Treating Arthritis in Pets with Glucosamine

old-yellow-dogOur beloved pets are as susceptible to joint wear and damage as we are, perhaps even more so. They can end up suffering the same terrible arthritis pain that afflicts many humans. Thankfully, some of the methods we use to prevent pets arthritis in our bodies can also be applied to our four-legged companions.

What Is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a compound found within the healthy cartilage and synovial fluid in the joints of both people and animals. It is important for maintaining healthy gristle in bone, and is essential for repairing damage to it.

In young, healthy humans and animals, the body is able to produce glucosamine from glucose via biochemical reactions. However, as the body ages, this process becomes less efficient, resulting in a lack of glucosamine and the gradual damage to joints, which can lead to arthritis. Damage to the cartilage can also increase the amount of glucosamine needed beyond what even young people and animals can produce.

Glucosamine works with a type of cell compound, chondrocytes, to create new cartilage in joints. Glucosamine provides one of the building blocks used by the cell in creating cartilaginous tissue. When the body cannot produce enough glucosamine, new cartilage cannot be formed as old tissue begins to break down.

Glucosamine To Treat Pets Arthritis

Glucosamine has been used for more than 20 years as a preferred treatment for arthritis. It can treat arthritis in humans, dogs, cats, and horses. Aside from people, dogs are most commonly treated with glucosamine. The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills can compound glucosamine supplements for animals in pill, liquid, and treat forms. Although there have been few risks associated with treatment, pet owners should consult a veterinarian before starting their animal on a glucosamine regimen.

Treating Other Ailments With Glucosamine

Glucosamine is also used to treat some common and serious conditions in dogs, such as hip dysplasia, which is the most common form of joint damage dogs suffer, especially the larger breeds. This condition speeds up the normal wear of cartilage that protects the bony surface of the hip joint. If the cartilage wears away too much, the animal can experience bone-to-bone contact and the pain associated with arthritis. Even dogs without hip dysplasia may get arthritis in their hips as they age.

The most common animal patients to receive glucosamine supplements are middle-age and old-age large breed dogs. These animals suffer from arthritis most often compared to other pets. Giving supplements to these dogs can help them maintain or return to normal levels of activity with less stiffness.

Minimal Side Effects Using Glucosamine

During the 20-plus years glucosamine has been given to animals, no appreciable adverse effects have been documented. The only side effects noticed with glucosamine supplements was vomiting or diarrhea, which can be prevented by administering the dose with food.

The Purr-fect Fit

The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills is happy to discuss the compounding of a glucosamine supplement treatment or any other veterinary medications for your pet. We offer unique solutions by compounding specialized medications which meet the needs of your beloved pets.

Compounding for Infant Acid Reflux

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What is reflux?

Reflux, also known as possetting or spitting up, happens when the milk your baby has swallowed comes back up into his food pipe (esophagus). The full medical term for this is gastroesophageal reflux or GER.

Your baby’s stomach contains acid that helps him to break down his milk. This mixture of milk and acid can come up and may make your baby uncomfortable. If you’ve ever had heartburn, you’ll know the burning feeling that acid reflux can cause.

Reflux is messy and may be frustrating, but it’s normal for babies and isn’t usually a sign of illness. At least 40 per cent of babies get it, with five per cent of these having six or more episodes a day. Reflux is a temporary problem that usually gets better as your baby’s digestive system matures.

However, a small percentage of babies have troublesome, severe or persistent reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD).

What causes reflux?

Your baby’s food pipe (esophagus) connects his mouth with his stomach. There is a valve, controlled by a ring of muscle, where his food pipe joins his stomach. When your baby eats, the valve opens to allow the milk through, then closes to keep it in his tummy. As this ring of muscle is still developing, it doesn’t always work properly. This means that when your baby’s tummy is full, milk and acid can come back up the food pipe, causing discomfort.

Bear in mind that your baby’s stomach is still tiny, so he may not be able to have much milk without some of it coming back up. When he’s a newborn, his stomach will only be about the size of a hazelnut. By day three, this will have increased to about the size of a walnut. Even by day 10, it will still only be about the size of a large hen’s egg.

Over time, the muscular valve at the entrance to your baby’s tummy will get stronger. Along with his growing stomach capacity, this means that your baby will grow out of reflux. 90 percent of babies who have it get better on their own before the end of their first year.

How will I know if my baby has reflux?

Your baby may bring up small amounts of milk (possetting) or occasionally vomit after eating. He may also have hiccups and cough and splutter a little.

This is normal and, as long as your baby is otherwise well, you don’t need to worry. Just make sure you always have a tissue handy.

How can I prevent reflux?

If your baby’s reflux is mild, and he’s still feeding well and isn’t too upset by it, these tips may help:

  • Feed your baby in an upright position.
  • Hold your baby upright for 20 minutes to 30 minutes after each feed.
  • Try giving your baby smaller, but more frequent, feeds.
  • If you bottle-feed your baby, burp him every two minutes or three minutes during feeds, and make sure that the hole in the teat isn’t too large. A teat that’s too big can cause milk to come out too fast.

When should I take my baby to see a doctor?

Bringing up a little milk or occasional vomiting after feeds is nothing to worry about. But speak to your health visitor or doctor if you notice that your baby:

  • has frequent reflux
  • is irritable during or after feeds, crying and arching his back
  • regularly vomits large amounts up to two hours after feeding
  • is bringing up green or yellow vomit, or vomit that has blood in it, which will look like coffee grounds
  • starts to fuss or refuse feeds, but will suck on a pacifier, if you use one
  • seems to have a sore tummy or throat
  • isn’t gaining weight

Keep a diary of your baby’s reflux to take to the doctor with you, if you can. Make a note of:

  • when your baby feeds
  • when he has bouts of crying
  • how often and how much he’s bringing up

This information will help your doctor to decide whether other problems could be involved.

Are there any treatments for reflux?

If your baby’s reflux is severe or troublesome, your doctor may advise a Proton-Pump Inhibitor (PPI). PPIs help to block the enzyme in the wall of the baby’s stomach that produces acid.

Most of the time Zantac (Ranitidine) is prescribed as the first line of defense against reflux. Another form of the same medication is Prevacid. It’s the pediatrician’s personal choice, however, most peditrician’s commonly prescribe Zantac now a days as it decreases gastric acid secretions as opposed to completely blocking the production of acid in the stomach.

The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills can create Zantac or Prevacid alcohol free and in your choice of flavor.  Contact us today to learn more!

Cold and Flu Season is Approaching

fluThe heat of summer is gone, fall is upon us, and cold and flu season is in quickly approaching. Cold and flu season tend to send consumers racing to the stores to stock up on vitamins, tissue, hand sanitizer, and chicken soup. Cold and Flu season typically begins in November and can last into May, peaking in January and February. American adults tend to suffer from 2-4 colds annually and children from 6-12. Meanwhile, Influenza impacts about 5% to 20% of the population every year. Both colds and flu are caused by viruses and can have many of the same symptoms.

How to tell if it is a cold or the flu?

A cold has milder symptoms than the flu and more likely to cause a runny, stuffy nose, and sore throat. Cold symptoms may be annoying, but tolerable. Influenza, on the other hand, can cause much more severe symptoms such as fever, sore throat, chills, body aches, extreme fatigue, and nausea. Influenza may also lead to other medical complications such as Pneumonia or bacterial infections.
If your symptoms are severe, your physician can run a test to determine if it is Influenza.

How is Influenza spread?

The flu is a communicable virus that is spread from one person to another. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, the virus becomes airborne and is transferred into another person’s nose, eyes, or mouth. The flu virus can also be picked up when a person touches an infected surface, then rubs his/her eyes, nose, or mouth

Since the flu virus is contagious, a person can pass the virus before exhibiting symptoms themselves. Adults can spread the virus after 1 day before symptoms take effect and can pass it to other individuals for up to 5 days after they become symptomatic. The time in which children are contagious is a bit longer, and they can spread the virus for more than a full week after symptoms begin.

Should I take an antibiotic?

Do not take antibiotics unnecessarily. If you take an antibiotic to fight a cold or flu virus, it will not work. It is important not to take antibiotics without cause because your body can become resistant to the antibiotics for when you actually need them. However, if your cold or flu is not managed and turns into a bacterial infection in the lungs (Bronchitis) or sinuses (Sinusitis) your physician may prescribe an antibiotic to fight the infection.

Reduce your cold and flu risk!

Keeping your immune system strong is one way combat the cold and flu season. If your immune system is strong, it can fight off many of the germs that people are passing around, reducing your chance of getting sick. Here are a few other tips to ward off colds and flu:

  • WASH YOUR HANDS for at least 15-20 seconds with soap several times a day or sanitize with an alcohol base hand sanitizer.
  • Cover a cough with your inner elbow or a tissue
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, or rubbing your nose
  • Drink lots of water – water helps clean toxins from your system and helps your organs function better
  • Wash out your water bottles every day
  • Get plenty of sleep – sleep helps revive your immune system
  • Take between 1500mg – 3000mg of Vitamin C daily in split doses
  • Take a pro-biotic – “good bacteria” helps your GI system filter out toxins
  • Manage stress – stress weakens the immune system

Natural Remedies for Colds and Flu

  • For short-term relief of a sore throat, gargle and rinse with salt water
  • Take vitamins to help your immune system fight the virus.
  • Hot drinks with honey can help congestion and cough.
  • Take a hot shower to help you relax and soothe your nasal passages.
  • Apply hot or cold compresses around your nasal cavity to assist with congestion
  • Elevate your head when you sleep to help nasal drainage

Overall, determining the best method of treatment for your illness is the most important action to take. Different medications can have different effects on each person so it’s best to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking medication. If you or someone you know is suffering from a cold, cough, or the flu, a compounding pharmacist may be of great assistance to you. The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills can compound a customized medication prescribed by you physician to help treat your cough or cold symptoms. If you have any questions or concerns this cold and flu season, please contact The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills.

Compounding for Acne

why-you-need-dermatology-compounding-for-acne

Acne is a skin condition that most people will experience at some point during their lifetime. It’s the most common skin condition in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Although most people associate acne with adolescents and teens, it can affect people of all ages.

Causes Of Acne

One of the causes of acne is when pores in the skin become clogged with dead skin cells. Skin cells usually rise to the surface of our pores to be shed by the body. During adolescence, the body naturally boosts its production of sebum, the oil that keeps the skin from drying out. As a result, skin cells are more likely to become stuck together inside of pores.

Bacteria which normally lives on the surface of the skin can also get trapped inside a clogged pore. Once inside, it will multiply, causing swelling and inflammation. If the infection spreads into the skin, a nodule or a cyst can appear.

Why You Don’t Want To Just Let Acne “Run Its Course”

It’s important that you seek professional treatment for your acne from a dermatologist. Not carefully and properly treating acne and simply letting it “run its course” is generally not a good idea. The reason for this is because if you don’t treat acne, spots and scars can show up on your skin after the acne clears up. Acne can be a vicious cycle and can keep returning, causing more scarring as well as negatively affect quality of life.

Why You Need Dermatology Compounding For Acne

Not every skin condition can be appropriately and safely treated with medicines you can buy at a drugstore. If you are living with moderate to severe acne, your doctor or dermatologist can help by prescribing an oral medication or a topical cream or lotion which you can apply directly to your skin.

The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills will work with your physician to prepare a customized prescription that is right for you and your skin’s specific needs.

We can combine more than one oral medication for your convenience into an easy to tolerate delivery form. We can take any allergies or sensitivities you have into consideration when preparing your medication, and ensure that your preparation does not contain gluten, sugar, lactose, dyes or preservatives if needed.

Transdermal creams and lotions can deliver healing medicine directly where they are needed without the side effects of pills. Our compounding pharmacists can also prepare a prescription that addresses the acne issue without causing further irritation to the skin.

To find out more about The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills and our acne treatment options, contact us today. We can also effectively treat psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, stretchmarks and much more!

Compounding for Testosterone Replacement Therapy

istock_000011569508mediumAs men age, testosterone levels gradually decline. Commonly known as andropause, low testosterone levels (scientifically termed hypogonadism) lead to decreased well-being, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and loss of muscle, increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic syndrome diseases, reduced sexual function, and bone loss.

Benefits of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) are clearly established: improved sexual function, increase in lean muscle mass and strength, mood and cognitive function, with possible reduction in frailty and osteoporosis. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that an increasing number of men worldwide have begun requesting testosterone replacement therapy from their physicians.

There is no evidence that TRT is associated with increased risk of prostate cancer or symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. The cardiovascular issues associated with TRT have been clarified by recent studies showing clearly that increased testosterone levels are associated with reduced mortality. Studies reporting to show increased risk have been subject to flawed designs with inadequate baseline diagnosis and follow-up testing.

An extensive review of the testosterone replacement therapy literature reveals that the majority of clinical studies show that properly administered testosterone replacement therapy, in which estradiol and dihydrotestosterone levels are also controlled, does not increase the risk of cardiovascular events. Testosterone replacement therapy should be monitored, and when needed, an aromatase inhibitor such as anastrazole should be added to control estradiol levels that tend to increase with testosterone therapy; as well as an a 5α-reductase inhibitor, such as dutasteride or finasteride to control dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. Dutasteride controls both Type I and Type II 5α-reductase while the older drug finasteride controls only Type II. If a patient receiving testosterone has high DHT levels while taking finasteride, it may be helpful to switch to dutasteride.

At the recommendation of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, we suggest that patients should always seek medical attention immediately if symptoms of a heart attack or stroke are present, such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Weakness in one part or one side of the body
  • Slurred speech

Testosterone therapy is available in many forms, and transdermal preparations that are applied to the skin are quite popular. Creams are easy for the patient to use and many health care professionals and patients prefer daily administration of testosterone to long-lasting pellets and injections.

Another option is compounded troches, which offer these benefits:

  • Decreased risk of cross contamination, i.e., men need not be concerned about others contacting the site of application, such as the arm or leg when a child or pet is held.
  • Rapid buccal or sublingual absorption means the dose can reduced compared to that required for transdermal forms of testosterone.
  • Patients can quickly achieve peak levels when desired.

We welcome your questions. Our compounding pharmacists work together with physicians and their patients to customize medications by prescription based on each patient’s unique needs. Feel free to contact The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills to find out how we can help.