Do You Have a Prescription Insurance Card?

When it comes to picking up prescriptions, we all know things can get a little pricey. However, with a prescription insurance card, you can save yourself money on your next trip to the pharmacy. 

Today, your dependable McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will highlight the benefits of having a prescription insurance card and how you can get one before your next visit to the pharmacy. 

What Is a Prescription Insurance Card?

We’ve all heard of health insurance cards, but have you heard of a prescription insurance card? If your answer is no, don’t worry, you’re not alone.  

Prescription insurance cards are designed to provide lower drug costs to those paying for their prescriptions out of pocket. These cards can be purchased as a stand-alone plan and do not need to be associated with any kind of health insurance. 

A prescription medical card is used in place of health insurance when you go to pick up your medication at the pharmacy. 

How a Prescription Insurance Card Differs From a Prescription Discount Card

Believe it or not, it is quite easy to get these two types of cards confused. 

A prescription insurance card is bought through a plan while a prescription discount card is entirely free. 

Prescription discount cards are a smart option for those who are underinsured or do not have health insurance. Some of the most popular prescription discount cards include GoodRx, Blink Health, ScriptSave WellRX, and the US Pharmacy card. 

Those who already have health insurance should always look into what benefits they have, including how much of their prescription costs are covered. 

Should I Use My Health Insurance Card or a Prescription Discount Card?

When picking up medication at the pharmacy, most people ask themselves, “How much is this going to cost?” 

If you’ve ever wondered the same thing, you might be curious to know whether using a prescription discount card or your health insurance card is the smarter option. It is always wise to compare costs before you go so that you aren’t blindsided at the pharmacy counter. To do this, you can simply log on to your discount card’s website from your phone or computer and see what the price of your prescription is going to be before you pick it up. 

This lets you compare prices between purchasing with your insurance card or a prescription discount card. 

If you are someone who only picks up a couple of prescriptions for unexpected illnesses, it is probably more cost-effective to use a prescription discount card over a health insurance card. However, if you already have health insurance and are trying to meet your deductible, it is probably in your best interest to use your health insurance card and cover the copay price for your prescriptions. 

At the end of the day, the choice is up to you. 

Don’t spend more than you have to on your next trip to the pharmacy. Reach out to Saenz Pharmacy to learn more about pharmacy discount and insurance cards.

If you are curious about which card is the right choice for you, contact or stop by Saenz Pharmacy today!

Why Do I Need A Prescription for CPAP?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CPAP machines are deemed Class II devices. Because of this, a prescription is needed in order to invest in a CPAP machine.

When beginning your journey with CPAP therapy, you will need to make sure your therapy is tailored to your needs, which is what makes a prescription especially important. A second hand CPAP machine would put you at risk for breathing in the germs from the last person who wore it, your likelihood of getting sick, and the features not functioning the way they’re supposed to.

Today your committed McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will break down why it is crucial to have a prescription for a CPAP machine.

Why You Need a Prescription to Buy Particular CPAP Equipment

If you’re looking to buy a CPAP machine and mask along with a humidifier, you’ll need to have a prescription with you. When you try to purchase a CPAP machine without a prescription, you’re running the chance of getting equipment that may not function properly on top of the fact that it is more than likely not set up correctly for you specifically.

The Importance of Getting a CPAP Prescription

If you want your CPAP therapy experience to be successful and beneficial to your health and well-being, a prescription is required. Your prescription will tell you all about:

Your prescription is necessary when it comes to treating you based on the suggestions from your sleep study as assessed by your sleep specialist or doctor.

A sleep study offers data regarding the way you sleep and where the sleep difficulties lie. Without your doctor’s results, you would be taking a blind leap of faith on the ideal treatment for you. A prescription uses the insights from your sleep test and makes it applicative, granting you access to treatment with optimal results.

How Long Your Prescription Is Valid For

Certain prescriptions for a CPAP machine have a clear expiration date or can be valid for life depending on the amount of refills your doctor confirms on the prescription.

If your prescription says that its validity is “lifetime,” then you can use it as many times as needed. It is worth noting, however, most prescriptions will include an “X” number of refills, meaning if it says five refills, then you will have to revisit your doctor on your sixth. Other prescriptions may also have a valid until date,  meaning it cannot be used once the expiration date has passed.

How To Track Down Your Old Prescription

You can track down your old prescription by finding your last doctor and contacting their office. Simply look up the doctor’s name or practice name online, and give them a call to see if they still have it in stock and if it is still valid.

If you worked with another Durable Medical Equipment, (DME), in the past, there’s a possibility that you can receive the prescription from them as they should still have it on file. The previous DME can give you your old prescription, and you can send it to us.

Getting a CPAP Prescription

To get a CPAP prescription, you must do the following:

  1. Schedule an appointment to go over your sleeping patterns with your doctor.
  2. You’ll arrange the test, and fall asleep as you usually would.
  3. Your results will then be sent out to your doctor.
  4. Your doctor will fill out a prescription based on your sleep study.

Who Can Write a CPAP Prescription?

To get a CPAP prescription, you can make an appointment with your:  

  • Medical Doctor (MD)
  • Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)
  • Psychiatrist (MD Only)
  • Physicians Assistant (PA)
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Dentist
  • Naturopathic Physicians

Do I Need a Prescription for a Sleep Study?

There are two outlets that can be used to get a sleep study. Your primary care doctor can refer you to a sleep specialist who will request a sleep study for you. Or, if your insurance permits it, you can also see a sleep specialist directly who will initiate the process of acquiring you a sleep study.

Where To Buy CPAP Equipment

Once you’ve finally gotten your prescription, you can officially be on your way to a well-rested night! 

Getting a prescription for your CPAP therapy is not only obligated by law but it also gives you the greatest chance for therapy success by personalizing the equipment to you as well as ensuring the cleanliness and quality performance of your machine.

Get your prescription needs taken care of with the help of a Pharmacist When You Visit Saenz Pharmacy

Ask us any questions regarding your prescription and we can assist you. Reach out to Saenz Pharmacy today!

The Pharmacists Evolving Role In Patient Care

Pharmacists, doctors, and nurses all work together to ensure that patients are receiving the best care possible. As time has progressed, pharmacists have become more involved with patient care.

Today, your dependable McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will highlight the evolving role that pharmacists play in the medical field.

Why Pharmacists Are Taking a Bigger Role in Patient Care

Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing medications and guaranteeing that patients are getting the correct instructions in order to safely use them. However, did you know that pharmacists are currently beginning to take on even bigger roles, including acting as medical counselors, educators, and advocates?

Pharmacists are trusted and easily accessible by patients looking for care. Due to their accessibility, they can perform the following patient care activities:

  1. Providing immunizations, preventive care screenings, and medication management.
    Pharmacists are trained to provide immunizations like the flu and COVID-19 vaccine. This grants those who do not have time for a routine doctor’s visit the opportunity to still receive immunizations without breaking the bank or spending hours in an office.Preventive care screenings are also performed by pharmacists, which helps patients who have glucose or blood pressure elevations monitor their health and stay at healthy levels. Pharmacists also track medications given to patients and manage the way that the medications are used by the patients for safety purposes.
  2. Pharmacists make patients aware of potential drug interactions.
    Pharmacists are also in charge of letting the patient know about potential drug interactions early on, making sure that there are no adverse interactions, and educating patients on how to properly use the medications that they are prescribed. This responsibility has had a huge impact on patient satisfaction and quality care and can, in turn, help contain the cost of health care.
  3. Pharmacists are experts at drug therapy management.
    When it comes to drug therapy management, pharmacists partner with the patient to figure out the medications that work best for them by creating a care plan. A care plan helps pharmacists monitor a patient’s personal health goals, initiate new treatment, and provide disease prevention such as vaccinations. A pharmacist can also evaluate drug effectiveness to determine if the drug is working by scheduling regular follow-ups.

Other Ways Pharmacists Can Become More Involved In Patient Care

Many advancements have been made to better help pharmacists and give them a bigger part in patient care. However, more can be done to involve pharmacists.

To start, governments should recognize pharmacists as the health system’s drug management experts. Another way that pharmacists can have more involvement is by health systems starting to support the roles of pharmacists as drug therapy management in all settings.

Over time, pharmacists will have more patient responsibility added to their jobs.

Get the Expert Advice of a Pharmacist When You Stop by Saenz Pharmacy

If you are curious about the role that your pharmacists play in your healthcare plan, give Saenz Pharmacy a call today!

Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

 

 

In the United States alone, there have been over 131 million cases of the coronavirus and over 2.5 million COVID-related deaths. Luckily, for those in need of getting vaccinated, the vaccine has become available to everyone 16 years of age and older as of March 29th. Currently, 25% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated.

Recently Saenz Pharmacy, Faith Fellowship Bible Church, and the City of Peñitas got together to host a community COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the Rio Grande Valley. Our team was able to assist in giving over 1,100 COVID-19 vaccinations to those in need in South Texas.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported that over 5.2 million Texans have been fully vaccinated, and we hope to see that number rise so that more of Texas is protected.

 

Why You Should Consider Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

We understand that certain people may be hesitant when it comes to getting the vaccine. However, safety is a top priority when producing the vaccine, and there are a handful of benefits to getting the vaccine.

Every COVID-19 vaccine available in the US is safe, effective, and only approved if it has been proven to significantly lower your chance of being infected with the virus. Studies show that even if you still contract COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine, that your chances of becoming severely ill are extremely low.

Even if you’re not worried about how COVID-19 could affect your health, it is imperative to take other people who are at higher risk into consideration. By receiving the vaccination, you are not only protecting yourself but also protecting those around you who may be more susceptible to developing serious complications.

Possible Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccine

As with any other vaccine, everyone should be familiar with potential side effects. Possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine reported by the CDC include:

  • Pain, swelling, and redness in the arm where the shot was given
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

To manage the side effects, it is highly recommended that you talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications, including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines.

However, it is in your best interest to not take these medications before receiving the vaccine to prevent side effects.

Don’t wait, vaccinate! Stop by Saenz Pharmacy to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and how you can receive yours.

Even if you have already gotten COVID-19, it is still crucial to think about getting vaccinated as experts are still uncertain of how long you are protected from being reinfected with the virus a second time.

The pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy are ready to give you all the information you need regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

5 Things You Should Be Discussing With Your Pharmacist

When visiting the pharmacy, you might be wondering if it’s worthwhile to ask your pharmacist questions related to your health. It is especially important when taking prescription medications that you know exactly what you are taking and what questions to ask your pharmacist if you’re unsure.

Today, your local McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will give you the inside scoop on everything you need to know in regards to what topics are worth discussing during your next trip to the pharmacy.

The Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist

1.The difference between generic and brand name medications

Brand names are catchy, easy to recognize, and often more expensive than generic versions. A brand refers to the name given by the company that produces the medicine, while generic refers to medications sold under a different name, yet which contain the exact same active ingredients as the brand-name drug.

In a study done by the FDA, 8 in 10 prescriptions filled in the United States were for generic drugs. They also have reported that generic brands work just as well as name brands. In order to be approved by the FDA, generic brands must meet high standards.

2. How the medications or supplements you’re taking may react with other medications

It is worth notifying your pharmacist of all the medications and supplements you are currently taking. While it can be easy to forget when sick, failing to provide this information could potentially cause dangerous interactions.

You can be confident that your pharmacist will catch anything serious that could occur beforehand.

3. What side effects your medication may cause

If you’ve ever seen a commercial for a specific medication, you’ve probably heard the long list of side effects that could show up after consumption. It is imperative to familiarize yourself with the side effects that could take place to help you decide if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Side effects can vary for every individual and can differ based on age, race, and gender. It is in your best interest to seek assistance when experiencing side effects, even if it’s something minor.

4. What you should avoid while taking the medication

Another important question to ask your pharmacist when prescribed any kind of medication is what to avoid while using it. Asking your pharmacist if it is okay to drink alcohol, even occasionally, whether you should eat before taking the medication, and if there are any certain things you should avoid while taking the medication are all crucial when starting a new medication.

5. Ask about dosage, strength, and time frames

Taking new medications can be a lot of trial and error. One medication that works on a friend might not work on you and that is why you should always ask your pharmacist what to expect.

Don’t be nervous to ask how long you should take the medication, what will happen if you miss a dose, and how long it would take for the medication to become effective. Your pharmacist is trained and able to answer any questions that you would need to know before taking a medication.

Let our pharmacists answer your questions and/or concerns when you visit Saenz Pharmacy

Here at Saenz Pharmacy, we are ready to answer any questions that our patients may have. Our pharmacists can be trusted and will make sure that every patient is treated with the respect and care they deserve. 

What Time of Day is Best for Blood Pressure Medications?

In the United States, nearly half of the population (45%) of adults have high blood pressure and only 24% of those with the condition have it under control. Living a normal life with high blood pressure is possible, but in order to do so, you must properly manage it by doing things like taking medication, exercising, decreasing salt in your diet, and limiting alcohol consumption. 

Today, your dedicated McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will dive into what hypertension is, as well as the best time of day to take blood pressure medications. 

What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition where the force of blood against the artery walls is too high. Your blood pressure is considered high when it is above 140/90 and it is deemed severe at 180/120. 

If high blood pressure goes untreated, it can cause more serious conditions including heart disease and stroke. 

How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure often does not show symptoms. However, when blood pressure becomes high enough, the following symptoms will arise:

  • Headaches 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dizziness 
  • Chest pain
  • Changes in vision 

People can generally go several years without knowing that they have high blood pressure. That is why it is in your best interest to see a doctor immediately if you believe that one of these symptoms may be related to hypertension. 

How is High Blood Pressure Treated?

The key to living a healthy life after being diagnosed with high blood pressure is making changes to your lifestyle along with taking medicine. By eating a healthier diet, working out regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight, you can lower your blood pressure naturally. 

Medication is also beneficial for those who suffer from the condition as it allows for blood pressure to be controlled by simply taking a daily pill. 

When Should I Take High Blood Pressure Medicine? 

Many people believe that taking high blood pressure medicine is best done in the morning to avoid the chance of forgetting. 

However, recent studies have shown that those who take the medication before bed can possibly reduce their risk for heart-related complications. Taking blood pressure medicine at night also lets blood pressure stay low throughout the night. Once you wake up in the morning, your blood pressure tends to spike. 

It has been shown that by taking the medication at night, you can minimize your likelihood of a cardiovascular-related death by 45%

Do what it takes to have a healthy heart with Saenz Pharmacy. 

To learn more about high blood pressure, what medication is right for you, and the benefits of taking high blood pressure medication at specific times, get in touch with Saenz Pharmacy today.

Will CPAP Cure My Sleep Apnea?

Accordig to the Sleep Apnea Organization, an estimated 22 million people suffer from sleep apnea.

Living with the condition can be a struggle and cause serious issues in other aspects of your life. High blood pressure, insomnia, sleep deprivation, and snoring are all common side effects of sleep apnea. When looking for a way to treat sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure therapy, or CPAP, is often the most reliable method. 

Today, your trusted McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will set the record straight on CPAP machines as a solution for your sleep apnea. 

What Is a CPAP Machine?

CPAP machines were designed to help those struggling with obtrusive sleep apnea breathe easier while sleeping. The machine works to increase air pressure in your throat so that the airway does not collapse when you breathe in. 

The motor in the machine works constantly to generate a constant stream of pressurized air that goes through an air filter and into a tube. The tube then carries the air into a mask that covers either the nose or mouth. 

Will the Machine Cure My Sleep Apnea?

The short answer is no, a CPAP is not a permanent cure for those who are diagnosed with sleep apnea. The machine is only effective in alleviating the symptoms associated with the condition, allowing for a restful night’s sleep.

Is a CPAP Machine the Right Choice for Me?

A CPAP machine can be very beneficial for anyone living with sleep apnea. However, while the device offers many pros, there are also cons to be aware of, including: 

Pros of a CPAP machine: 

  • Improves your quality of sleep and helps you sleep without interruption
  • Lowers your risk of having a heart attack or stroke
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces daytime sleepiness 
  • Could potentially reduce blood glucose and cholesterol levels 

Cons of a CPAP machine: 

  • The machine could cause discomfort and make it harder to fall asleep
  • May evoke a feeling of claustrophobia and anxiety 
  • Nasal congestion 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Nosebleeds 
  • Sore nose
  • Irritation of the eyes 

Ultimately, it’s your decision if the pros outweigh the cons when determining if you want to use a CPAP machine. 

How Can I Get a CPAP machine?

To obtain a CPAP machine, you must first be diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea by your doctor. To properly be diagnosed, your doctor will run a test called a polysomnogram, which monitors your heart rhythm, brain waves, breathing rates, and airflow while you sleep. 

Your prescription for the machine must include the correct pressure level or you could be at risk of suffering from discomfort and the treatment not working as it should. 

Once you receive your prescription, it is important to go through a trusted vendor that rents or sells CPAP machines. This will ensure that you are acquiring a high-quality device that can meet your needs. 

Don’t Suffer Through Another Sleepless Night and Reach Out to Saenz Pharmacy

To learn more about CPAP machines and to get on the path to getting a better night’s sleep, visit Saenz Pharmacy or contact our office today.

Protecting Yourself & Your Loved Ones: Tips for Staying Healthy During COVID-19

While living through the current pandemic, it is especially important to do everything you can to remain healthy. It can seem tough to keep up with your health when already having to deal with the stress and uncertainty of everyday life, and it is easy to feel like your physical and mental health should be placed on the backburner.

But that shouldn’t be the case.  

Today, your trusted McAllen pharmacy, Saenz Pharmacy, will tell you some of the most effective ways to stay healthy during the pandemic.  

How to Stay Healthy During a Pandemic

Washing your hands frequently, covering your mouth when sneezing, and wearing a mask are the three most common ways that you can keep your health in check while also preventing the spread of COVID-19.

However, there are a number of other ways to make sure you are staying safe while the novel coronavirus is still a serious health concern, including:

1. Avoid Sick People

Though this may sound like common sense, it is crucial to remember to stay away from those who are showing signs of illness. If you must spend time with a loved one, colleague, or significant other and you suspect they are sick, then it is in your best interest to keep your distance to the best degree possible and to wash your hands after interacting with them.

2. Stay Away From Busy Areas

Staying away from busy areas like malls, bars, and large gatherings is recommended as the virus can spread much more easily in these environments. Since you might not be able to completely avoid these areas, it is worth remembering to stay home if you are feeling under the weather and disinfect your home constantly. 

3. Avoid Touching Your Face

According to the National Library of Medicine, the average human touches their face 23 times an hour. When you touch your face, germs can spread to the nose, mouth, and eyes more often. Avoiding touching your face can help you stop the spread of germs. 

4. Get Enough Sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep it can negatively affect your immune system. It is best to get at least seven hours of sleep per night and to get plenty of rest if you start to feel ill.

5. Try to Manage Stress Levels

Not only has the pandemic taken a toll on the physical health of many, but it has also greatly impacted our mental health. Remember to stay engaged in activities that you enjoy to avoid becoming too overwhelmed. 

6. Stay Connected

Isolation and time away from loved ones can generally induce anxiety and the feeling of depression. Stay connected with friends and family through video chats and phone calls to avoid having to come into physical contact with others.

7. Maintain a Well-Balanced Diet

Sticking to a healthy diet is essential when it comes to keeping your energy levels high, improving your brain function, and sustaining your immune system. By focusing on nutrition, you can take care of your body by providing it with the key nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs.

Make Your Health a Priority with Saenz Pharmacy 

Staying healthy during the ongoing pandemic can become nerve-racking, but with the help of the McAllen  pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy, it doesn’t have to be.

Benefits of the Flu Vaccine: What You Should Know

Flu season peaks between December and February, and can go on until May. Deciding to get your flu vaccine can sometimes seem like a difficult choice to make.

Today, your local McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy are here to inform you of the benefits of the flu vaccine and what you should know about it.

Benefits of the Flu Vaccine

There are many benefits obtained from getting the flu vaccine every year. Some may seem like obvious reasons and others might not be the first things that come to your mind.

Some of the benefits include:

1. The flu vaccine can keep you from catching the flu.

One of the most beneficial reasons to get the flu vaccine is that it can prevent you from getting sick with the flu.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) during the 2019-2021 flu season, the flu vaccine prevented roughly 7.5 million influenza cases. Getting the flu vaccine has been proven to reduce having to visit the doctor with flu-related symptoms by 40% to 60%.

2. The flu vaccine can prevent flu-associated hospitalization.

During the 2019-2020 flu season, the flu vaccine prevented nearly 105,000 flu-related hospitalizations.

During the last flu season, 400,000 people were hospitalized with the flu, including 22,000 flu-related deaths. In a study done by the CDC, flu vaccination in adults lowered the chance of being taken to the ICU by 82%.

3. The flu vaccine can be lifesaving in children.

During the last flu season, the CDC reported that 188 children died from flu-related deaths. This number reminds us how serious the flu can be for children. A 2017 study found evidence that when a child receives the flu vaccine, it greatly minimizes their likelihood of dying from influenza.

4. The flu vaccine can protect you and those around you.

Getting the flu vaccine not only protects you from getting sick, but it also helps to protect those around you from getting ill as well.

By getting the flu vaccine you can protect those that are more vulnerable, such as babies, young children, the elderly, and those with chronic health issues.

Is the Flu Vaccine Safe?

The flu vaccine is perfectly safe and you cannot catch the flu from getting vaccinated. Most people have no side effects from getting the flu shot.

However, certain people that should not get the flu shot, including children who are less than six months old, people who have previously had a severe reaction to the flu vaccine, those with egg or milk allergies, and those with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Types of Flu Vaccines

The flu vaccine can be distributed in two ways: as an injection or as a nasal spray. Before 2019, the nasal spray was not recommended in fear that it was not as effective as an injection.

In recent years the spray has been proven more effective and both are recommended for the current flu season. Talk to your doctor about which type is best for you.

When You Should Get the Flu Vaccine

It is recommended that you get the flu vaccine on a yearly basis for two reasons.

The first being that your body’s immune response to influenza decreases over time, and by receiving the flu vaccine each season, you are ensuring you have continued protection.

The second reason is that the virus is constantly changing and the virus types that were found in previous flu seasons may not be the ones in the upcoming flu season.
Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu each year.

Don’t Hesitate to Vaccinate with Saenz Pharmacy

To get your flu vaccine, contact Saenz Pharmacy today to guarantee your protection during the flu season.

Our pharmacists will do our best to help keep you healthy and vaccinated while providing the best service possible.

Vitamins and Supplements

The Vitals of Vitamins

Ideally, you want to be getting all of your vitamins from your diet. This can be hard to do if you are limited by life or work. Even when you do make an effort to eat healthy, sometimes you just won’t be getting everything you need.

That’s where vitamins and supplements come in. If you’re still looking for a way to get the most out of what you eat, then vitamins and supplements are just what you’re looking for.

Just the Facts

Always read the labels when looking for vitamins and make sure you’re getting exactly the safe amount you need. Search for a vitamin that gives you all or most of the basics like vitamins C, B2, K, and potassium. Most multivitamins are pretty good about this and ensure that you’ll only need one regular pill in the morning.

In the Numbers

Always make sure to check the percentages on the vitamins you’re buying so that they provide a 100% daily value. Take note though, some supplements like calcium might come up a little short, otherwise the pill would be too big to swallow.