National Kidney Awareness

March marks National Kidney Month. Kidneys have the big job of keeping our blood clean by removing waste products and excess fluid from the body. They also produce hormone that stimulates red blood cell production affecting other vital organs — some of these hormones help to regulate blood pressure and control calcium metabolism.

According to the Centers For Disease and Control, chronic Kidney disease affected, “more than 45,000 people in 2011. More than 20 million (>10%) of U.S. adults have chronic kidney disease and most of them are not aware of their condition.” That’s why it’s so important to have routine check-ups.

KidneysFrom the Mayo Clinic, here are 9-Warning signs that may point to acute kidney failure:

  • Decreased urine output, although occasionally urine output remains normal
  • Fluid retention, causing swelling in your legs, ankles or feet
  • Drowsiness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Seizures or coma in severe cases
  • Chest pain or pressure

Sometimes acute kidney failure causes no signs or symptoms and is detected through lab tests done for another reason. Speak with our Pharmacists to learn more about preventing kidney disease.

During the month of March you can find lots more information online about the kidneys’ function, kidney diseases and how to best keep your kidneys healthy. Follow the link to the official National Kidney Foundation by clicking here.

“Fifty Shades of Pink” Sale

Webster’s Community Pharmacy is covered in “Fifty Shades of Pink” for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Come shop with us from October 18 through October 20 and save while supporting The Cancer Support Community of Pasadena (CSC).  Select merchandise will be 25% OFF:  you save 15% while the CSC earns 10% from that same purchase.  It’s a win-win for all! 
Tower of Strength
This year we have teamed up with the Cancer Support Community of Pasadena (CSC) to do our part for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The CSC has been serving our neighboring community of Pasadena since 1990. Their center provides free support, cancer education and hope to those with cancer and their families.  Some of their programs include: professionally led support groups, educational workshops, nutrition and exercise programs, and stress-reduction classes.  Through these programs cancer patients and their loved ones can learn vital skills that enable them to regain control, reduce isolation and restore hope in their lives.
Bonus Savings
Want more for your contribution?  Make a $30 minimum purchase to receive a FREE “goodie bag”!  Browsing our Gift Department is more fun with FREE lemonade, cookies, and other tasty bites.  Ask our friendly staff for more details.

August is National Immunization Month

Webster’s Community Pharmacy is ready for National Immunization Month. Prepare your body to fight against serious diseases and illness. Here are some shots people need at different ages:

Young children
• Children under age 6 get a series of shots to protect against measles, polio, chicken pox, and hepatitis

Pre-teens and teens
• Pre-teens need shots at age 11 or 12 to help protect them from tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, meningitis, and HPV (human papillomavirus)

• Teens need a booster shot at age 16 to help protect them from meningitis

• All adults need a booster shot every 10 years to protect against tetanus and diphtheria.

• People age 65 or older need a one-time pneumonia shot.

Talk to our pharmacists about which shots you and your family need.

Osteoporosis: Build It Or Break It

The month of May is dedicated to building awareness about Osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a condition in the bones that causes them to become weak and break easily. Something as simple as sneezing can cause a bone to break. In older adults breaking a bone can be very serious. Most affected areas include:  the hip, spine, and wrist. Loss of height and stooped or hunched posture are caused by breakage or collapse of the vertebrae (spine).

Who’s at risk?
It’s most common in older women. Some risk factors include:

  • Body size — women who are small and thin are at greater risk
  •  Ethnicity — White and Asian women are at higher risk than Black and Hispanic women
  • Sex hormones — Low levels of estrogen due to missing menstrual periods or to menopause can cause osteoporosis.
  • Medication use — some types of medicines increase the risk of osteoporosis

While it’s not as prevalent in men they too should be aware of the risks:

  • Up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis
  • Men are more likely than women to die within a year after breaking a hip. This is due to problems related to the break.
  • 2% of men 50 years of age and over with osteoporosis of the hip will die.
Unfortunately there are no symptoms to watch for in the early stages of the disease. However, there are symptoms to look for in the late in the disease:
    • Bone pain or tenderness
    • Loss of height 9as much as 6 inches) over time
    • Neck pain due to fractures of the spinal bones
Prevention and Nutrition
As with most disease prevention, eating a well-balanced meal is essential to healthy bones. Calcium consumption for both men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 require 1,000 milligrams a day. Once women turn 50 and men turn 70 the daily amount increases to 1,200 milligrams. Dairy is a good source of both calcium and vitamin D (for your body to absorb calcium).
Dark green leafy vegetables, salmon or sardines (with bones), calcium-fortified cereals soy and orange juice, and baked beans are other good sources of calcium. Spending a few minutes in the sun (not hours) is a convenient way to get vitamin D in the body. About 600 to 800 international units (IU) a day, through food or supplements is recommended.
Exercise helps build strong bones and slow bone loss. When combined with strength training with weight-bearing exercises, it helps strengthen muscles and bones in your arms and upper spine. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, running, stair climbing, skipping rope, skiing, and impact-producing sports benefit the legs, hips and lower spine.
For more information about Osteoporosis, please visit with our knowledgeable pharmacists.

Taking Hold Of Allergies

What Are Allergies?
An allergy is an exaggerated immune response or reaction to substances that are derived from genes and/or environmental factors. Pharmacist Lorig Matosian at Webster’s Community Pharmacy explains, “Normally the immune system protects the body from substances that are harmful (e.g., viruses and bacteria) or from harmless allergens (e.g., food or environmental).” “A person with allergies has an immune response that is oversensitive triggered by allergens, which releases chemicals such as histamines.”

Allergies may make certain existing medical conditions such as sinus problems, eczema, and asthma worse. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) need to be treated with epinephrine, which is a prescribed medicine that can be life saving when given right away. If you use epinephrine, call 911 and go straight to the hospital.

Food Allergies
Food allergies are very common and vary from mild discomfort to severe medical emergencies. Typically food allergy symptoms will develop within a few minutes to two hours after eating the offending food. It’s best to avoid what causes your allergies, in order to reduce symptoms.

Many customers at Webster’s Community Pharmacy come to us seeking relief. Not all allergies are alike nor do they require the same treatment. That’s why it’s important to speak with a pharmacist or physician to help navigate through the various options for each specific ailment. According to our Pharmacist, Lorig Matosian, “Many of our patients come to the counter for personalized recommendations. After a quick assessment of their allergy symptoms we guide them to the best solutions to help alleviate the flare-ups.”

Environmental Allergy Triggers In Southern California
This year Southern California has endured the forth-warmest winter on record, triggering an early release of pollen from trees. The mild temperature that we’ve had all winter long has developed an ideal environment for pollen growth, creating a longer allergy season. As a result, this is one of the most intense pollen seasons for allergy sufferers. Pollen is the most common trigger for springtime (tree pollen) allergy symptoms. Sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and a runny nose are classic symptoms that are related to springtime allergies.

Since Southern California doesn’t have four distinct seasons like in the Midwest and Eastern parts of the country, allergens are constantly in the air. This can make it especially uncomfortable for those with nasal allergies, triggering chronic drainage and congestion, leaving allergy sufferers vulnerable to sinus infections, bronchitis and colds.

Alleviating Allergy Symptoms

Antihistamines are available over-the-counter and by prescription. Below are some of the many forms that are available at Webster’s Community Pharmacy, including:

  • Capsules and pills
  • Eye drops
  • Liquids
  • Nasal sprays

Anti-inflammatory medications (corticosteroids) are available in many forms, including:

  • Creams and ointment for the skin
  • Eye drops
  • Nasal spray
  • Lung inhaler

Decongestants are used to relieve a stuffy nose. However it’s best not to overuse decongestants, because they can cause a “rebound” effect and make the congestion worse. People with high blood pressure, heart problems, or prostate enlargement should use decongestants with caution.

Before making an over the counter purchase be sure to check with your pharmacist to prevent a dangerous combination with prescription medications or other existing health issues.

Blooming Savings
Take back control of your allergies this season!

Now through the end of April save 10% off any OTC allergy remedy at Webster’s Community Pharmacy.

Our friendly and knowledgeable Pharmacists are available for personal recommendations. They are more than happy to guide you to relief.