Why Are Some Medications Recommended to Take With Food?

Written By: Mark Rogers, Pharm. D There are three main reasons that some medications are recommended to take with food: 1. Reduce Side Effects One of the most common side effects of many drugs are GI-related, such as nausea, vomiting, indigestion, heartburn, and gas. For medications with these or related side effects, taking them with food can help minimize or eliminate the discomfort. Additionally, for drugs like aspirin that can irritate the stomach lining, food can help reduce the likelihood of developing ulcers. 2. Improve Drug Effectiveness Some medications are absorbed into… Read More

Navigating the World of Over-The Counter (OTC) Medicines: What Medication is Best for Heartburn (in no particular order)

Written By: Mark Rogers, Pharm. D Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) The drugs available as OTC in this category includes the brands Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix (I recommend buying the generic equivalent to save $$). PPIs are the most effective heartburn drugs available OTC, but with a few caveats. They require a day or two to reach full effect & provide significant relief. As such, they should be taken on a routine basis, not just as needed when you have a bout of heartburn. This means PPIs are recommended for chronic heartburn or stomach… Read More

Navigating the World of Over-The Counter (OTC) Medicines: What Medicines Are Best for Headache/Pain? (in no particular order)

Written By: Mark Rogers, Pharm. D Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Acetaminophen is generally effective for mild-to-moderate pain and headaches. Oddly though, we still do not fully understand how it works. Be careful though, acetaminophen is however one of the most dangerous OTC drugs, responsible for thousands of overdoses and hundreds of deaths every year. The reason is that it can be hard to keep track of a daily dose, since it is used in so many combination medicines. Ibuprofen & Naproxen Both are mild anti-inflammatory medicines, sometimes referred to as NSAIDs. They are great… Read More

Top Tips For Dealing with Medication Side Effects

Written By: Mark Rogers, Pharm. D So you started a new medication that your doctor says you really need to be taking. The problem is, the side effects of the drug are less an ideal. You’re having stomach cramps. Or diarrhea. Or your heart is racing. So what’s the best way to manage them? Let’s first take a step back. Adverse medication side effects are the secondary or unintended effects of a drug. They can range from mild but manageable, to severe and life-altering. The are unfortunately all too common and are… Read More

Pharmacist Recommended Cold & Flu Medicines That Won’t Break the Bank

Written By: Mark Rogers, Pharm. D As a pharmacist for 12 years, two of the most common questions I am asked are, “What is the best medicine to take for the cold and flu?” And, “How much does it cost?” Here are my top recommendations that won’t break the bank: 1) Headache, Fever, Muscle Aches, Sore Throat — Ibuprofen (Advil) & Acetaminophen (Tylenol) I often use a combination of the two drugs, separating each by 3-4 hours so that I maintain a more consistent pain relief. Ibuprofen is the best treatment for a sore… Read More