keto vs paleo - wellrx blog image

By Karen Eisenbraun, CHNC

Curious about adopting a paleo or keto diet? Proponents of these popular diets claim they offer numerous health benefits, including weight loss, increased energy levels, and a lower risk of disease. 

While they may look similar, the paleo diet and the keto diet are different in nature. With each diet, however, you can adapt the exact foods you eat to suit your individuals needs and preferences. 

Continue reading to learn more about these popular diets. 

What Is the Paleo Diet?

The paleo diet is intended to mimic the dietary habits of our Paleolithic ancestors, who lived thousands of years ago. It generally consists of whole, unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, and meat. Processed foods should be avoided, including grains, sugar, most dairy products, and legumes. 

The paleo diet also places a strong emphasis on food quality and recommends eating organic produce, wild-caught game, and grass-fed meat. The idea behind this way of eating is that our hunter-gatherer ancestors likely had lower rates of degenerative diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and cancer. These “diseases of civilization” are often seen in higher rates in areas where people follow the typical Western diet, which is characterized by refined grains, processed meats, dairy products, sugar, and other high-glycemic foods. 

What Can You Eat on the Paleo Diet?

The paleo diet is not an exact list of foods, but rather a set of general guidelines to govern how you eat. As long as you are choosing whole, unprocessed foods, you can adapt the diet to your personal preferences. 

As a general rule, avoid anything that looks like it was made in a factory. If it’s something that would have been available thousands of years ago, it’s fair game. 

What Is the Keto Diet?

The keto diet is different from the paleo diet, although sometimes they may look similar. 

The keto diet, which is short for ketogenic diet, is intended to change the way the body uses energy. The main characteristic of the keto diet is that it is very low in carbs and high in fat. Keeping carbohydrates extremely low causes the body to use up its fat stores and begin using fat for energy rather than glucose. When this happens, the liver produces molecules called ketones, which the body uses for fuel. This is known as being in a state of ketosis. 

The keto diet is much more restrictive than the paleo diet. To keep carbohydrates within the desired range — typically 5 percent of total calories — certain foods must be avoided, including most fruit. 

The keto diet also requires an adjustment period during which the body adjusts to using fat as its primary source of energy. This period typically consists of a very low carbohydrate intake of roughly 20 grams per day and may last three or four weeks. 

Because the keto diet trains the body to use fat for fuel, it is often used for weight loss. However, keto advocates maintain that it can lead to other benefits such as increased energy and mental clarity, better sleep, clearer skin, better blood sugar control, and improved hormone levels and cholesterol levels. 

What Can You Eat on the Keto Diet?

A common misconception about the keto diet is that it is nothing but meat and eggs. In reality, the keto diet consists of roughly 75% fat and 20% protein. That means that plant-based fats should also be included, such as nuts, seeds, olives and olive oil, coconut, and avocados. 

Different approaches to the keto diet exist. Some people adhere to a whole foods keto diet, which may look very similar to a paleo diet minus high-carb foods such as fruit and potatoes. 

Other people follow a “lazy keto” approach, which allows some processed foods and ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, as long as they don’t exceed the allotted carbohydrate intake. 

Some people choose to include cheese and other dairy products such as heavy cream, while others avoid dairy products due to their inflammatory properties. 

A keto diet can also include lots of non-starchy vegetables. The body doesn’t absorb fiber, so the fiber in foods such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, and other vegetables can be deducted from the total carb intake. The result is a figure known as net carbs. For example, one cup of spinach contains only 0.4 net carbs, making it an absolutely keto-friendly food. 

Making Better Food Choices

Adopting one of these diets may require a big adjustment to the way you shop for food. Both paleo and keto diets discourage consuming processed foods, which will mean buying most of your food from the outer aisles of the grocery store: meat, eggs, and produce. 

Both diets may also involve venturing into the center aisles for select foods such as coconut oil, olives, and nuts. Most foods in the center aisles, however, are processed and will be off-limits, although increasingly health food brands are offering foods that are paleo- or keto-friendly. If you do buy packaged foods, make sure to read the ingredients. Even foods that claim to be suitable for paleo or keto diets may contain ingredients such as sugar, artificial sweeteners, or other additives. 

This may be confusing at first, but you will eventually find staples you rely on and brands you can trust. Our Grocery Guidance app can help you find alternatives to the foods you buy most often and determine which foods on the shelf are truly good for you. Simply scan the barcode on your food package to reveal its WellRx Health Index and discover “better for you” alternatives. You can also create a list of your favorite grocery items and find foods that support your nutrition goals. Download it on the App Store or Google Play today.

Karen Eisenbraun is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. She holds an English degree from Knox College and has written extensively about topics related to holistic health, clinical nutrition, and weight management.


quarantine weight gain

By Karen Eisenbraun, CHNC

The coronavirus pandemic has upended our lives in ways that most people wouldn’t have imagined just a few weeks ago. Many of us are finding ourselves stuck at home for the foreseeable future — whether under quarantine or shelter in place order. 

While it may be tempting to abandon all of your good habits until you’re able to leave the house again, maintaining a healthy routine can help bring a sense of normalcy to these uncertain times. And, many of the same habits that support your weight and overall health can also help strengthen your immune system and alleviate stress and anxiety. 

Follow these tips to keep your weight and your health goals on track during a quarantine. 

Develop a Routine

It’s OK if your new routine doesn’t look at all like your old routine. The important thing is to develop a somewhat consistent schedule in order to foster a sense of normalcy even while you’re stuck at home. 

Try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule and get up at the same time every day. Don’t stay up too late or sleep too much. 

If you’re working from home, designate set work hours and stick to them as much as possible. It’s easy to allow work to overflow into non-work hours, and before you know it, spend all your time in front of the computer, either at your desk or on the couch. 

Set Up a Standing Desk

Speaking of sitting all day, that much sedentary time can be detrimental to your waist and your overall health. Even if you get in some exercise later, sedentary behavior is linked to obesity. One study found that obese individuals spent, on average, two more hours sitting than lean individuals. 

If you’re working from home, create a workspace that allows you to stand for at least part of the day. Work at the kitchen countertop or convert your desk into a standing desk with a laptop stand. 

Stay Active Throughout the Day

It can be difficult to work exercise into your day if you’re used to working out at the gym. How do you stick to an exercise routine when you don’t have weights, a treadmill, or a stationary bike? 

Be willing to change up your routine a little. There are plenty of things you can do from home that are still beneficial. The important thing is to move your body.

Have you been wanting to try yoga? Now is the perfect time. Find some beginner yoga videos on YouTube. Yoga can help relieve stress and anxiety, promote better sleep, improve flexibility, increase strength, and promote healthy eating habits that aid in weight loss. 

You can also do body weight exercises, such as push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks. If you have small hand weights, hold a weight in each hand while you do walking lunges.

Getting your daily 10,000 steps may also be a challenge during this time, but it’s not impossible. If you’re working or binge-watching your favorite shows, set an alarm to get up and walk around the house at least once an hour. And you can still go for a walk or a run outside — just stay at least six feet away from others. If the sun is out, you’ll get the added bonus of getting some vitamin D, which helps fight respiratory infections

Eat Mindfully

When you’re stressed and stuck at home, it’s easy to lose track of what you’re eating. Avoid falling into the habit of eating whatever you want, whenever you want. Plan and prepare meals just like you normally would.  

Get a handle on snacking by storing surplus food out of sight. If you have cookies, candy, and potato chips sitting out on the counter, it’s all too easy to grab some every time you walk by. When you do snack, put a single portion into a bowl instead of sitting down with the entire bag. 

Manage Stress

Chronic stress leads to elevated cortisol levels, which can cause weight gain, particularly in the abdominal region. It’s perfectly normal to feel stress, anxiety, and even grief in these uncertain times. Our lives have changed, and even though we know it’s temporary, we don’t know when things will go back to normal.

Make self-care a priority and give yourself some grace if you can’t accomplish everything you want to in a day. Yoga can help with stress, as can meditation. Sit in a quiet space and breathe deeply. If you’re feeling anxious, anchor yourself in the present moment by looking around the room and naming five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can feel, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. 

Set aside some time every day to engage in an activity that helps relieve stress, whether that’s reading, journaling, or doing something creative. 

Refill Important Prescriptions

Don’t let important prescriptions run out during this time. ScriptSave® WellRx makes it easy to manage your prescriptions and save money on medications, even during a quarantine. Easily locate the lowest price for your medications at more than 65,000 pharmacies nationwide. Even pharmacies across the street from each other can have huge price differences. Our aim is to bring transparency to prescription medication pricing, helping consumers keep more money in their pockets. ScriptSave has been helping consumers save on their prescriptions for 25 years.

Creating a ScriptSave account is free and easy, doesn’t require a credit card, and you can cancel at any time. Learn more

Karen Eisenbraun is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. She holds an English degree from Knox College and has written extensively about topics related to holistic health, clinical nutrition, and weight management.


peripheral neuropathy treatment - wellrx blog image

By Elizabeth Binsfield, BA, RN

Neuropathy is a disease or malfunction affecting nerves. Many people suffer the discomfort of neuropathy, which causes tingling, weakness, numbness, and even pain, due to damage to nerves. It can also lead to dysfunction in organs, causing issues with waste elimination and sexual function.

There are four classifications of neuropathy, but the one most commonly experienced is peripheral neuropathy, which primarily affects the hands and feet. While it can be caused by traumatic injury, infection, chemotherapy, metabolic issues, or even heredity, it’s most often caused by diabetes. The loss of sensation caused by neuropathy can result in problems with muscle tone in the feet or hands, and left untreated, can even result in infection due to inability to feel an injury. For this reason, people suffering from peripheral neuropathy need to inspect affected areas often.

How Neuropathy is Diagnosed

Doctors look for common similar complaints related to neuropathy, so your doctor will want to do a thorough assessment and examination of your nerve reflexes. Being able to describe your symptoms clearly will help tremendously. There are additional blood, imaging, and nerve function tests that your doctor may order to obtain more information to help with diagnosis. Further testing may be done by obtaining biopsy samples of nerves or skin.

What Can Alleviate Neuropathy?

Once neuropathy is diagnosed, your doctor will want to determine the cause. If there’s no apparent underlying cause, they may want to wait to see if the neuropathy will resolve on its own. If the neuropathy is related to diabetes, your doctor will want you to stabilize your diabetes before treating the neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy can’t be cured, but you can prevent it from worsening.

Natural Relief

Sometimes neuropathy responds to simple natural treatments, such as vitamin supplementation. The B vitamins are crucial for nerve health, as is vitamin D.

An ingredient in cayenne pepper, capsaicin, has been found to be helpful for some people in relieving various inflammatory pains. Some add cayenne to their diets, some take capsaicin supplements, and others use topical analgesic gels that are available over the counter.

Talk With Your Doctor

Regardless of the over-the-counter treatment you choose to try, it’s crucial to first discuss it with your doctor. Even over-the-counter medications and treatments can cause other problems for people with certain medical diagnoses, or interact with prescription medications. Although a substance may be “natural,” it can still have the potential to cause problems for some people, depending on their health history and prescribed medications.

Smoke Out

If you’re a smoker or a vaper, quitting smoking will improve your circulation. Smoking increases clotting in your blood, which can inhibit proper circulation and even cause dangerous clots. Smoking also causes diabetes to progress more rapidly in those who do smoke. Smoking causes your skin, organs, and other tissues to receive far less oxygen-rich and nutritious blood, leading to unhealthy looking skin, organ dysfunction, and other issues. And those suffering from neuropathy particularly need healthy blood circulation to supply their nerves with vitamins and pain medication, where applicable.

Warm baths and compresses can help with neuropathic pain as they stimulate circulation, thus reducing the discomfort. However, be careful with bath temperature if you’re not sensitive to temperature due to neuropathy; water that’s too hot can be harmful.

Neuropathy Treatment Options

Neuropathy is treated medically with a variety of medications. Some of those include:

  • Pain relievers, including nonprescription over-the-counter pain analgesics such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may offer some relief from the discomfort of neuropathy. For greater discomfort, your doctor may prescribe something stronger.
  • Medications containing narcotics can lead to dependence and even addiction, so doctors avoid prescribing these unless nothing else provides relief.
  • Anti-seizure medications, such as those developed to treat epilepsy, may help alleviate nerve pain.
  • Topical treatments, including capsaicin, as mentioned above, and lidocaine cream or patches may help with discomfort, but some people may not be able to tolerate them.
  • Antidepressants are being used more commonly to relieve pain with good results for many people.

Treatments and Therapies

Therapies for neuropathy include the use of a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine. A TENS machine is a small device with electrodes that attach to the skin. There isn’t a tremendous amount of research on TENS use for neuropathy, and not everyone receives relief with this therapy, but those who do find it worthwhile.

Physical therapy can benefit neuropathy sufferers by reducing neuropathic pain and decreasing blood sugar. According to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, a comprehensive plan for exercise is best; it should incorporate aerobic, flexibility, strength training, and balance exercises.

Support for Neuropathy Sufferers

It can be helpful to speak with others who also have to manage neuropathic pain. Support groups offer an opportunity to share ideas and experiences with other people who understand your situation. You can search for groups in your area or learn how to start your own group.

Elizabeth Binsfield, RN, is a Richmond, Virginia, based registered nurse and freelance healthcare writer, who has more than 20 years of experience in medical-surgical acute care nursing, wound care, geriatrics, and home and hospice care. She received her nursing degree from Northern Virginia Community College.


erectile dysfunction - wellrx blog image

By Libby Pellegrini MMS, PA-C

When it comes to medications to treat erectile dysfunction, Viagra and Cialis are the consistent brand leaders. These medications were traditionally only available at extraordinarily high price points, in the range of $60 to $70 per tablet. However, as patents have expired and generic competitors have entered the field, they have become more affordable.

Read on to learn more about Viagra, Cialis, and their generic equivalents.

What Is a Generic Medication?

A generic medication is mandated by the FDA to possess the same active ingredients and to function in the exact same manner as its branded equivalent. In this way, generic medications and branded medications are essentially identical in terms of dosages, administration routes, quality, and performance. There may be subtle differences, such as the coloring or shape of the tablet, but these do not affect the function.

Despite the increased competition offered by generic medications, prices for prescription erectile dysfunction medications still tend to vary wildly. In fact, pharmacologic research has focused on the erectile dysfunction medication category specifically, as this class of medications is notorious for differential pricing.

Viagra or Generic Viagra (Sildenafil)?

In the case of Viagra, colloquially known as “the little blue pill,” its generic equivalent, sildenafil, is not blue-colored, but white.

Both Viagra and sildenafil affect the user’s response to sexual stimulation by inhibiting the breakdown of chemicals that relax the smooth muscle of the penis and increase penile blood flow. These medications do not cause erections, but they do prolong erections when they are achieved in the traditional manner.

Both Viagra and sildenafil should be taken once daily as needed, about one hour before sexual activity. Neither should be taken if a user is taking any form of nitrate for chest pain. These medications may also be prescribed for other indications, such as pulmonary arterial hypertension, or even premature ejaculation.

There are no significant differences in the function of these two medications; however, there can be significant differences in the price of Viagra and sildenafil. The patent for Viagra, manufactured by Pfizer, expired in 2017, meaning that a flood of generic competitors entered the market, driving down generic pricing. At a single pharmacy, the cost for one pill of Viagra may be $70, whereas the cost for a pill of sildenafil is $4.

Don’t get overwhelmed by these stunning discrepancies. It can be difficult to navigate the prescription drug landscape, but you don’t have to do it alone. You can use a ScriptSave® WellRx savings card to find the lowest price for your medication, down to the level of your own zip code. On the ScriptSave WellRx site, you can easily compare the prices of these two medications, Viagra and sildenafil, to see which option may be more suitable for you.

Cialis or Generic Cialis (Tadalafil)?

Another population option in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men is Cialis. In 2018, a generic version of Cialis, tadalafil, entered the US market, driving down the price of this blockbuster medication.

Both Cialis and tadalafil have the same mechanism of action as Viagra and sildenafil; they prevent the breakdown of the chemicals that are responsible for the smooth muscle relaxation and increased penile blood flow that trigger an erection during sexual stimulation. They have similar contraindications too, meaning that they should not be combined with nitrates for chest pain. Cialis and tadalafil may also be prescribed for other indications, such as pulmonary arterial hypertension and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Cialis and tadalafil differ from Viagra and sildenafil in their dosing. At a low dose, they can be taken daily, without specific regard to planned sexual activity. They can also be taken on an as-needed basis, at least 30 minutes before sexual activity.

If your healthcare provider prescribes you one of these two medications, make sure to visit ScriptSave WellRx. You can realize up to 80% in prescription savings by comparing the price of Cialis and tadalafil.

Some people save a little, and some people save a lot. But, for erectile dysfunction medications in particular, there can be vastly different prices—which means it is definitely worth your while to investigate prior to heading to your local pharmacy.


US Food and Drug Administration. Generic Drug Facts.

Journal of Sexual Medicine. Variability in Prices for Erectile Dysfunction Medications-Are All Pharmacies the Same?

International Journal of Impotence Research. Sildenafil/Viagra in the treatment of premature ejaculation.

Libby Pellegrini is a nationally certified physician assistant. She currently works in emergency medicine where she sees and treats a broad spectrum of illnesses across all age ranges. She holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University.

covid-19 blog image

Due to the recent spread of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus), people across the United States are being urged to stay home to help control this highly contagious disease. Social distancing and self isolation have led to concerns about accessing basic necessities, including prescription medications. 

Here’s what you need to know about getting your medications during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Medications to Buy in Preparation for Coronavirus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a two-week supply of your prescription medications to prepare for potential isolation. Some healthcare experts suggest getting as much as a 90-day supply. also advises everyone to have over-the-counter medications on hand while distancing themselves from the public. Consider buying OTC medicines that you might need in case of illness, such as pain relievers and cough and cold medications.

Obtaining an Emergency Supply of Rx Medications

Many people are concerned about running out of their medications while staying at home. In response to this, insurance companies are modifying their policies. Many insurers have waived their early refill limits on 30-day prescriptions. Some have also waived co-pays for certain services such as testing for COVID-19.

If your insurance policy hasn’t exempted you from the refill limit, ask your doctor to write you a 90-day prescription so that you have enough medication to last through an extended period of social distancing. Note, this may not be possible for certain medications such as opioids and other controlled substances. 

If you have a prescription that cannot be refilled early or extended, have a conversation with your doctor about getting an emergency Rx refill in case of COVID-19 quarantine.

Refilling your prescription? Don’t pay full price.

How to Get Your Prescriptions While in COVID-19 Isolation

If you are isolating yourself at home due to Novel Coronavirus and you need Rx medication, there are several ways to get your prescriptions safely.

  1. Have prescription drugs shipped to you. Some pharmacies, including Walgreens and CVS, are waiving prescription delivery fees amid the COVID-19 crisis.
  2. Order your medication from a mail-order pharmacy covered by your insurance plan.
  3. If your pharmacy doesn’t offer home delivery or mail-order services, you can transfer your Rx to a different pharmacy that provides these options.
  4. If you must physically go to the pharmacy for your medication, use the drive-through to minimize exposure.

Using Rx Discount Cards with Pharmacy Home Delivery

Patients utilizing pharmacy home-delivery services can still use drug discount cards on their Rx orders. To do so, simply provide the ID, BIN, PCN, and/or GROUP number displayed on your savings card when submitting a prescription request online or over the phone. 

Several major retail pharmacies, including CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid, are already offering medication delivery services to customers across the U.S. Some are even providing this service for free during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Use our drugstore locator to view a complete list of nearby pharmacies accepting the ScriptSave WellRx card.

What If I Need My Doctor to Write a Prescription While in Isolation?

In light of COVID-19, doctor’s offices are asking patients to call ahead if they have a fever or are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness. Many healthcare providers are advising patients to stay home if symptoms can be effectively managed at home. These new policies may disrupt some of your routinely-scheduled doctor’s appointments. However, you should still be able to obtain the prescriptions you need.

Call your doctor and ask about getting a new prescription if you need it. They can call the prescription into the pharmacy for you. Be sure to let your doctor know if you’ve switched pharmacies to take advantage of mail-order services. 

You could also use a telehealth platform to consult with a doctor over the internet. However, keep in mind that not all drugs can be prescribed via telehealth, and laws about telehealth vary by state.

Could Pharmacies Close Due to Coronavirus?

As of this article’s publication date March 22, 2020, there has been no news of pharmacy closures in the U.S. due to Coronavirus. In countries such as Italy where the confirmed presence of COVID-19 is more widespread, pharmacies have remained open along with grocery stores, as these businesses are considered “life sustaining.”

There have also been fears of drug shortages, especially for medications that are made in China or have ingredients from China. As of the writing of this article, the FDA has reported only one drug that is facing shortages due to Coronavirus. The FDA did not name the drug, but stated that there are alternatives to this medication available. The agency is actively monitoring the supply of prescription medications and medical devices.

Related: What to Know About Coronavirus

Trustpilot rating
Trustpilot Stars

Trustpilot Logo

coronavirus blog image

Researchers and doctors are working to find an effective treatment for the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19. The latest studies have been looking at several existing prescription drugs as a potential treatment. Many of these drugs are affordable and easily accessible.  

It’s important to note that none of these medications have been approved for treatment of COVID-19, and the results of these existing studies are inconclusive. Furthermore, it is imperative to understand that such medications, when used without a prescription and supervision of a healthcare provider, can cause serious health consequences, including death.

Nevertheless, although the study results presented here are for informational purposes only – there is still no cure for COVID-19 – they present opportunity for new (and relatively rapid) avenues of exploration as pharmaceutical companies across the globe pour resources into finding effective treatments for patients showing symptoms of this pandemic.


Hydroxychloroquine is currently used to treat and prevent malaria. Recently, French researchers used this drug in a trial of 24 patients. The study found that 90% of the patients who were given a placebo still carried the virus after six days, while only 25% of patients that took hydroxychloroquine still carried the disease.

In the United States, the University of Minnesota started a hydroxychloroquine trial with 1,500 people. The trial is studying whether the drug can be used for prevention or to reduce severity of symptoms.


Like hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine is used to treat malaria. It is also prescribed for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical trials conducted in China indicate that Chloroquine may be effective and safe for treating COVID-19 associated pneumonia, but this has not been confirmed.

Expanded Access to Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine in the U.S.

President Trump has announced that both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine will be available by prescription “almost immediately.” Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn clarified that the drugs would be available for compassionate use only, which is different from FDA approval.

Compassionate use is mainly for terminally ill patients. However, Hahn said that the FDA would gather data from compassionate use of these drugs to see if they could be an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned against using chloroquine phosphate to treat coronavirus in official guidance, after the agency learned that the substance killed one person and left another critically ill. CDC said, “Clinicians and public health officials should discourage the public from misusing non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate (a chemical used in home aquariums).”

Have you been prescribed Hydroxychloroquine or Chloroquine?


Patients in a trial at Jin Yin-Tan Hospital, Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, were given either standard care for COVID-19, or standard care plus the drug lopinavir–ritonavir. Pharmaceutical manufacturer AbbVie donated the medication (which they manufacture under the brand Kaletra). 

The results indicated no benefits to using lopinavir–ritonavir. However, some researchers believe that lopinavir–ritonavir could be more effective if administered earlier on; the participants in the trial had already been symptomatic for two weeks.


The National Institutes of Health reported that the antiviral remdesivir is being used in a trial of adults hospitalized for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha. It is still too early to tell what, if any, results will come from this trial.

 Related: Getting Your Prescriptions While in COVID-19 Isolation 


The University of Minnesota also started a trial of a hypertension drug called losartan to see if it can help prevent organ failure in COVID-19 patients. They are also testing whether it can prevent patients from needing to be hospitalized.

Researchers have looked at losartan because it is an angiotensin receptor 1 (AT1R) blocker. This could potentially block an enzyme COVID-19 uses to bind to cells. 

While there is still no cure or vaccine for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), researchers are working diligently to find a safe, effective treatment. Some of these common prescription medications showed promising potential in clinical trials and studies. Though the results are not conclusive, they give hope that there will soon be a commonly available treatment for COVID-19 (although it is imperative that individuals do not attempt to self-medicate with these, or any other, prescription medications. Rather, all Rx drugs should only ever be taken after consultation with, and following guidance from, a licensed doctor and pharmacist).

Related: What to Know About Coronavirus

ScriptSave WellRx Response to COVID-19

At ScriptSave WellRx, we are committed to helping people access their medications, regardless of insurance coverage. We provide prescription discounts at tens-of-thousands of pharmacies across the United States, and we will continue to do so in the midst of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Patients with or without insurance can read detailed information about the various medications they or their loved ones are prescribed (including details about adverse interactions with other medications and/or lifestyle interactions), without cost or obligation, by visiting the website or mobile app. Furthermore, while using our free tools, all patients can also get an instant second opinion on their out-of-pocket prescription costs, without obligation.

While no medicine has yet been approved as a treatment for COVID-19 at the time of writing this article, staying healthy and keeping your immune system in top shape are important during stressful times. The free Grocery Guidance module within the ScriptSave WellRx mobile app can help.

ScriptSave WellRx Grocery Guidance

Designed to automatically translate the information contained in the nutritional facts panel of most food labels, patients who use ScriptSave WellRx Grocery Guidance can get an immediate assessment of how well their preferred food products align with their desired health outcomes.

The technology in the ScriptSave WellRx mobile app uses peer-reviewed nutritional research and clinical data to connect health conditions (and related nutritional guidelines) to the nutritional product attributes of hundreds-of-thousands of grocery items on sale across the U.S. By doing so, this sophisticated nutrition and wellness tool can help take the guesswork out of reviewing a food label for patients who need to translate the label-data to their own personal health condition.

The mobile app presents users with an easy-to-interpret ‘Food Index’ that shows how well each product aligns with personal nutritional goals, as well as presenting alternative food suggestions for consideration, under a ‘Better-For-You’ heading.

In short, ScriptSave WellRx Grocery Guidance provides universal access to a highly advanced (but simple-to-use) tool that allows any grocery shopper the ability to interpret a standardized food label in a personalized way – instantly.

This puts ScriptSave WellRx in a unique position to provide help to those wanting to get on a path to healthier eating and grocery choices, at a time when staying healthy and keeping the immune system in top shape are more important than ever.

Trustpilot rating
Trustpilot Stars

Trustpilot Logo

dry skin and medications - wellrx blog image

By Libby Pellegrini, MMS, PA-C

Whether it is prescription strength or available over the counter, virtually every medication carries a risk of side effects. Even medications as seemingly benign as daily vitamins and basic pain relievers can cause unintended symptoms.

One of the most obnoxious medication side effects is skin dryness. Skin dryness happens when moisture is lost from the top layer of the skin, which is known as the epidermis. This loss of hydration can cause pesky symptoms such as skin flaking, itching, tightness, or burning. 

Read on to learn more about which medications can cause skin dryness and how to manage this symptom.


A diuretic is a medication typically prescribed to lower blood pressure or to help the body manage excess fluids or edema. Diuretics work by increasing the amount of fluid that the kidneys filter out of the body through the urine. This decrease in the body’s overall water content can have the side effect of skin dryness. 

Examples of diuretics that can cause skin dryness and other related skin conditions include:

  • hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide)
  • furosemide (Lasix)
  • chlorthalidone (Thalitone)

Talk to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing skin dryness with a diuretic. You may be counseled to change the medication or dose. Make sure not to drastically increase your water intake in an effort to combat the skin dryness because this will typically be counterproductive.

Topical Acne Medications

Topical acne medications, even those that are available over the counter, can cause skin dryness. This medication side effect is actually part of the mechanism of action of these medicines because acne drugs help remove excess oil, or sebum, from the skin’s pores.

Common acne medications that can cause skin dryness include formulations with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. These are available in various forms, such as ointments, creams, and washes. While they do work to remove excess oil from the skin, they should not cause extreme dryness.

If you are experiencing excessive dryness while using a topical acne medication, try adding a noncomedogenic, fragrance-free moisturizer to your skin care regimen. If you continue to have skin dryness, try reducing the frequency of the medication (i.e., instead of using a medicated acne face wash twice a day, just use it at night). You can also experiment with a formulation that has a lower strength — this is generally represented as a lower percentage of the active ingredient.

If you are still having excessive skin dryness after trying these modifications, make sure to follow up with your healthcare provider. 


Isotretinoin is a vitamin A–derivative medication that is included in a class of medications known as retinoids. These oral medications are used to treat severe acne that has been unresponsive to topical regimens. Retinoids can cause excessive skin dryness and skin sensitivity. 

Common retinoid medications include:

  • Accutane
  • Zenatane
  • Claravis
  • Amnesteem

If you are having intolerable skin dryness after starting a retinoid medication, make sure you are properly washing and moisturizing your skin. Check out these tips from the American Academy of Dermatology. If the dryness persists, follow up with your healthcare provider.


If you or a loved one are undergoing chemotherapy treatment, you may experience a side effect of dry skin. Chemotherapy targets rapidly growing cells as a way to take out cancer cells, but it can also affect the body’s own rapidly growing cells, including skin cells. This can cause skin dryness and irritation. In a similar way, chemotherapy can also cause mouth dryness and hair loss. 

Make sure to talk with your oncologist if you are experiencing chemotherapy side effects such as skin dryness. Your doctor may be able to prescribe you a medication to lessen your symptoms. For any medication prescribed, make sure to use ScriptSave® WellRx to save up to 80% at the pharmacy. 


A statin is a class of medication that is prescribed to people with a condition known as hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol. Statins help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and raise good (HDL) cholesterol levels. 

Some statins can cause skin dryness, also known as eczema. One notorious statin that causes eczema is simvastatin; skin dryness can be a reaction in up to 5 percent of patients taking this medication. 

If you are experiencing skin dryness with a statin, make sure to follow up with your healthcare provider. If he or she prescribes an alternative medication for cholesterol management, make sure to use ScriptSave WellRx for prescription savings at a pharmacy near you. 

How to Manage Dry Skin

If you are suffering from skin dryness due to a medication, it may be worthwhile to try the following tricks before you stop taking the medication entirely.

  • Limit your bathing time; prolonged baths and shower can dry out skin further.
  • Immediately after getting out of the shower or bath, pat dry and then apply a thick, nonfragrant emollient to lock moisture into the top layer of your skin.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture back into your external environment

For more information on managing medication side effects, check out these tips from the FDA. 

Libby Pellegrini is a nationally certified physician assistant. She currently works in emergency medicine where she sees and treats a broad spectrum of illnesses across all age ranges. She holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University.


Trustpilot rating
Trustpilot Stars

Trustpilot Logo

break a fever - wellrx blog image

Fevers are a part of your body’s natural defense against infections, viruses, and germs. On their own, fevers are typically harmless. In fact, most fevers are beneficial and in most cases it’s unnecessary to try to break the fever

The main reason to treat a fever is to decrease discomfort. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can safely bring a fever down at home. Here are a few ways to safely break a fever at home.

Treating A Fever

If you or your child are experiencing discomfort from a fever, there are a number of safe ways to break it, including: 

  1. Rest: In most cases, a fever is your body’s natural response to an infection or virus. Resting is one of the most important things you can do to help your body recover more quickly. Additionally, physical activity often raises your body temperature. Resting and avoiding activity can help to naturally reduce your body temperature.
  2. Staying hydrated: While staying hydrated is always important, a fever can cause dehydration from fluid loss. It’s important to drink plenty of water when treating a fever.
  3. Staying cool: Taking measures to lower your body temperature is important for breaking a fever. Unless you have chills, remove extra layers of clothing and only cover up with a light blanket or sheet. You can also take a sponge bath using lukewarm water or apply a damp cloth to the forehead, armpit, and groin areas.
  4. Taking an over-the-counter medication: You may try using common over-the-counter medications to reduce your fever. Drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help lower a fever. Acetaminophen can be safely used to treat a fever in children as young as two months old. Aspirin should never be given to children to treat their fever, but is safe to use for adults. 
Related: Will a Z-Pak Help Treat My Cold?

What You Shouldn’t Do To Treat A Fever

There are many touted home remedies for breaking a fever. Some of these remedies are not only unhelpful, but can even be dangerous. Here are a few things you should never try when treating a fever.

  • Take an ice bath: An ice bath may temporarily lower your body temperature but will also cause shivering, which is your body’s natural response to cold, and will actually increase your temperature. Additionally, exposing your skin to very cold temperatures can cause damage.
  • “Starve” a fever: The old saying goes, “feed a cold, starve a fever.” However, this advice should never be followed. While a person with a fever may have less of an appetite, food and nutrients are still necessary to effectively fight the infection.
  • “Sweat out” a fever: Another common tale is that of “sweating out” a fever. While it’s important not to underdress—especially when experiencing chills—overdressing someone with a fever only helps to further raise their body temperature and should be avoided. Ideally, blankets and clothing should be light and breathable, allowing for body heat to escape.

When Is A Fever Dangerous?

Usually, a fever can be treated at home, often without medication. However, a fever can be dangerous, especially for infants. Infants who are under 3 months old with a temperature of more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit must be seen by a physician. Meanwhile, infants between 3 and 6 months with a temperature over 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit should also be seen by a doctor. This is because infants can have serious illnesses that cause fevers which may require testing and proper treatment.

You should see your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms along with a fever

  • Vomiting or diarrhea lasting longer than 12 hours or contains blood.
  • Sore throat and headache lasting longer than 48 hours.
  • Swollen lymph nodes, glands, or tonsils.
  • An earache lasting longer than 12 hours. 

These may be signs of serious infections of illness that may require treatment by your doctor. 

Additionally, in rare situations, the following symptoms can be signs of life-threatening medical conditions and should be treated as an emergency: 

  • Chest pain and difficulties breathing.
  • Stiffness and pain in your neck when looking down.
  • A burning or sharp pain when urinating and stomach or back pain.
  • Mental confusion and seizures.

If you or a family member are experiencing these symptoms along with a fever, seek medical help right away. 

Related: Tamiflu Benefits and Misconceptions  

Medications to Treat A Fever

Often, over-the-counter medications can safely be used to treat a fever. However, if you see a doctor, they may prescribe additional medications, such as antibiotics, to treat the underlying infection causing your fever. 

When prescribed medications, always take them as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. Never double-up or prematurely discontinue taking the medicine, even if your fever has already lifted. Doing so may be dangerous or prolong the length of your illness. 

If you’re having difficulty paying for your medications, ScriptSave WellRx can help you find discounts on all of your prescription drugs. Use our online price comparison tool to find the lowest price on your Rx medications. Then, show our free pharmacy discount card to save money when picking up your medicine.

Find lower prices on your prescriptions now.

Trustpilot rating
Trustpilot Stars

Trustpilot Logo

enjoying natural vitamin d - blog image

By Libby Pellegrini MMS, PA-C

As the long, dark days of winter wear on, thoughts of vitamin D supplementation begin to bubble to the surface of the collective consciousness. You may be wondering whether you should take vitamin D as a supplement, or if it is not necessary because you already receive a sufficient amount through your daily diet and activities.

Read on to learn more about vitamin D, whether or not you should be taking it as a supplement, and why. 

Why Is Vitamin D important?

When it comes to maintaining proper calcium blood levels and bone health, simply eating foods with calcium is not enough. For the body to successfully absorb calcium through the digestive tract, vitamin D must also be present. Vitamin D is also important for body processes not related to bone growth, such as helping with cell growth, ensuring proper nervous system function, and reducing inflammation. 

How Do You Get Vitamin D?

Sources of vitamin D in the diet include fortified foods (check the nutrition label of your milk container or cereal box to see if vitamin D has been added) and fatty fishes, such as salmon or mackerel. Some foods that contain vitamin D are more obscure; check out this list from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to discover more vitamin D sources you can add to your diet. 

The good news, if you are not a fan of cod liver oil, is that not all of our vitamin D comes from food. Our bodies can also manufacture vitamin D when our skin cells are exposed to direct sunlight. The recommended amount of sun exposure is 15 to 20 minutes, three times a week. However, in the winter months, especially in northern latitudes where winter can last half the year, it can be difficult for our bodies to manufacture enough vitamin D via direct sunlight. 

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?

The recommended daily amount of vitamin D for adults who are less than 70 years old is 600 international units (IU) daily; for adults older than 70, the recommended amount increases. Vitamin D supplementation is also routinely recommended for infants, children, and adolescents because individuals in these age groups have actively growing bones, and vitamin D supplementation helps prevents a condition of abnormal bone growth known as rickets. 

How Do You Know If You’re Deficient in Vitamin D?

Many healthcare providers will routinely check vitamin D levels using a blood test. Your healthcare provider may also check your vitamin D level if you have an unusual broken bone (known as a pathologic fracture), or if you are displaying symptoms of a vitamin deficiency, such as tiredness, soreness, or mood changes.

If you are found to be deficient in vitamin D, you may be counseled to first increase your dietary intake and expose yourself to more sunlight to see if your vitamin levels come up without further intervention. However, if you remain deficient, your healthcare provider will likely recommend that you start taking a vitamin D supplement. 

Vitamin D supplements can be prescribed by your healthcare provider, and some are also available over the counter. For any medications that are prescribed, make sure to visit ScriptSave WellRx to save up to 80 percent at the pharmacy. 

Why Does a Vitamin D Deficiency Matter?

Chronic deficiency in vitamin D can manifest as certain undesirable symptoms, such as fatigue, muscle soreness, bone pain, and even depression. Additionally, if you are deficient in vitamin D, your body cannot appropriately use calcium to add to your bone density, so your bones may become too thin. This condition of pathological bone thinning, called osteoporosis, can increase your risk of breaking a bone.

Osteoporosis is a serious medical condition that is typically managed with prescription medications. These medications can be expensive, but you can use ScriptSave WellRx to find the lowest prescription price.

What To Do If You Think You Should Be Taking Vitamin D

If you think you may benefit from vitamin D supplementation, follow up with your healthcare provider. For many people, a vitamin D supplement can improve health. However, people with certain medical conditions should not take vitamin D. In addition, vitamin D can interact with some medications.

It is always best to initiate a new supplement in coordination with your healthcare provider, who can help monitor your progress and suggest course corrections as needed.

Libby Pellegrini is a nationally certified physician assistant. She currently works in emergency medicine, where she sees and treats a broad spectrum of illnesses across all age ranges. She holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University.


Check out our reviews
Trustpilot Stars

Trustpilot Logo

zoloft and ibuprofen interaction - blog image

By Elizabeth Binsfield BA, RN

Helpful for Many

Many people receive health benefits from taking the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) Zoloft to manage specific conditions. Zoloft, also known by its generic name sertraline, is prescribed as treatment for conditions such as depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and a severe form of premenstrual syndrome called premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Having such a medication available to treat the symptoms of these disorders is a tremendous relief to those affected. But it’s very important to be aware of any potential interactions with other medications, both those prescribed and those purchased over the counter.

Get a free ScriptSave WellRx prescription savings card.

Side Effects of Zoloft

As with all medications, Zoloft, or sertraline, has potential side effects that you should be mindful of, especially when taking other medicines. If you take Zoloft, it’s important to check the possible side effects and interactions when preparing to take any other medications. Your doctor and pharmacist are important resources to call on to ensure you aren’t combining medications inappropriately.

Zoloft and other medications like it can make your blood somewhat thinner than it was before you began taking it. It can cause you to have nosebleeds or to bruise more easily. You might even find that scrapes and cuts take a little longer to stop bleeding while you’re on Zoloft. This is why it’s so important to learn more about the side effects of other medications to ensure you don’t make your blood even thinner still.

Side Effects of Ibuprofen

When we have headaches, general aches and pains, or even arthritis pain, we usually reach for what are called anti-inflammatory medications. One of the most commonly known is ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a very helpful over the counter medication for a variety of ailments, but it also has potential side effects and interactions that are important to consider.

One of the primary concerns with the use of anti-inflammatory medications is their association with stomach upset. They are well known to cause stomach discomfort because they can disrupt the chemistry in our stomachs and cause ulcers with regular use. They also cause the blood to thin, and can lead to excessive bleeding with continuous use.

Dangers of Taking Zoloft and Ibuprofen Together

The health concerns related to thinner blood becomes more likely when you take multiple medications known to cause your blood to thin. The danger of thinner blood is that we are that much more likely to easily bleed. Nosebleeds can be one common occurrence, but of greater concern is the increased risk for bleeding in the brain, which can be extremely dangerous. If you frequently take ibuprofen for pain and you also take Zoloft, you’re at a greater risk for bleeding issues. In addition, if you are elderly, or have kidney or liver disease, your risk for bleeding is even greater.

Safer Pain Relief Options with Zoloft

For over-the-counter pain relief without the risk of thinning the blood, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a safer choice because it does not have the same side effects. However, you may want to discuss other options with your doctor. There may be topical medications or patches that the doctor determines are safe for you to use in addition to Tylenol. You may also be able to save as much as 80% on your Zoloft prescription and others by using ScriptSave ® WellRx. The WellRx website also offers free helpful tools for managing, tracking, and refilling your medications.

Elizabeth Binsfield, RN is a Richmond, Virginia-based registered nurse and freelance healthcare writer, who has more than 20 years of experience in medical-surgical acute care nursing, wound care, geriatrics, and home and hospice care. She received her nursing degree from Northern Virginia Community College.


Trustpilot rating
Trustpilot Stars

Trustpilot Logo

Is coronavirus contagious - image

Update: As of April 3, 2020, the CDC says there have been 239,279 reported COVID-19 cases in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands, resulting in 5,443 deaths.

While the number of illnesses and deaths from influenza remains high, there is news that the fast-spreading Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is hitting the U.S. On January 21, 2020, the first U.S.-based case of the coronavirus was reported.

What is a coronavirus?

Google has reported an explosion of searches for “beer virus” and “corona beer virus.” Before you throw that six-pack out, the Coronavirus has nothing to do with beer.

Both influenza and coronavirus are contagious viral respiratory infections. Coronaviruses are widespread and include both severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which have had worldwide impacts in past years. In addition to being passed from person-to-person, coronaviruses can also be contracted from infected animals.

What are symptoms of coronavirus?

Currently reported symptoms of coronaviruses include:

  • Mild to severe respiratory illness
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

How can I protect myself from the coronavirus?

There is not currently a vaccine to protect against the coronavirus. As with influenza, there are a number of precautions you can take to reduce your chances of getting sick from the coronavirus.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers whenever soap and water aren’t handy
  • Avoid close contact with anyone you think may be sick.
reduce your risk of getting coronavirus - image

What if I think I have coronavirus?

If you think you might be sick or coming down with an illness:

  • Stay home except to seek medical attention
  • If you have a face mask, wear it
  • Don’t share drinking glasses, dishes, cups, food, or towels with other people in your home
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue if you sneeze or cough, then throw away the tissue
  • Use sanitizers to frequently clean anything you touch
  • If you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead to tell them about any recent travel that may have taken you to areas impacted by the virus and your symptoms.

Taking these precautions can help lessen the chances that you’ll pass the illness on to someone else. If you’re not sick, it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine. While it won’t protect against the coronavirus, Dr. William Schaffner, medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, states that it looks like a second wave of flu may be spreading across the U.S.


Trustpilot rating
Trustpilot Stars

Trustpilot Logo

fill an rx out of state - blog image

If you take prescription medications, you know how important it is to keep up with your refills and take the medicine as directed. There may be times, however, when you’re away from home and realize you need to refill your prescription. If you’re in a different state, can you still get your Rx filled?

The good news is that you can fill a prescription in a different state. Here are several methods you can use.

Transfer Your Prescription to a Nearby Pharmacy

The process of transferring your prescription is relatively simple. Contact a nearby pharmacy and they will handle most of the process for you. Be sure to give them the contact information of your home pharmacy, as well as specify which prescription(s) you need transferred.

This process is usually quick, but it can take up to 3 business days. If you’re in immediate need of your medication, you should ask the pharmacist for an emergency supply of your prescription.

This method will not work for every medication. Schedule II drugs like narcotics and stimulants cannot be transferred between pharmacies, and other controlled substances only have one available transfer. If you’ve used up transfers, or you’re out of refills, call your doctor and ask them to fax a new prescription to the pharmacy of your choice. Keep in mind that your doctor may ask you to come in for a visit before filling the new prescription, especially for schedule II substances.

Use a Pharmacy in the Same Chain if Possible

Filling your Rx at a different location in the same pharmacy chain does not require a transfer. This makes the process simpler. If you’re away from home and you happen to use a chain pharmacy such as Walmart or CVS, try to find a nearby store.

Ask for a Medication Order to Take with You

If you are packing for a trip and realize that you’ll run out of your medication while you’re away, you can plan ahead. Call your doctor and ask if they will write you a medication order (a paper copy of your prescriptions) to take with you on your trip. Then, you’ll be able to take the prescription(s) to any pharmacy and fill your Rx.

Plan Ahead for Trips out of the Country

If you’re taking a trip outside the United States, your prescription won’t be valid. You should take extra care to plan ahead for trips outside the country. Be sure you have enough medication to last the entire trip because if you run out, you won’t be able to get a refill.

Try to Find a Pharmacy in Your Insurance Network

When you fill a prescription in a different state, be sure to look for a pharmacy in your network. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay the cost out-of-pocket. If you don’t have insurance, ScriptSave WellRx can save you money on out-of-pocket drug costs. Even if you do have insurance, you may find our discounted price is better than your co-pay! Get your prescription discount card now and start saving today.

Get a free Rx discount card today


Check out our reviews
Trustpilot Stars

Trustpilot Logo