The History of Vaccines & How They Work

Vaccines have been a topic of debate for some good time now, and this has only increased with the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the controversy, vaccines are truly some of the greatest health advances in human history.

The use of vaccines has allowed us to eliminate smallpox and suppress the wild poliovirus. Vaccines have also decreased the number of people who end up suffering from terrible, yet preventable illnesses like measles, diphtheria, and whooping cough.

At Saenz Pharmacy, we believe that it is best to prevent the illness before requiring a long and difficult treatment. That is why, today, your McAllen pharmacists will take a closer look at the inner workings of vaccines.

History & Overview

Vaccines work by imitating the disease they are meant to protect you from. This way, our bodies learn that any outside invader that “looks like” the vaccine is a danger.

Because vaccines stimulate our immune systems, this leads our bodies to produce antibodies as if they were being attacked by the disease. Think of it as a training session for your antibodies; now your body knows how to react to the disease.

This process is called immunization.

Surprisingly, this practice goes back hundreds of years. Buddhist monks drank snake venom to confer immunity to snake bites, for example.

Edward Jenner is known as the founder of vaccinology in Western society. In 1796, Jenner inoculated a 13 year-old-boy with vaccinia virus, (cowpox), which resulted in the child being immune to smallpox.

Thanks to this discovery, in 1798, the first smallpox vaccine was developed.

Later on, scientist Louis Pasteur spearheaded the creation of a cholera vaccine and inactivated anthrax vaccine in humans. Nowadays, the future of vaccines is in molecular genetics. This opens doors to the development of new vaccine delivery systems, new adjuvants, and the development of more effective vaccines.

How They Work

Vaccines not only merely mimic the disease, but can also contain the same germs that cause the disease. This may seem scary, but the germs have been either killed or weakened and are unable to make you sick. In some cases, the vaccine has only a part of the diseased germ.

Unfortunately, some people believe that the different components in vaccines are dangerous or poisonous. But that could not be further from the truth. All ingredients of vaccines are safe and play necessary roles either in making the vaccine, triggering your immune system, or ensuring that the final product is safe and effective.

Some of the most common ingredients used in vaccines include:

  • Adjuvants – These help your body react to the vaccine. They can also be found in antacid medication or antiperspirants.
  • Stabilizers – Not only are stabilizers found naturally in our body, but they are also found in many of the foods we eat. Stabilizers help keep the vaccine effective and safe for use after being manufactured.
  • Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is incredibly important to make sure the vaccine does not suffer contamination as it is being made. Though it does have an intimidating name, formaldehyde can be found in your body and food preservatives.
  • Thimerosal – Though it is no longer in use other than when manufacturing multi-dose vials of the flu vaccine, this ingredient has been accused of causing autism in children who receive the vaccine. It is worth noting, however, that no reputable scientific studies have found an association between this vaccine ingredient and autism.

The Safety of Vaccines

Vaccines cannot just be created by whomever. Before a vaccine is ever given to people or even manufactured, the FDA requires extensive lab testing of the vaccine. This process takes many years of research before testing even begins.

After testing in the lab, human testing must take place. Not only does this take a handful of years as well, but also many times, (regardless of the vaccine’s effectiveness), the vaccine will not be released to the public due to side effects.

Until a vaccine formulation has passed all these safety tests and trials, it cannot be licensed.

Like any medication, it is possible to experience side effects from vaccines. Mild reactions such as a low-grade fever, pain, or redness at the injection site go away within a few days on their own.
Severe, long-lasting side effects are extremely rare and almost unheard of. If they do happen, it may be due to a rare and obscure allergy to one of the vaccine’s ingredients, not necessarily from the vaccine itself.

Get Vaccinated at Your Friendly McAllen Pharmacy

Many illnesses are preventable but could potentially put you and your loved ones at health risk if you are not protected from them.

At Saenz Pharmacy, our pharmaceutical team is ready to provide the vaccinations you need to help you build a defense against serious illnesses. For more information about the immunizations we offer, contact us today.

Should I Try Melatonin For My Insomnia?

When we suffer from insomnia and sleeping problems, many are quick to recommend melatonin. The name might sound daunting and sleeping medication has a bad reputation, but melatonin can normally be found in our body.

Today your amicable McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will help give you a better understanding of melatonin and how it may help you get a restful night of sleep.

An Overview of Melatonin

Melatonin based sleep aids have been growing in popularity. As of 2012, three million Americans reported to be using melatonin according to a nationwide survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland. The pineal gland is a pea-sized gland found right above the middle point in your brain. It allows your body to tell when it’s time to go to sleep, and when to wake up.

Your body makes more melatonin at night, causing you to become sleepy. As the sun rises, and night becomes morning, your levels of melatonin drop, telling your body it is time to wake up.

The amount of light you let yourself receive helps your body to adjust its own bodily clock, which sets how much melatonin your body makes. Melatonin’s main job in the body is to regulate your sleep-wake cycles.

Reasons To Take It

Sleep issues are the main reasons to take melatonin without fail. There are several sleep disorders that can be treated with melatonin and your doctor is very likely to suggest it to you.

People use melatonin when they have occasional insomnia — trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. They also take it for some other sleep problems. Trouble falling asleep at a conventional bedtime (delayed sleep phase syndrome) is one of the more common conditions.

This could include something called delayed sleep phase disorder. If you suffer from delayed sleep phase disorder, going to bed at an appropriate hour must be proving to be extremely difficult. As well, waking up and falling asleep before 2 a.m. is tough. So getting up in the morning becomes even more difficult and leaves you feeling unrested.
Melatonin is also useful to treat or prevent jet lag. A common condition frequent flyers may get when they’re traveling across time zones.

Taking melatonin by mouth has proved to reduce the length of time needed to fall asleep in young adults and children who have trouble falling asleep. However, within one year of stopping treatment, the sleeping issue may return without proper medical attention.

Regardless, melatonin can’t take the place of a doctor’s care and treatment for serious sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or long-term insomnia.

Safety

Melatonin is a quite safe supplement to use to treat your occasional insomnia, or sleeping issues while waiting to get proper treatment from your primary care provider.

While melatonin rarely causes any side effects compared to other sleep medications, you could still find yourself with the following side effects:

  • Drowsiness during the day
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Anxiety
  • Crankiness
  • A “stuffy head” sensation
  • Short and temporary depression

Melatonin is very safe, but it is worth keeping in mind that it might cause problems if you consume it along with certain medications like:

  • Blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants)
  • Drugs that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants)
  • Diabetes drugs
  • Birth control pills

Make sure to tell your doctor if you’re thinking about taking any supplement, especially if you have a current prescription or have a health condition.

In rare cases, the natural form of melatonin supplements might be flawed and contain a virus or other issues. If you decide to use melatonin, it is in your best interest to pick a synthetic type.

Stop By Saenz Pharmacy To Put Your Sleeping Issues to Rest

Making sure to get the right supplement for you is of utmost importance if you want to benefit from it. That is why your McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy are ready to provide you with all the necessary recommendations and information. Your local pharmacist can help you choose the supplement you need and instruct you on its proper use.

Compounding 101: What You Should Know

Sometimes, healthcare providers need to prescribe medicine at strengths that are not manufactured by drug companies, or need to create products with a different method of ingestion.

Pharmaceutical compounding provides a way for physicians and compounding pharmacists to customize a prescription to meet the specific needs of a patient. From combining multiple medications into a single convenient dosage for hospice patients to making children’s cough medicine flavored, compounding can help to make the medication-taking process much easier.

At Saenz Medical, we specialize in compounding. We understand that there are some patients who don’t respond to traditional methods of treatment and need alternatives.

Allow your McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy to help you learn more about pharmaceutical compounding.

The Basics Of Compounding

The formal definition of compounding is:

The preparation, mixing, assembling, altering, packaging, and labeling of a drug, drug-delivery device, or device in accordance with a licensed practitioner’s prescription, medication order, or initiative based on the practitioner/patient/ pharmacist/compounder relationship in the course of professional practice.

Compounded medications are ordered by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, veterinarian or another prescriber, and mixed by licensed compounding pharmacists in a safe and carefully controlled environment.

Most often, a physician will provide the recipe and your compounding pharmacist will check the recipe against standard drug information for accuracy.

Uses And Examples of Pharmaceutical Compounding

There are many varying reasons why a healthcare provider might prescribe a compounded medication. Some of which include:

  • Different Manner Of Delivery

From flavor to consistency, some patients will need their medication modified to make it easier for them to take.

Others may be elderly or have a condition that won’t allow them to swallow a pill, so a powder or syrup would be a better option in these instances. Oftentimes for children, adding a flavor and/or color to their medication makes it easier to administer.

  • Custom Dose

In certain cases, brand-name medication may not be available in the right dose a patient needs. So, instead of forcing a patient to cut up a pill into small irregular pieces, a doctor may prescribe a compound drug. This way, the medication will be provided in pills of the right dose.

  • Combining Medications

This does not mean the medications are mixed, but, similarly to changing the way of delivery, allows a patient to take more than one medication at once.

This can be convenient for forgetful patients or patients with a large number of prescribed medications.

  • Allergies

Sometimes, patients have allergies not related to the active ingredient of a medication, but to dyes, coatings, preservatives, or binders.

This means they need these inactive ingredients removed from their medication. Allergies to artificial dyes, wheat, or lactose can merit a compounded drug.

Safety and Benefits

Pharmacy compounding is regulated on a state-by-state basis, but the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) sets the standards that are also integrated into the practice of drug compounding.

A pharmacy compounding large amounts of medication must be accredited by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB).

The standards and accreditations set by the organization are what render compounding safe and effective. Every pharmacist must be trained extensively before being allowed to practice compounding. Compounding is not something done carelessly or completed by any regular pharmacist.

The safe process of compounding allows a major percentage of the patient population to safely consume their vital medications.

Get the Compounded Medication You Need When You Visit Your Local McAllen Pharmacy!

At Saenz Pharmacy, we understand the path to health is not the same for everyone. Get your medications refilled and make sure to ask your McAllen pharmacist all the questions you have about your compounded medication.

National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

As the end of month grows near, it’s important to remember June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MAHM).

Though migraines and headaches may seem trivial to many, MAHM has been observed since 2011 for good reason. The National Headache Foundation (NHF) wants to raise awareness of the prevalence of migraines throughout the nation; about 16 million people deal with undiagnosed migraines.

This year, MHAM’s focus is on a new era for healthcare and how people suffering from headaches and migraines have navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic. In observance of MHAM, your friendly McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will explore how healthcare has changed for those with migraines and headaches through the pandemic, and how to identify if your headache is more than just a headache.

Migraines, Headaches, and Telemedicine Through the Pandemic

It wasn’t easy for anyone with chronic health conditions to get the care they needed during the pandemic. For a time, many clinics and doctor offices were closed, and everyday procedures and checkups were considered to be too risky.

Migraine and headache sufferers were among this part of the population. Managing their conditions became stressful and difficult, which led to an increase in migraine and headache attacks. It has been reported that 61% of migraine and headache patients were afraid of visiting their doctors. However, their insurance companies still required them to have regular checkups.

Thankfully, when telemedicine appointments became regularly available, their situation went from difficult to convenient. According to a survey by The Headache & Migraine Policy Forum, a whopping 78% of migraine and headache patients used telemedicine after the start of the pandemic, in comparison to just 22% before the pandemic.

The ease of access made telemedicine essential. According to research from the American Headache Society, even before the pandemic, telemedicine care had shown it “saves money and time, improves quality of care, builds patient satisfaction.”

Telemedicine appointments have been so effective, 83% of the population who made use of telemedicine appointments hope their provider continues to offer this option.

Should I See a Doctor?

Oftentimes, we dismiss our headaches as non-critical, especially when they are a constant in our lives. However, paying attention to our bodies, and what it is attempting to tell us is important to remaining healthy, and avoiding bigger health issues.

Constantly suffering from migraines and headaches is not normal. However, though chronic sufferers will need treatment, not all will require a lifetime of constant medication.

There are three main types of headaches and each has a different treatment:

    • Tension Headaches

These happen slowly and the pain is not sharp. It slowly expands and it can be described as a dull constant pain. They tend to affect booths sides of the head and can spread to the back of the head and/or neck.
Regular over-the-counter medication can help mitigate tension headaches, however, it is important to talk to your doctor about what could be causing this tension, as in some cases, depression or anxiety can be the cause and will require additional treatment to help with these other issues.

    • Migraines

Migraines are known for being quite debilitating. They present throbbing pain from either both or only one side of the head, and can often affect the eyes and face. Vomiting, nausea, and hypersensitivity are also common symptoms. Migraines can last for hours or even days, and they can be inherited from generation to generation.
If migraines become debilitating and render you unable to lead your daily activities, you should visit your doctor immediately.

    • Cluster Headaches

Uncommon, but the most painful of the three, cluster headaches are sudden and tend to be located behind the eye. They happen in different phases, each lasting one to three hours throughout the day.
There is no known cure for cluster headaches, however, your doctor can provide ways to mitigate the pain.

If your headaches and migraines are constant, and/or they have been increasing in frequency and intensity talk to your primary care provider.

Require Migraine Medication? Your Pharmacist At Your Local McAllen Pharmacy Can Help!

At Saenz Pharmacy, we understand starting a new treatment can be scary, but we are here to help you put your doubts to rest! Get your medications refilled at your local Saenz Pharmacy and make sure to ask your McAllen pharmacist all your questions about your headache medication.

Hospital Care In The Comfort Of Your Home

Sometimes, taking care of our health at home requires us to change our habits and environment, and that’s okay. 

Whether temporary or permanent, you may need equipment at home to properly recuperate or care for a loved one’s health condition. Today, your friendly McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will help you make the transition easier by discussing the importance of medical equipment and some of the most common pieces of equipment you may need at home.

Medical Equipment And Recovery

Whether it is for yourself or a loved one, medical equipment is crucial for a patient’s recovery at home.

Medical equipment doesn’t just make patient care easier, but it also allows for the patient to feel comfortable and avoid further injury or worsening their condition.

Sometimes it’s not easy to identify what kind of equipment you may need. Here is a list of common equipment and what they are normally used for:

Wheelchair

Though it may seem like straightforward equipment, not everyone feels comfortable with the notion of having to use a wheelchair. However, there are several conditions that limit mobility and will require the use of a wheelchair to avoid further pain and/or injury, including:

  • Rheumatic Arthritis
  • Alzheimer
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Asthma

Hospital Bed

A hospital bed is a more commonly needed piece of medical equipment than you may think. Hospital beds allow caregivers to provide proper care to the patient and will also make moving the patient easier and more comfortable for them.

Hospital beds move in different ways like lowering, reclining, or rising so the patient doesn’t have to. Suffering from extreme pain, having trouble breathing, or inflammation issues are some of the reasons why your doctor may prescribe you a hospital bed for home.

Diabetic Supplies

According to the US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health, diabetes hospitalization rates are among the highest in Texas, with the diabetes mortality rate in Hidalgo County being higher than that of the whole state as of 2017.

With such worrisome numbers, it is especially critical to take the proper route to treat diabetes and have everything needed at hand. From diabetic shoes for avoiding injuries to blood sugar measuring devices, diabetic medical supplies (if used properly) can help any diabetic person lead a regular life.

Home Phototherapy

It may sound intimidating, but this type of medical equipment is based on the need for light. Phototherapy is the use of light or other forms of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation that serve as treatment for different medical conditions.

The most common use of phototherapy is with an ultraviolet radiation lamp to reduce or eliminate viruses that cause skin diseases, at least temporarily. Home phototherapy is also commonly used for neonatal babies with jaundice.

Nebulizer

Not to be confused with an inhalator, the nebulizer helps deliver medication to the lungs by changing the medication into a fine mist that can be aspirated.

Getting a nebulizer along with medication requires a doctor’s prescription.

Canes & Walkers

Canes and walkers are known to be frequently used by older adults. However, these types of medical equipment are meant to be used by anyone who has any form of walking impairment.

Patients who suffer an injury to one or both of their legs may be required to use either a cane or a walker (depending on their case) while they fully recover.

Bathroom Aids

Same as with canes and walkers, bathroom aids are more commonly associated with older adults. Despite that, they can be required to be used by anyone who suffered an injury impairing their movement.

Bathroom aids make the use of the bathroom safer and more comfortable for the patient and the caregiver alike. These aids let the patient or the caregiver find support, grips, or handholds where needed.

High-Quality Medical Equipment at a McAllen Pharmacy

Getting the right medical equipment and proper instruction on how to use it is vital for a successful recovery. That is why Saenz Pharmacy offers high-quality medical equipment and years of experience.

Your local pharmacist at Saenz Pharmacy can help you choose the equipment you need and instruct you on its proper use so you can just concentrate on recovering.

June is Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Awareness Month, which has been celebrated every June of the year since 1992 and founded by Men’s Health Network.

During this month several health providers and workers bring awareness to commonly overlooked health issues that men experience. With that, today your reliable McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will shed light on warning signs that men should look out for in regards to their health.

Listening to Your Body

According to menshealthmonth.org, men are dying an average of five years younger than women, mostly due to men being more reluctant to visit a health provider when they notice changes in their body.

Though there are physical changes that do not require immediate medical attention, there are others that men should not overlook and keep track of. The following is a list of warning signs that every man should pay attention to:

Urinary Habits

Getting up in the middle of the night to pee (or peeing more often as normal) along with a weak stream could be a sign of an enlarged prostate.

Pain or burning sensation could be a clear sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). If the burning sensation persists minutes after peeing, make sure to visit your health provider as soon as possible.

Tingling, Numbness, or Burning Sensation

Any sort of lack of sensation or burning in your extremities can often happen for daily activities like sitting too long or holding them upwards. However, this tingling happening frequently without apparent reason could be caused by circulation problems, and be early indicators for different health problems:

  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Stroke
  • Hypothyroidism

Skin Changes

Taking care of your skin is not only for aesthetics, but also to make sure there aren’t signs of possible health issues.

Any changes in your moles or birthmarks like bleeding, sudden enlargement, or color change should be seen by a dermatologist. These changes could be an early sign of skin cancer or a malignant melanoma.

Chest Pain

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in American men and is the most common symptom of a heart attack. Pain that can be described as feeling pressure, squeezing or fullness in the chest, could be an indication of heart issues.

Though pain in the chest area can be caused by common occurrences like gas, a constant pain along with numbness, tingling, or nausea, could be enough reason to visit the emergency room.

Genital Area Changes

While it may be embarrassing for many, men taking care of their genitals can be life-saving. Men tend to hide symptoms that they may feel are shameful like erectile dysfunction (ED), but these symptoms can be signs for bigger health problems down the line.

The same way ED could be an early pointer for diabetes, any changes in the testicles could be a hint of cancer or injury. If there is redness, lumping, or swelling in the testicles, it is necessary to visit your health provider.

Feelings of Hopelessness, Tiredness, or Irritability

Though society tends to teach men to hide their emotions, certain constant emotions could be evidence of a worse ailment.

Finding yourself without any motivation to take on your favorite hobbies, jumping at small sounds or movements, feeling constantly irritable or out of patience, along with a permeating exhaustion, could be signs of depression and/or anxiety.

These are symptoms difficult to catch for everyone, yet men more often tend to ignore them. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men. In 2019, men died by suicide almost four times more frequently than women.

Get All Of Your Health Questions Answered when you visit Saenz Pharmacy

Health is important for everyone, and treating your symptoms is no sign of weakness. Taking care of your body and strengthening your health is of great importance for every man.
At Saenz Pharmacy, we care about your health and our trained staff can give you the right guidance you need.

Everything You Need to Know About the Pfizer Vaccine

Recently, the Pfizer vaccine was approved for kids ages 12 and up, and it is now being offered at Saenz Pharmacy for those who fit this age criterion. When looking into getting the vaccine there are many questions you might ask yourself, including whether it is safe, whether it is worth getting vaccinated, and what the side effects are.

Today, your candid McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will go in depth about everything you need to know about the Pfizer Vaccine.

What is the Pfizer Vaccine?

The Pfizer vaccine is a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the FDA and recommended by the CDC for those who meet the criteria for being vaccinated. The vaccine helps our body develop immunity to the COVID-19 virus without us having to be infected.

Is the Pfizer Vaccine Safe?

The next question that might come to mind is if the Pfizer vaccine is safe. The short answer is, yes.

The Pfizer vaccine has been administered worldwide over 200 million times and has an excellent safety record. However, certain people should not get the Pfizer vaccine for several reasons.

Who Should Not Get the Pfizer Vaccine?

Although it is recommended that everyone in the U.S. receive the COVID vaccine, the following demographic groups should not get vaccinated:

  • Someone with a severe allergic reaction like anaphylaxis, or any type of immediate allergic reaction to any ingredient listed in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, even if it was not a severe reaction.
  • Someone who experienced a severe or immediate allergic reaction after getting their first dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Someone who had an allergic reaction classified as severe; if you needed to be treated with epinephrine or received immediate medical care.
  • Someone who experiences an allergic reaction that is considered immediate; having an allergic reaction within 4 hours of exposure, including hives, swelling, or wheezing.

Potential Side Effects of the Pfizer Vaccine

Having the following side effects after receiving the vaccine is common and they will typically go away in one to two days after vaccination:

In the arm where you got the shot:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

The reason you develop side effects is because your body is building protection.

How Effective is the Pfizer Vaccine?

According to the CDC, the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illnesses in those who did not have a previous infection (16 and older). In clinical trials, it was also shown that those aged 12-15 had just as strong of an immune response as those aged 16-25.

When it comes to getting vaccinated to protect yourself from COVID-19, it is best to get the first shot that becomes available to you, no matter what the brand is.

Help do your part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by setting up your appointment to be vaccinated with Saenz Pharmacy.

The spread of COVID-19 can be prevented by those who are eligible to get vaccinated doing so. Reach out to Saenz Pharmacy to speak to a McAllen pharmacist to schedule your vaccine appointment today!

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month

In the United States alone, nearly half of all adults suffer from high blood pressure. With May being National High Blood Pressure Education Month, now’s the perfect time to educate yourself on high blood pressure, if you haven’t already. 

Today, the experts at your local McAllen pharmacy, Saenz Pharmacy, will review everything you need to know about high blood pressure. 

What is Blood Pressure?

Let’s start by going over what blood pressure is. Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries are responsible for carrying blood from your heart to other parts of your body. 

What is High Blood Pressure? 

High blood pressure is when the force of blood against your artery walls is too high. It is normal for your blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day, but when your blood pressure is too high for a long period of time, it can damage your heart and cause serious health problems. 

Any reading at or above 130/80 is considered high blood pressure. 

The Risks of High Blood Pressure

Having persistent high blood pressure can put you at risk for the following health complications: 

  • Heart disease 
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Heart failure
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Aortic aneurysms
  • Kidney disease 
  • Vascular dementia 
  • Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in the kidneys
  • Thickened and narrowed blood vessels in the eyes

Because these risks are so serious, it is always a good idea to keep up with what your blood pressure is and continue to monitor it if you believe it may be high. 

Who Is At Risk for High Blood Pressure?

Certain factors make you more susceptible to developing high blood pressure, such as: 

  • Lifestyle habits (e.g. too much sodium intake, not enough potassium, lack of exercise, drinking too much alcohol, smoking)
  • If you are a male; high blood pressure is more common in men than in women
  • If you are a woman over the age of 55
  • Race; people of African American heritage are more likely to develop high blood pressure at an early age
  • Being overweight or obese
  • If you suffer from high stress levels 
  • If you take NSAIDS like naproxen, sulindac, diclofenac, piroxicam, indometacin, Mobic, Lodine, and celecoxib
  • If you take cough and cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine 
  • If you suffer from chronic conditions including diabetes, kidney disease, or sleep apnea 
  • If your diet is low in vitamin D 
  • If high blood pressure runs in your family 

The Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Knowing the symptoms of high blood pressure can help you diagnose the condition early on. These are the symptoms to watch out for: 

  • Severe headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Fatigue or confusion 
  • Vision problems
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood in the urine
  • Shortness of breath
  • Flushing
  • Dizziness 
  • Visual changes

If you are suffering from these symptoms, it is in your best interest to see a healthcare provider to accurately assess if high blood pressure may be to blame. 

How You Can Control High Blood Pressure

Luckily, while it is a serious condition, high blood pressure can be controlled. High blood pressure can best be managed by: 

  • Losing any extra pounds and watching your waistline 
  • Exercising regularly 
  • Eating a healthy diet 
  • Reducing salt intake
  • Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Quitting smoking 
  • Cutting back on caffeine 
  • Lowering stress levels

If these natural ways of controlling your high blood pressure don’t work, you can see your doctor to get specific medication to keep your blood pressure under control. 

If you think you might be suffering from high blood pressure, it is best to seek help from a medical professional. 

Honor National High Blood Pressure Education Month by spreading awareness and checking your blood pressure at Saenz Pharmacy. 

High blood pressure is a serious condition and you can never be too safe. Reach out to Saenz Pharmacy to speak with a McAllen pharmacist about hypertension today. 

The Potential Dangers of Supplements: A Pharmacist’s Perspective

Getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals is beneficial for your diet. However, it is important to be aware of what kind of supplements your body needs and how much of one supplement is considered dangerous.

Today, your caring McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will go over the benefits and dangers of supplements.

Understanding Supplements

Supplements, which usually come as pills, tablets, capsules, powders, or liquids, are intended to offset the minerals and vitamins you may be missing in your diet. Supplements can also come in the form of an energy bar or drink.

Some popular supplements include vitamins D, B12, and minerals such as calcium and iron.

The Dangers of Supplements

You’ve probably heard the saying “too much of a good thing can be bad,” and this too applies to supplements; taking too much of them can be the turning point where things get dangerous. Many supplements have strong active ingredients that can be harmful when taken in high doses or instead of medicine prescribed by a doctor.

Taking too much of a supplement is not only costly, but it also makes your chances of experiencing side effects significantly higher.

The foods that we consume daily may also have added vitamins, minerals, and other supplements. In return, if we incorporate extra supplements into our diet, we can be getting way more than we need, which can cause liver and organ damage, nausea, headaches, reduced bone strength, and birth defects.

Supplements can increase your risk of bleeding during surgery and even change the way you respond to anesthesia. Supplements may also interact with certain medications, so it is always best to double-check how your current medications will interact with any supplement you may be taking.

The Benefits of Supplements

For those who do not consume enough vitamins and minerals in their daily diet, supplements can be helpful. Supplements benefit those who need to:

  • Maintain their health
  • Support their mental and sports-related performance
  • Provide immune system support

Dietary supplements can be great for the consumer as long as they are well-informed of what they are putting in their body.

Who Can Benefit From Supplements?

While too much of a supplement can be a dangerous thing, some people may need to add supplements to their diet to live a healthy life. These individuals include:

  • Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant
  • Older adults who need more vitamins than younger adults to make up vitamin deficiency and to support bone strength
  • People with food allergies or restricted diets who take supplements to compensate for lack of nutrients

What You Should Do Before Taking Supplements

It is recommended that you talk to your primary care provider before adding any new supplements to your diet. This will ensure that you are taking the supplements correctly and that they do not interact with any other medication that you have been prescribed.

Find out if supplements are right for you with the help of Saenz Pharmacy.

You can never be too careful when taking any type of supplement or medication. The trained pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy are ready to answer any questions you may have!

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!