Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Stress can result in anxiety for many people. However, absent of an underlying emotional disorder, most people feeling anxiety because of stress can usually cope well with it. People with anxiety disorders on the other hand may have difficulty with normal functioning due to the amount of anxiety and the associated emotional and physical symptoms they may be experiencing. A lack of understanding about why they feel as they do and why they cannot just control their fears and anxiety, and receiving similar responses from others only makes the anxiety worse. Although it might be easy to identify stress as a possible trigger in increasing the occurrence and suffering of an anxiety disorder, other triggering factors are not so easily identifiable. Not knowing what may trigger anxiety to build is in itself anxiety inducing.
Someone with social anxiety would understandable be quite uncomfortable in most social settings, however, they may begin to feel their anxiety building while still at home and not in a social situation. Some common anxiety symptoms include but are not limited to, mounting fear, racing heart, labored breathing, paleness to the skin, sweating, lightheadedness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle twitching, eye darting, repetitive negative thoughts, avoidance of certain situations. How intense these symptoms are felt and how many different symptoms will occur, varies among individuals.
Anxiety Attacks come upon a person suddenly and seemingly without warning as most suffering from these panic attacks of anxiety have related. In the midst of an anxiety attack, the activation of a person's innate instinct to either fight or take flight happens in response to perceived danger. This is helpful when real danger is present; however, it causes undue panic and suffering when the danger is not real and is instead as of a result of an anxiety disorder. Someone may unintentionally hurt themselves or others in trying to get away from something they believe to be hazardous.
Anxiety medications like Buspar, Cymbalta, and others, can cause at least some of the above listed symptoms of anxiety, as side effects of taking them. Luckily, most of these side effects such as headache, feeling dizzy, cold sweats, sick to the stomach, and other symptoms, usually dissipate within a few weeks of use of the medication. Antidepressant medications used for treating anxiety also share in the occurrence of these common side effects.
People taking anxiety and antidepressant medications for anxiety need close monitoring by their doctors to ensure that the medications are helping alleviate anxiety symptoms for the patient. Doctors will also want to monitor patients for withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing their use of these medications.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Depression and mental illnesses are extremely common in the world that we live in today. In every 5 American adults, at least 1 of them is suffering from either depression or mild mental illness in any given 6 months’ period. However, a point to note…the National Institute of Mental Health reveals that although there are a lot of people who are suffering from depression and mental illness today, 90% of these cases can get treatment and their condition is often reversible. With proper medication, people suffering from depression and mental illness will improve over time.
Abilify (aripiprazole) is a psychotropic drug that helps treat schizophrenia. Abilify is available in tablet form for oral administration. Abilify not only helps treat depression and mild mental illness, it is suitable for people with bipolar mania.
In the meantime, BuSpar (buspirone hydrochloride) is kind of medication for people who are easily anxious. Yes, BuSpar is a form of antianxiety drug containing anxiolytic properties, belonging to class of compounds known as the azaspirodecanediones.
Amitriptyline (Elavil) is an antidepressant that many people rely on in the United States alone. This antidepressant is very useful in treating depression and sometimes helps towards eliminating chronic pain and other conditions too. As for what other types of conditions, this would have to prescribed and determined by your doctor. Amitriptyline has a very sedative effect on its users, therefore, a popular antidepressant drug.
Amoxapine (Asendin) is known as a tricyclic antidepressant. A tricyclic antidepressant means that it is a cocktail of drugs that are safe and effective for up to 80% of the people with depression. Prescription of tricyclic antidepressants like Amoxapine is common because it helps people beat the feeling of fatigue, feeling of hopelessness, guilt, helplessness, inability to feel pleasure or physical pain, unintended weight loss, etc.
On the other hand, MAO inhibitors are prescribed for people who find tricyclic antidepressants unhelpful. For these people, they often feel anxiety, excessive sleepiness and fatigue, specific phobia, obsessive-compulsiveness, etc. There has been progressive developments over the years to develop more effective drugs to help those who found the aforementioned medication not helpful. Newer antidepressant such as the serotonin reuptake inhibitors have recently been made available to public. And even as you’re reading this article, newer antidepressant drugs are being researched on and being developed to help people with depression and mental sickness. The newer drugs can help those who are not responsive to traditionally prescribed antidepressant drugs or experience adverse side effects when they take the prescriptions.
With so many plans and research being made and done on coming up with faster and more efficient antidepressant drugs, we no longer have to think that being depressed is an illness that we have to be ashamed about.
We’ve all had one of those weeks: the washing machine overflows, the dog forgets his housetraining and the toddler her toilet training, the boss is going through a divorce and making everyone miserable. And you feel like you just don’t know how to handle it all.
Anxiety is, unfortunately, an inevitable part of modern life. But when anxiety prevents you from engaging in day-to-day activity or trying anything new, it may be time to see your doctor for anti-anxiety help.
What causes anxiety?
Anxiety is the feeling caused by the release of stress hormones and brain chemicals which help us fight for our lives or flee from danger. In our evolutionary past, bursts of stress hormones may have helped give us a boost when running away from large animals with big teeth! And believe it or not, in the right situation, these hormones can be a big help in day-to-day activities. Mild tension before giving a presentation can help you do your best. A burst of brain chemicals can help speed your reaction time when you see a pedestrian dashing in front of your car and can save someone’s life!
When anxiety becomes a constant companion in our lives, we may start having symptoms of anxiety when we think about anything - work, marriage, children, even going to the grocery store. The symptoms include muscle tension, sweating, nausea or “butterflies,” clammy hands, difficulty swallowing, jumpiness, stomach distress.
If these symptoms have become part of your everyday life, it may be time to talk with your doctor about an anti-anxiety medication like BuSpar.
But I’d rather be anxious than spacey!
You may remember the days where anxiety was treated with heavy-duty drugs that could tranquilize a bad-tempered elephant! But as scientists have learned more about the biology of anxiety, anxiety management has become more sophisticated, helping your mood without making you a zombie. You won’t turn into a Stepford wife. Instead, you’ll go back to reacting the way you used to, both to happy events and anxiety-provoking situations.
BuSpar works gently by affecting your feelings over the course of a few weeks. Most people begin getting relief over that time period and can start getting back to living their lives.
While you don’t have to worry about walking around in a haze, many people do feel some dizziness or drowsiness when they are first getting used to BuSpar. You may want to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until your body has adjusted to the medication.
Sounds great! Let’s head to the drug store.
Well, not just yet. BuSpar is a prescription drug, and you’ll want to check a few things out with your doctor before she gives you a prescription.
If you’re taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (a kind of anti-depressant) or certain other drugs, have ever had an allergic reaction to mood-altering drugs, or have severe kidney or liver damage, this may not be the right drug for you.
Lastly, alcohol can have a major impact on how your body responds to BuSpar, so you may want to skip the champagne in favor of a pancake brunch when celebrating your anxiety-free life!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
1. You May Qualify for a Free Drug program.
· There are over 1,100 drugs that are made by 100
manufacturers who have free drug programs. Most major drug
companies provide free medications, but rarely, if ever
publicize their programs. An estimated two billion dollars
of free medication is given away annually.
· Larry’s father has prostate cancer and takes Casodex
every day, which costs $300 a month in the US, and $180 from
Mexico. He sent his father’s information to see if he
qualified. He recently found out his father did qualify to
receive the drug free. Larry just happened to see a small
article buried inside the newspaper. He never knew these
· A complete list of drugs and manufacturers’ programs is
available. For more information visit: http://www.institutedc.org
2. Get a Pharmacy Discount Card for Free.
· AdvanceRx offers a free discount card to anyone that saves
13%-25% and covers all drugs dispensed at a pharmacy. For
details, call 1-800-ADVANCE (238-2623) or www.advancerx.com.
· There are five free discount cards for Senior citizens.
The discount cards cover over 200 popular medications.
3. Save Up to 93% by Asking for a Generic
· Use generics whenever they are available. Both brand name
and generic drugs contain the same active ingredients, are
the same in strength and dosage, meet the same government
quality control standards.
· According to Mark Erblat, Pharmacy Director and owner of
Rx For You, cost savings on brand name vs. generic will vary
from drug to drug and pharmacy to pharmacy but can be
significant. For instance:
· Prozac brand 20mg, 100 tablets cost $280.19 and generic
sells for $29.99 (Savings 89%)
· Vasotec brand 5mg, 100 tablets costs $103.59 and generic
sells for $18.19 (Savings 82%)
· Zantac brand 150mg 100 tablets costs $173.39 and generic
sells for $10.99 (Savings 93%)
· Zestril brand 10mg 100 tablets costs $96.29 and generic
sells for $39.99 (Savings 58%)
4. Veterans Now Qualify for More Benefits.
· Recent laws have changed that grant veterans medical
benefits for certain illnesses like diabetes and
hypertension, provided the veteran is subject to qualifying
conditions like agent orange exposure.
· See if you qualify for benefits by checking with the
5. Cut Your Costs in Half… by Using a Pill Splitter.
· Most pharmacies should stock pill splitters. Sometimes,
medications can be broken in half and save you 50%. The
reason is because several pharmaceutical manufacturers price
some of their medications the same for all strengths.
· Lipitor is essentially the same price for all strengths.
It is possible to save as much as $100 on a one month supply
of Lipitor just by getting the larger strength and cutting
in half. Ask your pharmacist.
· This method may not be appropriate for all medications and
could be dangerous if used with the wrong medication.
· Begin by asking your doctor or pharmacist if your
medication is available in a dose double your normal dosage
(ex, if you usually take a 20 mg. pill, is a 40 mg. pill
available?). If it is, ask whether there would be any
problems with splitting the tablets or capsules.
· Now, do a cost comparison between the two dosages. If the
higher dose is less than double the cost for your regular
dose then you will be saving money by having your doctor
prescribe the higher dose and then splitting it. Cost savings is
typically 32% to 50%.
. Viagra is another medication that lends itself to being
split in half or quarters to save 50% to 75% depending upon
the dosage required. The average Viagra user who uses two
doses per week can save over $400.00 per year.
· This method is not appropriate for all medications. Check
with your pharmacist. Some easily split medications include:
Ambien, Aricept, Buspar, Effexor, Lipitor, Luvox, Paxil,
Remeron, Risperidal, Seroquel, Serzone, Viagra, Zoloft,
Zyprexa. (Ask your pharmacist about others)
6. Save by Buying a 90 vs. 30-Day Supply.
· Most pharmacies have higher savings on a longer days
supply. In addition, when it comes to people who have
insurance prescription coverage, there may be other savings
by getting a larger day supply.
· For instance, if you have a $10 co-pay, the insurance
company will let you get only a 30 days supply in general
for that $10. A 90-day supply bought with out insurance may
only cost you $18.
· This would be much cheaper than paying $10 per month ($30
for 90 days). It would also save you two trips to the
7. Ask for an Older Medication That is as Effective.
· Many pharmacists agree, that antibiotics are probably the
most over prescribed, or incorrectly prescribed medications.
Often, the physician will prescribe a newer antibiotic that
has been promoted as more effective. What this really means
is that it is considerably more expensive.
· The newer antibiotics are often no more effective than the
older antibiotics. However, they are new and covered by
patent protection. Therefore, the newer medication is more
effective in ensuring a nice profit for the drug
manufacturer for many years.
· Since many generics are made in the same factory as the
brand name ones, make sure you ask your doctor for a
generic antibiotic. A great generic broad- spectrum
antibiotic costs 80% less than a new antibiotic. In dollars,
it costs you $20 instead of $100.
8. Over-the-Counter Drugs May be as Effective as the
· Many doctors still prescribe Pepcid 20mg to their
patients. A one-month supply of Pepcid 20mg cost
approximately $60. Pepcid AC, over-the-counter in 10mg
strength, taking double the dose costs approximately $23.
· Most prescription cold medications average $20 to $60 for
a one month supply and contain the same decongestant that is
available over-the-counter for less than $2.
9. Get Only a 7-day Supply of New Medication.
· If the doctor does not have samples, ask your pharmacist
to give you only a one-week supply to try. It is a federal
law that medicines can’t be returned once they are
dispensed. If you get a month's supply and can’t tolerate
the medicine, you have just lost that money.
10. Stop Using Drugs You No Longer Need.
· Review all your prescriptions with your doctor at each
visit. You may be paying for some drugs you no longer need.
· Doctor run www.rxaminer.com provides a custom analysis of
your medications to save you money. You can get a free, no
obligation, Cost Screening to find out how much you can
· Also ask your pharmacist to review your medications in
addition to your doctor. Here is why. A pharmacist's
valuable services and knowledge are free. He may also find
something your doctor missed.
· A lady developed a persistent cough after she had been
taking a blood pressure medication for approximately 3
months. Her doctor treated her cough with antibiotics and
cough syrup for 6 months. She asked her pharmacist about her
cough lasting so long. The pharmacist found that a possible
side effect of her new blood pressure medication was a
persistent cough. Her doctor argued but changed her medicine
and her cough stopped. The lady had spent over $750 in
doctor’s fees and medication just to treat the cough.
· A mother was giving her daughter antibiotics to treat a
kidney infection. Her daughter consistently had a fever.
This continued for several months. The baby’s pediatrician
prescribed several antibiotics unsuccessfully. After
searching the literature, the pharmacist discovered that the
antibiotic had a side effect of persistent low-grade fever.
In the end, the mother had spent over $500 on doctor visits
and prescription cost.
· Don't hesitate to ask your pharmacist questions, their
advice is free and can often save you money and aggravation.
Ask questions about side effects, and drug interactions.
11. Order Your Prescription Drugs by Phone.
· You can save 20%-50% by ordering prescription drugs over
the phone. Bonus, you do not have to pick them up at the
· Make a list of your medications, including strength and
number taken daily. Then list at least six pharmacies you
are going to call. Don’t forget about discount mail order
sources too, several are listed at the end of this booklet.
Then call and get prices, ask if this is their best price
available. Compare the costs.
12. Pay Attention to the Quantity.
· Find out how much medication you really may need, and make
sure your doctor doesn't order you more medicine than is
necessary to treat your condition.
13. Ask Your Doctor for Samples at Every visit. They Usually
14. Take Only Those Drugs You Really Need.
· When your doctor prescribes medication for you, understand
exactly what it's meant to do and for how long. If you
areprescribed two drugs for the same symptom, ask if you
really need both.
15. Buy Home Test Kits.
· Kits for determining ovulation, pregnancy and colorectal
cancer, can be purchased as home tests instead of paying
twice as much for similar kits at your doctor's office.
16. Cross the Border.
· If you live close to either Canada or Mexico, you can buy
some medications in either country for 75% off the U.S.
17. AARP Members are Eligible for Many Discounts, Including
Mail-Order Pharmacy Discounts.
· Ask for an AARP discount.
If you have questions about these tips or your medication
ask your doctor and pharmacist.
* Senior Discount Card Programs *
(G) GlaxoSmithKline’s The Orange Card (888) 672-6436
· Covers all GSK’s drugs. Must have an annual income below
$30,000 per individual or $40,000 per couple
· 30% average at participating pharmacies
(L) Eli Lilly’s LillyAnswers Card (877) 795-4559
· Covers all Lilly’s drugs except controlled substances.
Must have an annual income below $18,000 per individual or
$24,000 per couple.
· $12 Co-pay per prescription for 30-day supply.
(N) Novartis’ CareCard call (866) 974-2273
· Covers select Novartis drugs. · Tier 1 must have an annual
income below $18,000 per individual or $24,000 per couple.
$12 Co-pay per prescription for 30-day supply.
· Tier 2 must have an annual income below $26,000 per
individual or $35,000 per couple. Receive a 25% or more
(P) Pfizer’s The Share Card call (800) 717-6005
· Covers all Pfizer’s drugs. Must have an annual income
below $18,000 per individual or $24,000 per couple.
· $15 Co-pay per prescription for 30-day supply.
(T) Together Rx Card (800) 865-7211
· Over 150 select drugs from a group of manufacturers. Must
have an annual income below $28,000 per individual or
$38,000 per couple. (Higher in AK and HI).
· Savings of approximately 20-40% off the amount you usually
pay for prescriptions and, in many cases, substantially