthma medications available so you can make the best choices for you and your family.

Different Categories

When it comes to asthma medications, there are four main categories to choose from:

  • Long-term medication: Taken on a consistent basis to treat chronic asthma and to prevent possible asthma attacks. This medication is the most important for someone suffering from asthma.
  • Quick-relief medication (also known as rescue medications): These are used to prevent or treat asthma attacks. Quick-relief medication provides fast and short-term relief for your symptoms.
  • Allergy-induced asthma medication: This is taken to reduce sensitivity to allergy-producing substances (allergens).
  • Biologics: When used in conjunction with control medications, this will stop underlying biological responses that cause inflammation of the lungs.

Types

For each category, there are generally three or four different types of medication to choose from. Understanding the different types will help you to make the best choice for you or a loved one.

Long-Term Medication Types

Inhaled corticosteroids

These anti-inflammatory drugs reduce tightening and swelling in the airways. These medications work best as a long-term solution and may take many months before results are seen.

Examples of inhaled corticosteroids include:

  • Fluticasone (Flovent HFA)
  • Budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler)
  • Mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler)
  • Beclomethasone (Qvar RediHaler)
  • Ciclesonide (Alvesco)

Possible side effects include irritation of the mouth and throat, as well as oral yeast infections. Although these side effects are possible, corticosteroids are not known to cause serious side effects.
Leukotriene modifiers

Used to block the effects of immune system chemicals called leukotrienes, these medications can prevent symptoms for up to 24 hours. Leukotriene modifiers include:

  • Montelukast (Singulair)
  • Zafirlukast (Accolate)
  • Zileuton (Zyflo)

Although rare, possible side effects include agitation, aggression, hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thinking.

Long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs)

The purpose of these medications is to open the airways and reduce swelling for twelve or more hours. LABAs have been found to contribute to severe asthma attacks so they are often used in conjunction with an inhaled corticosteroid.

Salmeterol (Serevent) is the LABA most typically used.

Theophylline

Theophylline relaxes the airways and limits the lung’s response to irritants. It is taken in pill form and used to treat mild and nighttime asthma.

The side effects linked to this drug are insomnia and gastroesophageal reflux.

Combination inhalers

Combination inhalers contain both a corticosteroid and bronchodilator, and some examples include:

  • Fluticasone and salmeterol (Advair Diskus)
  • Budesonide and formoterol (Symbicort)
  • Mometasone and formoterol (Dulera)
  • Fluticasone and vilanterol (Breo)

Quick-Relief Medications

Ipratropium
This medication is a fast-acting bronchodilator. It can be used to treat emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and severe asthma attacks.
Oral corticosteroids
Used to treat severe asthma attacks, the main two that can be taken are:

  • Prednisone
  • Methylprednisolone

Side effects that can occur from long-term use include cataracts, osteoporosis (thinning of your bones), muscle weakness, high blood pressure, and below-average growth in children.

Medications for Asthma Triggered by Allergies

Allergy shots (Immunotherapy)
This is an option for treating allergic asthma. You’ll take a skin test to find out which allergens bring about your asthma symptoms. Once you’ve taken this test, you’ll receive a series of injections that carry small doses of those allergens.
Eventually, your sensitivity to those allergens will decrease or disappear altogether.
Allergy medications
This medication comes in the form of oral and nasal spray decongestants and antihistamines. You can buy them over-the-counter or get a prescription written by your doctor.

Biologics

Omalizumab
Taken by injection every two to four weeks, this medication is used to treat asthma that is caused by airborne allergens. When you have allergies, your immune system will produce antibodies to attack substances that generally cause no harm—these substances actually produce allergies.
Omalizumab blocks allergy-producing antibodies, reducing asthma and allergy symptoms. Some examples of Biologic medications include:

  • Mepolizumab (Nucala)
  • Benralizumab (Fasenra)
  • Reslizumab (Cinqair)

It is important to know that the FDA has issued a warning about a slightly increased risk of heart and brain blood vessel problems while taking this drug.
Find the Perfect Asthma Medication for You With the Help of Saenz Pharmacy!
The use of asthma medications can vary due to age, the severity of asthma conditions, and the symptoms you have. Because of this, your McAllen pharmacists will work to find the best asthma medication for you!

Understanding the Connection Between Heart And Brain Health?

With every beat, the heart pumps twenty to twenty five percent of the blood to the head, where the brain then uses this to function. If the heart is not working at its best, the brain won’t be able to either.

At Saenz Pharmacy, your devoted McAllen pharmacists will share how heart and brain health are intricately connected.

How Heart Function Impacts Brain Function

Your blood vessels are responsible for blood flow and oxygen to all the organs in your body. When these vessels become clogged, you have artery damage that can result in heart attacks, strokes, and dementia.

To simplify it, your heart is responsible for blood flow, and the brain needs good blood flow to function properly. If the heart is functioning poorly, it is likely your brain will start to as well.

How To Ensure You Have Good Heart And Brain Health

The key to heart and brain health starts with the heart. That being said, many of these lifestyle changes will deal with the heart:

1. Maintain Good Blood Pressure

When your blood pressure is high, it puts an extra strain on your heart, resulting many times in heart disease or a stroke. By maintaining a good blood pressure, you are allowing your heart, arteries, and kidneys to function at their best.

2. Lower Your Cholesterol

Having high cholesterol can clog your arteries with the extra plaque that has built up. This in turn can cause heart disease or even a stroke. By lowering your cholesterol, you are keeping your arteries clear and allowing blood to flow effortlessly through them.

3. Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels

When your body has the right amount of blood sugar, it gives your cells and organs the energy they need. If your blood sugar is too high, it can damage your hearts, kidneys, and nerves. You can lower your blood sugar levels by increasing your fiber intake, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly.

4. Get And Stay Active

Regular exercise also helps maintain low blood pressure and cholesterol levels. By being active, you are once again reducing the strain put on the heart and lungs. You will also be surprised at how much energy you have!

5. Eat A Well-Balanced Diet

Eating heart healthy foods can greatly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease; however, these foods are also excellent for fueling your brain. Some examples of these foods include whole grains and fiber, raisins, oranges, kale, spinach, lean meats, and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

6. Put A Stop To Your Smoking

Smokers have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). When you inhale cigarette smoke, the chemicals contaminate your blood, damaging your heart and blood vessels. Not only does this negatively impact your heart health, but it also can poorly affect your brain health.

7. Maintain A Healthy Weight

When you maintain a healthy weight and keep those unnecessary pounds off, you are reducing the stress put on the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Having extra fat causes plaque to form and build up, which can clog your arteries and make it difficult for blood to flow through.

8. Take Medication As Prescribed

Your physician may have prescribed medication for you and your heart health, and in instances like these, it is vital that you properly follow your medication adherence plan.

Your pharmacists can assist you in following this plan, tracking your progress with the medication, and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Get Your Heart and Brain Health On Track With The Help Of Your Trusted McAllen Pharmacy.

If your heart is functioning at its best, then it is likely your brain will be as well. Take your health into your own hands and stop by Saenz Pharmacy today!
Remember to set up your prescriptions to be refilled at our pharmacies through our app.

National Immunization Awareness Month: Why You Should Consider Getting Vaccinated

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and in response to that, we want to give you all the reasons to consider getting vaccinated.

At Saenz Pharmacy, your trustworthy McAllen pharmacists care about your health and getting vaccinated plays a big role in that. Today, we will go over ten reasons why it would be worth your while to get vaccinated.

10 Reasons Why You and Your Loved Ones Should Get Vaccinated

1.Vaccines are Safe to Get

The nation’s long-standing vaccine safety system ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible. All vaccines go through three phases of approval — many even going through a fourth phase to monitor any additional symptoms that may arise.

2.Deadly Diseases Have Not Gone Away

Every day, various bacteria and viruses are being passed from person to person. This can be life-threatening to many who have not received their vaccinations. Even if you have not traveled outside of the country, many who do bring these back with them.

3.Regular Vaccinations Will Keep You Healthy

It is recommended by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that you get regularly vaccinated to protect yourself from different diseases and infections. Without regular vaccinations, you can become susceptible to illnesses such as the flu, shingles, pneumococcal disease, and HPV.

4.Getting Vaccinated Could Save Your Life

According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, approximately 50,000 adults die every year in the United States from vaccine-preventable diseases. Keep in mind that this was before the COVID-19 pandemic. By keeping up with regular vaccinations, you could save your own life along with others you come in contact with.

5.You Put Others at Risk When You Get Sick

When you choose to get vaccinated, you not only protect yourself from illness, but also those with who you come into contact. This is critical now more than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for older folks.

6.Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Can Cost You a Lot of Money

Getting sick means missed days of work and for many, a lower paycheck. On average, 8% of the U.S. population gets sick from the flu each season. The typical flu can last up to 15 days, resulting in a week or two of work being missed. On top of that, there is the cost of over-the-counter medicine to help alleviate the flu symptoms.

7.Vaccines Give You a Stronger Defense Against the Disease

There is a preconceived notion from many that if you get vaccinated, it will give you the disease. Although there are mild symptoms that can accompany a vaccine, you will never get the disease itself. Why is this? The vaccine contains a dead or weakened version of the disease, making it almost impossible for you to get it.

8.Young and Healthy People Are Not Immune to Sickness

Many young people think that they are not susceptible to illness because they have a stronger immune system than children and older adults. Although complications can be more serious for those age groups, young and healthy adults can still get hit with serious diseases.

9.You Can Travel Safely

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting vaccinated at least a month before you travel. This gives your body the chance to build up immunity and get additional rounds if required. By doing this, you are protecting yourself from diseases like yellow fever, malaria, and typhoid.

10.Support Health Service Workers

A lot of time and money go into the care of those with infectious diseases. By getting vaccinated, those resources can go towards the treatment of non-preventable illnesses. This relieves a lot of pressure from the health service workers and allows them to give better care to everyone they treat.

Stop By Your Friendly McAllen Pharmacy Today to Get Vaccinated!

There can be a lot of questions that come with being vaccinated. At Saenz Pharmacy, your pharmacists want you to know that no question or concern is too small!

There are several diseases that are preventable with a vaccine. Take care of yourself and your loved ones and get vaccinated today!

How To Use Medication Safely in the Summer: Tips from Your Local McAllen Pharmacist

Summer is meant to be a carefree time. Most days are spent soaking up the sun, at the pool, or on vacation with the family. During this time, it’s important not to forget your medication and how to safely use it in the summer.

Today, your caring McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will list the top four tips for using medication safely in the summertime.

1.Spend Less Time Out in the Sun

A side effect that many medications have is an increased sensitivity to the sun. Because of this, you are more likely to get sunburned, which could eventually lead to skin cancer.

Medications that cause this include:

  • Doxycycline: used to treat bacterial infections in the urinary tract, respiratory and intestinal system, along with Lyme disease, malaria, and acne.
  • Tetracycline: used to treat bacterial infections in various tracts of the body including respiratory, urinary, intestinal, as well as sexually transmitted diseases, acne and rosacea.
  • Pennsaid solution: intended to take care of pain from osteoarthritis in the knee.
  • Solaraze gel: intended to help with swelling, pain, and sensitivity to light after eye surgery.

If you are unable to limit your time in the sun, here are a few tips to protect your skin:

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Remember to reapply often.
  • Cover yourself with an umbrella.
  • Use clothing to protect your skin such as long pants, long sleeves, hats, and sunglasses.

2.Give Yourself Reminders to Take Medications

Time seems to travel at a different speed during the summer months, and taking your medication can get lost in all the coming and going. For that reason, we recommend giving yourself reminders to take your medication.

Some ways to set reminders include:

  • Setting a daily alarm on your phone.
  • Using a weekly pillbox or container for your medication.
  • Taking your medication at the same time every day to make it a habit, either with your morning coffee, before dinner or bed, etc.

3.Correctly Store Your Medications

Summer is the time for traveling. Whether you’re flying, driving, or hiking, it is critical to correctly store your medication so that it does not get lost or damaged by the heat and humidity.

A few tips to keep your medication safe would be:

  • Ask your pharmacist for specific instructions on storing the medication.
  • Read the instructions that come with the medication insert.
  • Avoid keeping it in the car for an extended period of time.

4.Have the Necessary Medications for Emergencies

In the event of a medical emergency for yourself or your children, it is best to have the necessary medication close by. Taking the extra time to bring this with you or create an emergency medication box could save a life.

A couple of examples of necessary medications include:

  • An epinephrine auto-injector: Allergic reactions can happen quite frequently, and in some cases can become life-threatening. For that reason, it is wise to have an EpiPen handy.
  • An asthma inhaler: This hand-held device delivers medication to the lungs for those suffering from an asthma attack. Whether for yourself or a family member, it is always worth having one close by.
  • Nitroglycerin: This oral medication is used to prevent chest pain (angina) in people with coronary artery disease. It allows blood to flow more easily to the heart by relaxing and widening the blood vessels.
  • Glucagon: This medication is used to reverse the effects of low blood sugar levels. If you or a loved one have Type 1 diabetes, this drug can greatly reduce the risk of complications from low blood sugar.
  • Diastat or Nayzilam: This drug is a short-term treatment for severe seizure episodes.

Visit Saenz Pharmacy for More Tips on How to Safely Handle Your Medication!

At Saenz Pharmacy, we understand that there’s no such thing as having too many questions when it comes to your medication, especially during the summer months.

Your McAllen pharmacists are happy to answer these and more concerns!

Remember to set up your prescriptions to be refilled at our pharmacies through our app.