-by Randi Sayles, PharmD., Clinical Pharmacist at Orange City Area Health System
Medications, if taken correctly, are important for treating or preventing many conditions. However, what happens if you are told to stop taking a medication? What should you do with those extra pills?
To avoid others accidentally taking your medications, it is recommended you remove expired, unwanted, or unused medications from your residence as soon as possible. Unfortunately, accidents can happen every day with medications – intentional overdoses, children mistaking pills for candy, etc. We encourage you to protect your loved ones by removing these potentially dangerous agents. You should never sell or share your prescription medications. Below you will find a summary of ways to remove unwanted or unused medications.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The next DEA Take-Back day is scheduled for October 26, 2019. On this day, patients can safely dispose of medications at collection sites that are set-up nationwide. The Sioux County Sheriff’s office is participating in this event from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. In addition, the Sioux County Sheriff’s office has a collection site (Med Return Drug Collection Unit) located in their lobby that patients can dispose of medications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, most local pharmacies have a mechanism to dispose of unwanted medications. This month, we suggest you look over the medications in your household and dispose of any medications you are no longer using. Don’t forget those short-term medications you may not have used all of. For example, patients are often prescribed pain medications short-term following a surgery. These medications can be dangerous if taken incorrectly or taken by the wrong person. We encourage you to look through all of your medications and eliminate any unused or expired medications.
Disposing in Household Trash:
If disposing of medications at a DEA-approved site is not available to you, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends following these steps to dispose of most medications:
Marty Guthmiller, CEO of Orange City Area Health System, announced the signing of Tyler Faber, D.O., to its Family Medicine Team. Dr. Faber will join the health system’s medical clinic and critical access hospital in Fall of 2021 following his family medicine residency in Sioux Falls.
“We are humbled, honored, and excited that Dr. Faber has chosen us to begin his medical career,” reported Guthmiller. “He is a solid fit with our culture and will be a tremendous addition to our medical team.”
Dr. Faber, a native of Sioux Center, Iowa, is a 2014 graduate of Iowa State University with a B.S. in Genetics, and a 2018 graduate of Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He will be joining Orange City Area Health System’s team of 19 family medicine physicians and advanced level practitioners who serve in three medical clinics and nationally-recognized critical access hospital.
“I am delighted to join the top notch staff at Orange City Area Health System to help uphold the tradition of excellent health care they provide,” commented Faber. “I am also excited to return to Sioux County and plant roots in an area with a strong sense of pride and community.”[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.21.4″ src=”http://kpth130275site.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Tyler-Faber-oct2019.jpeg” custom_padding=”12px|12px|12px|12px” z_index_tablet=”500″ /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section bb_built=”1″][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.4″ custom_padding=”12px|12px|12px|12px” z_index_tablet=”500″]
-by Dr. Alan Laird, Chief Medical Officer
Yes, the days are getting shorter, the leaves are turning, and school has started; so it must be … flu shot time. It is that time of year for commercials about flu shots, mail reminders and offers at the doctor’s office for the shot. As always, it is your choice to get it or not get it. But in case you are on the fence, here are some things to think about.
Influenza hits hardest in those of us who can tolerate it the least. This includes the very young (newborns and infants), the very old (nursing home and infirmed) and those of us with chronic diseases (heart problems, lung problems, immune problems and such). Unfortunately those same populations of people may get the least help from the flu shot for prevention. For that reason, those groups depend on us healthy folks to not bring them the “gift” of the flu. It is good if we avoid visiting if we are sick. However we may be spreading influenza before we actually get sick. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) states an average person with influenza is contagious one day before the symptoms begin and up to five to seven days after becoming ill. So it is a great idea to stay home for a week if you have the flu (providing you have the luxury to do so). But an even better option is to not get the flu at all. And that is where a flu shot can help.
No, influenza shots are not perfect. The World Health Organization (WHO) makes their best educated guess on the strains of flu we expect to be active this year. This group consensus occurs in February for the Northern Hemisphere and September for the Southern Hemisphere. Companies then begin to produce the vaccine, which needs a lead time of 6 months or more to produce. Usually they get it right (a good match), but sometimes the virus changes and the preventive shot does not work as well as we would like. It is the best system we have and involves agencies all over the world for monitoring and recommendations. Since 2004, studies from the CDC regarding influenza vaccine effectiveness show it is generally 40 to 60 percent effective. But sometimes (2004 – 05 and 2015 – 16) it can be as low 10 to 20 percent. While that is not the goal, even a 10 percent improvement in the likelihood of staying healthy (and keeping others healthy) is worth the time and trouble of a shot.
There are several different types of flu shots available. Ask your healthcare provider which is best for you. There are preservative free flu shot and for those who really cannot tolerate needles, there is a nasal spray (although there are health and age restrictions for that option). Most insurance covers the full shot and there are places offering it for free or minimal cost. So for most of us, there is no good excuse not to get a preventative shot. And if we don’t want to do it for ourselves, perhaps we can think of those around us and get it to help protect them from 7 – 10 days of discomfort or worse.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.21.4″ src=”http://kpth130275site.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/What-can-you-do-to-prevent-the-flu.jpg” url=”https://www.ochealthsystem.org/flu-vaccine-clinics-2017/” url_new_window=”on” custom_padding=”12px|12px|12px|12px” animation_style=”slide” z_index_tablet=”500″ /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]