Prescription Refills

Are you on a daily medication or learning to handle your own prescriptions for the first time? Do you have a prescription that you need to continue taking but you are out of refills?

In most cases, if you are out of refills it means that your provider felt at the time of writing your prescription that a follow-up visit was indicated in this period of time. We generally write most on-going prescriptions with the number of refills that fits the standard of care for following that health condition. Sometimes there are lab tests or physical findings that need to be checked periodically.

You don’t have time to come in for an appointment right now?

Ideally you would be able to make the time to come in for a visit so that we can provide the best possible care. However, we too were students once and understand your crazy schedules, so you can either message your provider through MyBuckMD or call the health center to leave a message with your provider asking for an extension until you can make it in for an appointment.

How to avoid running out of medications?

Plan ahead! If you notice that your medication is running low, take a look at the bottle for any refills. If you see no refills remaining, make an appointment with the prescribing provider as soon as you can.

Don’t see an appointment on-line that fits your schedule?

All available appointments do not show up for on-line scheduling. So if you are having trouble finding an appointment with your provider, please call our appointments line at 614-292-4321. Our appointments associates will be happy to help you find the next available appointment that fits your schedule.

Ryan Hanson, M.D.

Medication Disposal Day – Don’t rush to flush!

The Student Health Services Pharmacy will be holding our 6th annual DEA-approved Medication Disposal Day Thursday, October 26th, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

All students, staff, and faculty are invited to bring unused or expired medicines to be disposed of in a safe, legal, and environmentally-friendly way.  This service is entirely free of charge and is completely anonymous.  No questions asked!  We will take any expired, damaged or unused medications (even if they are a controlled substance like narcotic pain medication or ADD medication).

Please note: Do not remove medication labels before drop-off.  Syringes, needles, and thermometers will not be accepted.

Our goal is to address a vital public safety and public health issue by removing potentially dangerous prescription drugs from your backpacks and medicine cabinets.

  • Since 2007, more Ohians have died from unintentional drug overdosing than motor vehicle accidents.
  • More than 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
  • Each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs for the first time to get high, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.
  • Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

These expired medicines can be as bad for our environment as they are for our health.  Measurable quantities of some common medications are showing up in lakes, reservoirs, and municipal water supplies, thought to be due in large part to improper flushing of medications down sinks and toilets.

So make the right choice and join us for our 5th Annual Medication Disposal Day!  It’s a great way to keep yourself healthy and our campus safe!

This event is jointly sponsored by Student Health Services (Office of Student Life), Department of Public Safety, and Generation Rx.

Candace Haugtvedt, RPh, PhD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

My friend is hooked on painkillers, what should I do?

Addiction is a devastating disease that can have life-threatening consequences if not treated. It is important to know where to go on campus in case you or a friend is ever in need of help.

Counseling and Consultation Services

  • Location: Younkin Success Center (4th Floor), 1640 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201
  • Phone: 614-292-5766
  • About: Provide individual and group counseling, suicide prevention, mental health screenings and a variety of other mental health services to meet your needs.

The Ohio State Collegiate Recovery Community

  • Location: 1230 Lincoln Tower
  • Phone: 614-292-2094
  • About: The Collegiate Recovery Community is a program for students in or seeking recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. They provide many resources for students in recovery including the following:
    • Recovery House at Penn Place
    • Peer to peer support
    • Devoted recovery staff
    • Advocacy, information and referrals
    • On campus support group meetings
    • Monthly wellness workshops
    • Social events
    • CRC Student Leadership Board
    • Service opportunities
    • Recovery Scholarships
    • Annual CRC Program Orientation
    • Graduation Dinner
    • Individualized Recovery Plans
    • Ohio State alumni in recovery mentor program
    • Leadership and professional development
    • Scarlet, Gray & Sober Tailgates
    • Monthly community lunch
    • Designated CRC lounge on campus, 1230 Lincoln Tower

The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery

  • Location: 125 Stillman Hall, 1947 College Rd, Columbus, OH 43210
  • Phone: 614-292-5572
  • About: Can help students identify resources and answer their questions about drug and alcohol misuse. The center can also help identify the best way to talk to a friend who may be misusing drugs or alcohol.

Student Health Services

  • Location: 1875 Millikin Rd, Columbus, OH 43210
  • Phone: 614-292-4321
  • About: Student Health Services is dedicated to caring for students and families of those struggling with the disease of addiction. For those in long-term recovery, SHS can provide maintenance medication if certain expectations are met. Call a Care Manager at Counseling and Consultation Services to apply (614-292-5766). The SHS Pharmacy is also equipped to provide naloxone (Narcan), the overdose reversal medication, and overdose education. Call 614-292-0125 for more information.

It is important to speak up if you or a loved one is struggling with the disease of addiction. You could save a life! Be sure to check out my next post about naloxone, a drug that can reverse opioid overdose!

 

Kelsey Kresser Schmuhl, PharmD Candidate 2017

 

 

 

 

Got anything to help me stay awake to study?

As a college instructor, I am always somewhat amused by the panic that finals week seems to cause.  Seriously, it’s not like finals week is a surprise.  And it’s not like the content of a final is unknown – it could be anything that was covered in class.  And yet, students panic when it comes to finals week and look for ways to stay alert as they study late into the night trying to finish papers and prepare for exams.  For some this involves huge quantities of caffeine.  For others – study drugs.

This isn’t something new.  In the 70’s Ohio State students asked Dr. Spencer Turner, Director of Student Health Services, if he could recommend anything to stay awake while preparing for finals.  The study drugs back then were known as bennies or speed.  Today they are prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin, for both the common component is amphetamine.  Used without a prescription, these drugs can be dangerous – not to mention illegal.

Dr. Turner stated that “the use of an amphetamine without proper medical supervision is unwise for several reasons:

  1. Pre-existing medical condition(s)
  2. Risk of adverse reaction(s) to even a single dose, especially when already fatigued
  3. Masking physical fatigue when this is the body’s signal for needed rest
  4. Likelihood of crashing at an inopportune time such as in the middle of a final or while driving
  5. Temptation to continue the drug’s use

These reasons continue to be valid today.  When prescribed, proper dosage has been determined by a physician based upon the medical condition of the patient.  The physician then monitors the patient regularly to ensure there are no adverse effects.  These are two key components – proper dosage and monitoring.  A pill obtained without a prescription, such as from a roommate or friend has neither of these. 

Study drugs can improve focus and motivation to study, but the short-term benefits of these substances do not come without their fair share of risks.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Adderall can cause hallucinations, impulsive behavior, paranoia, and irritability. These are among a long list of dangerous side effects that probably won’t help with that final!

You can read Dr. Turner’s article Sleep, finals week, ‘Bennies’ and you in the Lantern Online Archive, March 12, 1971

Submitted by Tina Comston, M.Ed.

Reviewed by Mary Lynn Kiacz, M.D.

Do you belong to Generation Rx?

Are you concerned about the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs?  Are you trying to educate those around you to its dangers?  Are you concerned about the “other freshman 15”?  Then you may be part of Generation Rx.

Generation Rx began at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy in 2007 in response to the rapid increase in accidental drug overdose deaths in Ohio.  Its purpose is to combat the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs through educational prevention.  One such component – the “other freshman 15”.  Fifteen facts about prescription drug abuse:

  1. Prescription medications are among the most abused substances in the US.
  2. The average age when prescription drug abuse starts is 21.
  3. Non-medical use of prescription drugs by college students has doubled since 1990.
  4. About half of all college students will have the opportunity to abuse a prescription drug by their sophomore year.
  5. A growing campus culture of self-diagnosis and self-prescribing has the potential to cause negative health effects and lead to the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
  6. Abusing prescription medications is not a safe alternative to using illicit “street” drugs.
  7. Using medications like Vicodin, Adderall, or Xanax that aren’t prescribed for you is against federal and state laws.
  8. Emergency department visits relating to prescription drug abuse now exceed those relating to illicit “street” drugs.
  9. Some prescription medications can be addicting.
  10. Unintentional drug overdose is leading the cause of accidental death in the US.
  11. Most people who abuse prescription medications get them from family members or friends.
  12. It is critical that we store prescription medications securely and properly dispose of them when they are no longer needed to prevent misuse or abuse by others.
  13. It is important to only use prescription medications as prescribed by a healthcare professional.
  14. When you share your prescription medications with others, you could be liable if that person is harmed.
  15. Prescription drugs can help us live longer and healthier lives – but only if they are used properly and under medical supervision.

Take some time and view the Interact play on prescription drug abuse.

If you have prescription medications that you no longer need or that have expired, bring them to the Wilce Student Health Center Pharmacy on April 17, 2014 8am – 2pm for safe disposal.  No cost, no questions.

Learn more about Generation Rx at http://drupalmod.pharmacy.ohio-state.edu/outreach/generation-rx-initiative.

Submitted by Candace Haugtvedt, R.Ph., Ph.D.

Reviewed by Tina Comston, M.Ed.

Few days left to make your choice,,,about smoking

wikimedia commons

November 15 – the 37th Annual Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, is a day for smokers to take a day off from using tobacco, and for nonsmokers to encourage their friends to do the same.  Are you getting prepared?

If you do plan to quit, you should know that the days ahead are going to be tough, and most people make several attempts before they actually kick the habit for good. So, don’t be too discouraged if it takes a few tries to make it stick!

The great news is that there are a TON of resources out there to help you quit smoking.

One of my favorite programs is 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). You can call this free hotline and speak to a professional smoking cessation counselor. They can help you get over your fears about quitting, help you set your quit date, teach you coping strategies for cravings, etc. The really great thing about this service is that they can often help you get access to nicotine replacement therapy if you are qualified, whether or not you have insurance. Plus, people who use “quit lines” have been found to be more successful in their attempts to quit!

If you’re not into the idea of calling a quit line, this government website is another great resource. It offers tips for quitting, a savings calculator, a cravings journal and much more!  The CDC website also offers a list of resources to help you quit. 

Closer to home, the staff of Student Health Services is also here to help. In addition to advice and encouragement, we can offer several prescription medication options to help you quit.  All medications have side effects, so be sure to discuss them fully with your health care provider before taking them.  The main options are:

Varenicline (Chantix) works by blocking the effect of nicotine on your brain, so if you relapse and light up, that cigarette won’t give you the same pleasurable effect it used to.  It also helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms.  Varenicline is not covered by insurance and it ain’t cheap (about $120/month), but it does seem to be very effective. 

Buproprion (Wellbutrin) is a commonly prescribed antidepressant that has been found to decrease tobacco cravings and withdrawal symptoms.  Buproprion is much cheaper than Varenicline (it’s on many $4 prescription plans and is usually covered by health insurance) but doesn’t seem to be quite as effective. 

There are also a number of nicotine replacement products on the market these days. You can get anything from patches to gum to lozenges to inhalers. These are typically priced so that a month of treatment costs the same as a month of cigarettes (at about a pack per day). So really, while it seems pricey up front, in the long run you’ll be saving money.  Even though you can buy them without a prescription, it’s always a good idea to talk to your health care provider before starting one of these products.

Good luck!  Please post a comment and let us know how you’re doing!  Who knows, your experiences may help someone else kick the habit!

Angela Walker, MD (OSU COM Alum)

John A. Vaughn, MD (OSU Student Health Services)

 

How much are you willing to pay per pound to lose weight?

prairieecothrifter

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved two new medications for weight loss.

Qsymia, is actually a combination of two older drugs – topiramate (Topamax), an anticonvulsant that helps increase satisfaction after eating, and phentermine, a psychostimulant and appetite suppressant. Using Qsymia combined with diet and exercise for a year led to an average weight loss of 8.4% of total body weight, or about 20 pounds.   

Qsymia is a controlled medication because it has a potential for addiction. Like other psychostimulants (think Adderall and Ritalin), it can cause a fast heart rate and a tingling sensation in the limbs. Other side effects include memory impairment and decreased concentration. Topiramate can cause birth defects as well.   

Belviq, is an entirely new class of medication called a serotonin 2C agonist.  It helps patients feel full sooner and eat less. Belviq was even less effective than Qsymia in helping with weight loss; it led to an average annual decrease of just 5% of total body weight, or about 7 pounds. The side effects from Belviq are minimal, but because older serotonin agents were associated with heart problems, everyone is keeping a close eye on it. 

Information about cost is hard to pin down exactly, but the best guesstimates are that Qysimia will cost about $6 a day and Belviq $8 a day.   

This made me wonder if we should approach these medicines as if they were in a refrigerator case at the grocery store and ask ourselves, “What am I paying per pound?”

When you look at it this way, these two new wonder drugs don’t look so great. Qsymia will run you about $109/pound of weight lost while Belviq will cost you about $417/pound.

To give you an idea of how that compares to other methods that have been around for a while:

  • Weight Watchers = $ 97/pound
  • Nutrisystem = $130/pound
  • Jenny Craig = $131-237.56/pound
  • Weight loss surgery = $235 – 400/pound
  • Diet and exercise = $0/pound!

As you can see, none of them are cheap, and the only one that doesn’t cost you any money costs you a little more in time and effort.  Unfortunately, it’s the only one that really works.  In fact, it’s the main ingredient in those super expensive drugs we’re talking about.  Read that description again – “using Qsymia combined with diet and exercise led to weight loss…”  The problem with diet pills is that not only do you gain the weight back as soon as you stop taking them, but without diet and exercise, they barely make a dent in your waistline.

Because of all of this – the cost, the side effects, the potential for addiction and the lack of any proven long-term benefit – we don’t even prescribe these medicines at the Student Health Center. We’d rather work with you one on one and help you take advantage of the resources available to you here at Ohio State.    

At Student Health Services, we can offer a “well person” exam with any indicated laboratory tests and refer you to one of our registered dieticians. Dining services offers some great online resources to help you keep tabs on your nutritional intake and Rec Sports has many facilities and programs to help you participate in any kind of exercise that you are interested in. 

We want you to succeed at getting to and maintaining your optimal healthy weight. As soon as it is as easy as taking a pill, we’ll let you know.  In the mean time, we’re here to help you do it the right way.

Jo Hanna Friend D’Epiro, PA-C, MPH
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Is 5-hour Energy safe in Pregnancy?

5-Hour Energy

wikimedia commons

A sharp-eyed BuckMD reader read our original post on 5-Hour Energy and sent us the following note:

If 5-Hour Energy drinks are no more harmful than coffee, what are the risks of drinking less than a bottle daily during pregnancy?  I have read your site and found nothing specific on risks/side effects during pregnancy.  Are there any risks to the baby?

Good question.  The short answer comes straight from the horse’s mouth.  From the 5-Hour Energy website:

Who should not take 5-hour ENERGY®?

  • Women who are pregnant or nursing.
  • Children under 12 years of age.
  • People diagnosed with phenylketonuria (PKU)

So even though (or more accurately, because) the 5-Hour Energy folks have never had to concern themselves with ensuring that any of the ingredients in their product are safe or actually do anything, they draw the line at selling it to people who are pregnant. 

Like we said in our last post, despite 5-Hour Energy’s promotion of its B Vitamins and medical-yet-natural sounding “energy blend,” the only thing in it that has ever been proven to improve mental alertness is caffeine.  So the question really is, “is caffeine safe in pregnancy?”  And the answer to that question is… maybe.

Some studies have reported an association between caffeine intake and adverse pregnancy outcomes while others haven’t.  These studies are inconsistent because it’s very difficult to control for all the factors that affect a pregnancy, not to mention accurately measure how much caffeine research participants really consumed.  The best we can say is that women who are pregnant or trying to become so should probably limit caffeine consumption to less than 200 to 300 mg per day to reduce their risk of possible adverse reproductive effects

The problem is that because 5-Hour Energy is sold as a supplement and not a medication, the company is not required to disclose their products’ caffeine content.  All it says on its website is that it “contains about as much caffeine as a cup of premium coffee.”  So what does that mean?  According to Energy Fiend, a 12oz Starbucks coffee has 260mg of caffeine while a 10oz Tim Horton’s coffee has 100mg.  So sometimes a cup is more than a cup.

What about the excess of B Vitamins in 5-Hour Energy?  Are they safe in pregnancy?

A can of 5-Hour Energy contains 30mg of B3 (Niacin), 40mg of B6 and 500mcg of B12.  The recommended daily allowance of these vitamins in pregnancy is 18mg of B3, 1.9mg of B6 and 2.6mcg of B12, so one can of 5-Hour Energy gives you way more than you need, especially since you’re more than likely getting enough from your diet anyway.  In general, B Vitamins aren’t dangerous in large amounts because they’re water soluble – once your body has enough, the extra is just excreted in your urine – so other than making your pee more expensive, 5-Hour Energy is unlikely to be dangerous.  However, an excess of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) can produce an uncomfortable flushing sensation.  

When in doubt, talk to your health care provider about anything you’re putting into your body when you’re pregnant or nursing.  If you are a student at Ohio State and have questions about pregnancy planning or other issues related to your reproductive health, you can make an appointment with our women’s services department; they are always happy to help you. 

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Will my buddy make me fail a drug test?

Laboratory

altmedicinesecrets.blogspot.com

Q: While I was at a party a few weeks ago I was around a lot of people who were smoking pot. I have a urine drug test coming up and I’m wondering if I might test positive.

A: The urine marijuana test detects a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the active drug in marijuana. THC is stored in body fat and excreted in the urine. For someone who smokes a single marijuana cigarette, THC metabolites are detectable for several days. For chronic marijuana smokers, the level of THC builds up in the body fat over time and is excreted for weeks after the last time they used the drug.  Urine drug tests are set with a high threshold to eliminate false positives (people that test positive but do not use the drug).

Traces of marijuana may be detectable in the urine for a day or two in someone who was around marijuana smoke, but if you didn’t personally smoke it, you likely have nothing to worry about.  Smelling marijuana smoke at an outside event is very unlikely to result in a positive test, but it’s probably a good idea to avoid enclosed areas where people are smoking, like cars and closed rooms.  

BTW, if you are getting drug tested, it is wise to bring along all prescription and non-prescription medicines you are currently taking.  Prescription drugs are increasing becoming popular drugs of abuse, and so, are being tested for in many drug screens.  If a drug is found in your pee, it avoids a lot of problems if you can prove that it should be there. 

Good Health!

John Vaughn, MD and Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services)

Give Student Health Your Old Drugs!

legislatorford.gov

The Student Health Services Pharmacy will be holding our 2nd annual DEA-approved drug Take-Back Day this Wednesday, May 30th, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

All students, staff, and faculty are invited to bring unused or expired medicines to be disposed of in a safe, legal, and environmentally-friendly way.  This service is entirely free of charge and is completely anonymous.  No questions asked!  We will take any expired, damaged or and unused medications (even if they are a controlled substance like narcotic pain medication or ADD medication), as well as sharps containers (containers that store used needles). 

Please note: Do not remove medication labels before drop-off.  Syringes, needles, and thermometers will not be accepted.

Our goal is to address a vital public safety and public health issue by removing potentially dangerous prescription drugs from your backpacks and medicine cabinets. 

  • Since 2007, more Ohians have died from unintentional drug overdosing than motor vehicle accidents.
  • More than 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. 
  • Each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs for the first time to get high, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. 
  • Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. 

These expired medicines can be as bad for our environment as they are for our health.  Measurable quantities of some common medications are showing up in lakes, reservoirs, and municipal water supplies, thought to be due in large part to improper flushing of medications down sinks and toilets.

So make the right choice and join us for our 2nd Annual Medication Disposal Day!  It’s a great way to keep yourself healthy and our campus safe! 

This event is jointly sponsored by Student Health Services (Office of Student Life), Department of Public Safety, and Generation Rx. 

Phil Anderson, RPh
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University