| Posted On Jun 02, 2020 | By:

Avoiding Unproven and Unsafe Remedies for COVID-19

Much is unknown about the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, including whether any existing medications will successfully prevent and treat infections caused by it. You may have heard speculation and even endorsement in the news of specific medications. The truth is that no clinical trials have yet proven any medication to be effective, and many trials are now underway. Some limited information is also available from drugs tried in COVID-19 infected patients, but these studies did not include a control group of equivalent patients who did not receive the drug making it impossible to compare and tell if the treatment was truly effective.

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| Posted On Apr 27, 2020 | By:

We’re Here for You: Diabetes Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

If you have diabetes, you may wish that your pancreas could give you a pass on managing your blood sugar during this pandemic! But unfortunately your body still needs the same care, even if your mind and your priorities take you to so many other places right now. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that you minimize health situations that would require an in-person clinic visit or a trip to the emergency room where you could be exposed to this virus or pass it to others if you are already infected.

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| Posted On Sep 05, 2017 | By:

Safe Storage of Opioids in the Home

My recent article on expired medications opened up a discussion of how to safely handle opioid narcotics such as morphine, hydrocodone, codeine or oxycodone in the home – a worthy topic considering the current national opioid addiction crisis!

The amount of opioids dispensed from pharmacies in the US quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, and an estimated 5.1 million Americans abuse prescription pain relievers – more than the number abusing cocaine, heroin,

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| Posted On May 25, 2017 | By:

Expired Medicines – Are They Safe?

Many of us keep unused medicines in our homes, whether left over from a prescription or purchased over-the-counter for some future need. All medicines will eventually expire –what do you do then?

First let’s step back and take a look at what expiration dates mean.

For over-the-counter medicines, you’ll find an expiration date printed on the packaging by the manufacturer. This date refers to the time beyond which the manufacturer says the medicine should no longer be used.

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| Posted On Aug 08, 2014 | By:

Clinical Pharmacists on your Harvard Vanguard Care Team

When patients choose a new primary care physician (PCP), most expect the doctor’s care team might include a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, a registered nurse and a medical assistant. At Harvard Vanguard, as at all of the Atrius Health medical groups, a clinical pharmacist also plays a key role on your medical team.

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| Posted On Sep 10, 2013 | By:

Making Sense of a Prescription Medicine Label

I admit it: there’s a lot of information packed onto a prescription medicine label.  It’s all appropriate and necessary information, but it can also be overwhelming and confusing to interpret the abbreviations and small print.  To add to the confusion, one pharmacy’s label may place information in a different location than another pharmacy’s label does, creating a frustrating game of “hide and seek.”

Understanding your medicine label gives you the power to take what’s inside correctly and protect your health.

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| Posted On Aug 06, 2013 | By:

How Clinical Pharmacists Work to Improve Drug Therapy for Our ACO Patients

The Atrius Health groups have a team of clinical pharmacists working with our physicians, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, nurses and support staff to optimize the effectiveness, safety and cost of medication therapy for all patients – including Accountable Care Organization (ACO) patients.

Each of our clinical pharmacists has an advanced degree and ambulatory care clinical training/experience, and practices within our Internal Medicine and Family Medicine departments. Here, they participate in team meetings to develop specific care plans for our most medically vulnerable patients.

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| Posted On Apr 20, 2011 | By:

Safe, Proper Medication Disposal

As we mentioned in a recent blog post about medication safety, unused medications, whether expired or simply no longer needed, should be disposed of to prevent them from getting into the wrong hands (or paws).

But how do you get rid of those medications? If you wash them down the drain or flush them away, they get into the water system.  Too much medication disposed of this way can be harmful to the environment.

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| Posted On Mar 21, 2011 | By:

Medication Safety at Home

Recently, a number of factors have led to a fairly rapid rise in serious and fatal medication errors occurring in the home.  As our population ages and more and more people are taking multiple medications, studies suggest that many errors are directly related to combining prescription medications from different health care providers who were unaware of all the medications – including over the counter medications and herbal or vitamin supplements – being taken by patients. 

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