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.

Benefits of Vitamin C

vitamin-c-headerVitamin C, or ascorbic acid, gets a lot of attention, and perhaps rightly so. It is one of the more available vitamins for most people around the world, and between news reports of its benefits and advice from friends and family, it’s no wonder this citrus vitamin is always a best seller and at the top of our “most popular” nutrition supplement list.

Benefits of Vitamin C

  • Helps minimize the symptoms and duration of colds
  • Helps prevent and lessen seasonal allergies
  • Improves immune support
  • Protects skin from sun exposure and UV rays
  • Promotes faster wound healing and recovery from burns

Scientifically controlled studies using vitamin C for colds show that it can reduce the severity of cold symptoms, acting as a natural antihistamine. The vitamin may be useful for allergy control for the same reason: It may reduce histamine levels. By giving the immune system one of the important nutrients it needs, extra vitamin C can often shorten the duration of the cold as well. However, studies have been unable to prove that mega doses of the vitamin can actually prevent the common cold.

As an important factor in collagen production, vitamin C is often used in wound healing of all types. From cuts and broken bones to burns and recovery from surgical wounds, vitamin C taken orally helps wounds heal faster and better. Applied topically, vitamin C may protect the skin from free radical damage after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Vitamin C benefits are often touted for cancer prevention. Its antioxidant properties protect cells and their DNA from damage and mutation. It supports the body’s immune system, the first line of defense against cancer, and prevents certain cancer-causing compounds from forming in the body. It is believed that Vitamin C may reduce the risk of getting almost all types of cancer. It appears that this nutrient doesn’t directly attack cancer that has already occurred, but it helps keep the immune system nourished, enabling it to battle the cancer.

As an antioxidant, vitamin C may help prevent cataracts — the clouding of the lens of the eye that can lead to blindness in older adults. The lens needs a lot of vitamin C to counteract all the free radicals that form as a result of sunlight on the eye. Vitamin C is concentrated in the lens. When there’s plenty vitamin C floating through your system, it’s easy for the body to pull it out of your blood and direct it into the lens, protecting it from damage. It’s possible that 1,000 mg per day of vitamin C might stop cataracts in their tracks and possibly improve vision.

As with the other antioxidants, vitamin C may help prevent heart disease by preventing free radicals from damaging artery walls, which could lead to plaque formation. This nutrient also keeps cholesterol in the bloodstream from oxidizing, another early step in the progression towards heart disease and stroke. Vitamin C may help people who have marginal vitamin C status obtain more favorable blood cholesterol levels. High blood pressure may also improve with regular use of this vitamin. Vitamin C may be an inexpensive and easy way to lower one’s risk of heart disease and strokes.

Asthmatics tend to have higher needs for vitamin C because of its antioxidant function in the lungs and airways. Doses of 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day improve asthmatic symptoms and lessen the body’s production of histamine, which contributes to inflammation.

People with diabetes may also benefit from extra vitamin C. This nutrient can help regulate blood sugar levels. Since insulin helps vitamin C, as well as glucose, get into cells, people with diabetes may not have enough vitamin C inside many of their cells. Just like glucose, vitamin C can’t do its work if it’s not inside of a cell. Supplementing vitamin C can force it into body cells, where it may help protect against the many complications of diabetes.

A dose of 1,000 to 3,000 mg per day drives down glycosylated hemoglobin levels. This means that glucose molecules don’t attach to blood cells. Glucose adhering to red blood cells is responsible for many diabetic complications such as poor wound healing, problems with capillaries, and sluggish circulation.

These are just some of the conditions in which vitamin C may provide healthy results.

Fortunately, Vitamin C is abundant in many food sources, to find out which are your best bets check out Foods That Contain Vitamin C.

If you’re not fond of fruits and vegetables, but still want to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin C, contact The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills to find out which Vitamin C supplement is right for you.

Dental Compounding Treatments

o-DENTIST-FEAR-facebookThere are several uses for compounded medications for dental treatments including treating dental anxiety, pain relievers, tooth whitening treatments, fluoride treatments and several others. Dental anxiety is one particular area where compounded medications can be useful, and they can be customized for the patient based on their needs. The customized compounded treatments make a visit to the dental office much more tolerable and help ease anxiety levels. A wide range of different dental problems can also be treated with compounded medications including gum disease, plaque, canker sores, ulcers, infections, dry socket, oral bleeding, infections, and more.

Dentists can work with compounding pharmacies to develop treatments

Dentists can work with the pharmacists at compounding pharmacies to come up with suitable treatments for their patients. Many dentists, for instance, have created branded treatments that they use regularly in their practice with the assistance of a compounding pharmacy, because they have found a particular customized solution to be more effective than commercial medications. Some examples of compounded treatments that can be just as effective or more effective than commercial medications include:

  • Customized whitening gels for tooth whitening
  • Balms for treating canker sore pain
  • Lollipops or flavored treatments sedation (for dental anxiety)
  • Oral antibiotic rinses to prevent infections
  • Customized mouth rinses for ulcers
  • Dry socket treatments
  • TMJ treatments
  • Lozenges or chews for gag reflex treatments
  • Oral bleeding treatments
  • Antibiotic rinses that are non-staining
  • Debriding anti-bacterial treatments
  • Customized oral thrush treatments such as lollipops
  • Root canal paste for treating root canals
  • And many others

With the vast range of customized treatments that can be used in dentistry, compounded medications can prove to be highly useful in several different circumstances. The treatments listed above among other treatments are always customized for the patient based on the best delivery method, the dosage that will work best for the patient, and the combination of active ingredients that will work best. Prescriptions can be written by dentists and physicians for these treatments, and most of the compounded medications that are created for dentistry cannot be found at commercial pharmacies or elsewhere.

Compounding pharmacies are vital in dentistry

Compounding pharmacies serve a vital role in dentistry because of the wide range of different patients that dentists regularly treat. Each patient has different needs; pediatric patients may need to have flavored sedatives or flavored fluoride treatments, and older patients may need customized anesthetics for a root canal or dental operation. Injections are commonly used in dentistry to anesthetize an area prior to a treatment. Some patients may have needle anxiety and can receive a topical anesthetic instead of an injected anesthetic, and this is another one of the main uses of compounding pharmacies in dentistry. Dental providers are able to prescribe a wide range of medications that may have been discontinued or are otherwise unavailable, and they can also work with compounding pharmacies to come up with their own unique and customized treatments.

For instance, some dentists have developed topical anesthetics with a powerful combination of different anesthetics, which reduce or eliminate the need for local anesthesia and allow many soft tissue procedures to take place. Some patients are unable to swallow medications and can receive topical administrations instead, and other dosage forms can be created as needed. Although many patients can benefit from topical medications, some patients benefit from other routes of administration because the topical product may not adhere to the oral mucosa. In these cases balms, lozenges, lollipops, oral rinses, or mucosal bandages can be created to deliver a particular medication.

Compounding pharmacies can create multiple medication compounds for dentistry

In other cases, a single active ingredient is not enough to treat a dental problem, such as the case where multiple anesthetics need to be used for a higher potency. In these cases, compounding pharmacies can create compounds with several combined medications which can often be more affordable for the patient because it reduces the need to administer two or more different preparations. These preparations may also save time during procedures by having a faster or more effective activation, improving the efficiency of dentistry procedures.

Not only can the number of medications be controlled, but the flavor of medications can also be altered, which is of particular importance in dentistry when many medications are administered orally. Commercial medications can often be bitter or highly unpleasant, and children in particular may be resistant to receiving these medications. A compounding pharmacy can take a bitter tasting medication and add a chocolate or fruit flavoring to it for instance, and improve the chance that a child patient will find the medication tolerable.

Compounding pharmacies can create customized dosages

The potency of dental medications is another factor that needs to be controlled by dentists, and at a compounding pharmacy dentists can control the potency of each medication or treatment that they use. For instance, whitening treatments may need to be strengthened or reduced for a particular patient, and a fully customized whitening treatment can be developed at a compounding pharmacy.

If patients do not need a higher dosage, compounding pharmacies can create low doses of a medication so that extra medication is not wasted and so that the patient can safely take the medication in question. The proper dosage of a medication also reduces the need for multiple administrations of the medication or for a patient to have to swallow multiple pills, and the most efficient dosage form can be created

Dentists who are interested in some of the benefits that compounding medications can have for their patients should contact The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills for more information.