photo of statin prescription bottles - scriptsave wellrx

Do you find yourself struggling with statins?

Why do I need a statin? Why are there so many with different names? Why did my doctor prescribe this brand name statin I can’t afford? What are the risks, side effects, and benefits of this medication? Why are they talking about cola-colored urine?

If you’re like most people, you have thought of these questions leaving your doctor’s office or pharmacy and might have forgotten to ask. You’re in the right place.

Here’s the scoop on statins:

Statins are drugs that lower what is known as “cholesterol,” which is found in the blood. A simple way of thinking of cholesterol is “blood fat.” To be healthy, you want your blood to flow through arteries and veins without leaving traces of fat behind. If traces of fat are left behind, it can cause the blood vessel to become blocked or obstructed. This increases the chances of heart attack and stroke because blood can no longer move easily through the vessel and a piece of fat can break free.

There are two types of cholesterol: HDL and LDL. HDL is what is known as “good” cholesterol. You can think of “H” for “high” meaning you want HDL to be high for good health. The bad cholesterol is known as LDL. You can think of “L” for “low” meaning you want LDL to be low for good health.

Your doctor probably put you on a statin because your LDL is too high and your HDL is too low, you have other conditions affecting your heart, you have diabetes, you are a smoker, or you have an increased risk of heart attack due to lifestyle factors. A statin can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood, but works best in combination with a healthy diet and exercise.

There are several statins on the market that come as brand and generic medications. The brands tend to be expensive, but are usually interchangeable with the generics. If you have a question about affording your brand name statin medication, you can always ask your pharmacist or doctor about discount cards or alternatives you may be able to switch to.

Some of the most commonly prescribed statins that are approved for use in the U.S. include:

Lipitor (atorvastatin) and rosuvastatin (Crestor) are known as “moderate-intensity” to “high-intensity” statins. This means they are used when a greater decrease in LDL cholesterol is needed to achieve your cholesterol goal. The “low-intensity” to “moderate-intensity” statins are Zocor (simvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), and Livalo (pitavastatin). This means they are used when a smaller decrease in LDL cholesterol is needed to achieve your cholesterol goal.

When taking a statin be sure to watch out for:

  • Muscle pain or weakness – This might be a sign of muscle breakdown, which is extremely rare, but serious. Be sure to notify your provider right away!
  • Dark cola-urine – This is also a sign of muscle wasting that appears in the urine when the kidneys filters out the waste. Again, be sure to notify your provider right away!
  • Memory problems – Sometimes memory difficulties arise with statin use. If this happens, your dose may need to be adjusted. Normal memory function will return once a medication change is made.
  • Alcohol – Since alcohol is processed by the liver and so is the statin, this can overwhelm the liver and cause problems.
  • Grapefruit juice– Grapefruit juice is metabolized in the same way as your statin. This can also overwhelm the liver and is best avoided.

Additional Tips:

  • If you use multiple pharmacies, be sure to let your pharmacist known which other drugs you are taking and we can make sure everything is safe to take together.
  • Be sure to have a follow-up appointment with your provider 3 months after beginning the statin to make sure it is working for you.




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ScriptSave WellRx - how prescription savings cards work

Are you spending too much on your prescription medications? It’s staggering, we get it. There are a lot of companies in the discount prescription space, so who do you trust? How do prescription saving cards work? Essentially, we negotiate discounts on bulk drug purchases with pharmacy owners. More affordable prescriptions bring in more customers who buy more, so it pays off for the pharmacies.

You can feel safe with the resources we share and savings we bring. ScriptSave® WellRx is part of Medical Security Card Company, LLC; bringing some of the most advanced technology, pharmacy expertise and customer service in the industry for more than 20 years.

We hope this will help explain how it works and how you can save on your medications. If you need assistance affording your prescriptions, sign up for a free ScriptSave WellRx card or download the free prescription savings app, and save on your medications next time you visit the pharmacy.

ScriptSave WellRx - how the best prescription discount savings card works


ScriptSave WellRx is accepted at 62,000 participating chain and independent retail pharmacies nationwide, so there’s likely a participating pharmacy near you. Chances are, the pharmacy you already use is in our network! So, are you ready to start saving on your prescription medications? Become a member now!

Step 1: Download the mobile app or click here to download your FREE prescription discount card now.

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Step 2: Search for the lowest priced prescription medications near you.

Step 3: Show your savings card at the pharmacy each time you fill or refill a prescription.

It’s that easy! Instant savings at the register on brand-name and generic prescription drugs. Use the card to save on prescription medications for the entire family, too. You could save hundreds of dollars each year!

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Celebrex for arthritis pain - ScriptSave WellRx

If you struggle with arthritis pain, chances are you’ve tried a variety of anti-inflammatory medications for pain relief. While drugs falling into the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory category (NSAIDs) can help, they often come with gastrointestinal side effects. A major 10-year study has shown that Celebrex (generic name, Celecoxib) may not have the same side effects of similar drugs.

More than 24,000 heart patients and people at increased risk for cardiovascular disease were compared. Patients were given Celebrex, or either naproxen sodium (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil). The study found Celebrex, which has been on the market for 17 years, was no more dangerous to the heart than either of the two NSAIDs, which have been on the market for decades. This should come as a relief to thousands of patients who have an increased risk of stroke or heart attack. The study also found that Celebrex was safer when it comes to gastrointestinal problems.

For more on the study, visit

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scriptsave wellrx pharmacogenomic medication testing

Nancy recently had a heart attack. Her Caridologist, Dr. Trish, wants to look over her medications to make sure there are no problems since her discharge from the hospital. Nancy knows about the importance of seeing her doctor after a hospital stay, and she wants to live for a long time so she can she can watch her rambunctious grandchildren, Kevin, Keith, and Mark, grow up. Her three grandchildren keep her very busy and active, so she wants to be able to keep up with them. While Nancy is in the waiting room, she finds a brochure about pharmacogenomics. Nancy is curious and reads up a little bit more while she waits for her doctor. So what is pharmacogenomics? And how does it involve medications?ScriptSave WellRx - Pharmacogenomics Image

What is Pharmacogenomics?

Pharmacogenomics is a form of personalized medicine where “one size does not fit all.” By using your personal genetic makeup, it may be possible to see how well you respond to a medication and then make adjustments to your medication regimen as needed. Utilizing this method takes out the guess work where prescribers may try multiple medications before finding one that works best for the patient. While this personalized approach to medicine may shape the way physicians prescribe meds, it can also help determine if any medications a person is currently taking could be switched to something more effective. Now physicians can take into consideration the clinical factor of genetics when selecting a medication.

And the best part? The process is quick! A swab of saliva or prick of blood is sent off to a lab where the sample is sequenced and the results are sent to your physician or other health care provider. Your provider interprets these results and determines what medicine might be the best fit for you. The FDA has compiled a list of medications for which there are pharmacogenomic markers. Some medications that are tested include: cancer drugs, HIV medications, heart disease, depression, chronic pain, and many more. A full list of medications can be viewed here:

Nancy also struggles with chronic pain, and she wonders if pharmacogenomic testing can help her doctor determine if the medication she uses is right for her. She brings this brochure in to Dr. Trish to further discuss the possibility of getting tested. It could be possible that Nancy may need to change her medication. Codeine undergoes metabolism by the enzyme CYP2D6 and is converted to morphine in the body. Morphine is the substance that relieves the pain a patient experiences. Nancy may have a mutation in her CYP2D6 enzyme that converts codeine rapidly, slowly, or not at all. The use of Phatesting may help in tailor Nancy’s medications so she can get the optimal dose from her pain medication.

The world of pharmacogenomics is a rapidly growing field of medicine today. Genetic testing has become more accessible and less expensive over time which has allowed for more and more patients to get tested. In the coming years, more discoveries will be made with genetic variants which will allow us to see how many more medications may play a role in metabolism.

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ScriptSave WellRx azithromycin zpak photo

Common cold got you down? Are you sneezing and blowing your nose day and night? Are your coworkers and family sick, and now it seems like it’s finally your turn? You might be thinking of going to the clinic for azithromycin (Z-Pak) to cure your ills, but that might not be such a good idea.

Z-Pak Antibiotics – Not for the Common Cold

Azithromycin is an antibiotic, which means it is used to treat bacterial infections only, not viral infections. The majority of colds and coughs are caused by viruses, so taking a Z Pak for cold symptoms won’t work. You could suspect a bacterial infection if a fever recurs after the first few days, in which case a Z-Pak would likely help with resistance to the virus. Cat got your tongue and sore throat is the problem? A clinical throat culture will need to be done to assess the pathogen, which usually presents itself as a viral infection. In this case, rest, warm tea, and/or gargling with warm salt water (which reduces inflammation) can help these symptoms. Also, over-the-counter products can help with the sneezing, runny nose, and cough. Be sure to ask for a recommendation from your pharmacist since certain conditions such as high blood pressure may be affected by over-the-counter medications and cause unwanted interactions.

Compare Your Azithromycin Z-Pak Copay with WellRxIf your cold persists for longer than usual and you end up with green discharge from the nose or severe persistent cough after the cold is gone, then it may be time to see your healthcare provider for further treatment of your condition.

Got that bacterial infection after all and have a Z-Pak in hand? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Z-Paks come as six 250 mg tablets in a package. Take 2 tablets by mouth on the first day and 1 tablet by mouth for each of the following 4 days. Do your best to evenly space the doses every 24 hours for the greatest benefits.
  • As with any antibiotic, common side effects include diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain and vomiting.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have a history of liver problems are allergic to any medications, have poor kidney function, or are pregnant or breast feeding.
  • In some cases, this drug may cause a fast or irregular heartbeat. If this happens, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • As with any medication, if you forget or lose a dose, take it as soon as you remember and never double up!



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IBS or IBD picture of woman with stomach pains

When it comes to the world of gastrointestinal diseases, you may hear a lot of acronyms such as IBD and IBS. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a broad term that refers to chronic swelling (inflammation) of the intestines. It’s often confused with the non-inflammatory condition irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Although similar in name symptoms, they have distinct differences.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

IBS is extremely common. The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders estimates that it affects up to 15 percent of the American population. IBS symptoms are also the most common reason patients seek out a gastroenterologist.

Most people with IBS will never develop IBD. Still, a person who has been diagnosed with IBD may display IBS-like symptoms. You can have both conditions at the same time, and both are considered chronic (ongoing) conditions.

IBD comes in the form of:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • indeterminate colitis

What causes IBS?

Unlike IBD, IBS isn’t classified as a true disease. Instead it’s known as a “functional disorder.” This means that the symptoms don’t have an identifiable cause. Contrary to popular belief, IBS isn’t a psychological condition. IBS has physical symptoms, but there is no known cause.

The basic cause of IBS is unknown, but researchers have found that the colon muscle in people with IBS contracts more readily than in people without IBS. A number of factors can “trigger” IBS, including certain foods, medicines, and emotional stress. Since the inflammation of IBD is absent in people with IBS, it’s difficult for researchers to understand the precise causes of the latter condition. One notable difference is that IBS is almost always exacerbated by stress. Stress reduction techniques may help. Consider trying:

  • meditation
  • exercise
  • yoga
  • talk therapy

What are the symptoms of IBS and IBD?

People with IBS show no clinical signs of a disease and often have normal test results. Although both conditions can occur in anyone at any age, it seems to run in families.

IBS is characterized by a combination of:Compare Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Copay to WellRx pricing

  • abdominal pain
  • cramps
  • constipation
  • diarrhea

IBD can cause the same symptoms, and additionally:

  • eye discomfort
  • extreme fatigue
  • joint pain
  • rectal bleeding

Both can cause urgent bowel movements.

Treatment Options

If you suspect you have IBS or IBD, it is important to see your health care provider. Your provider should review your medical history and perform a physical examination. To diagnose IBD, one or more of the following tests might be ordered

  • stool samples
  • blood tests
  • colonoscopy with biopsies
  • CT scanning

IBS may be treated with certain medications such as intestinal antispasmodics, like hyoscyamine (Levsin) or dicyclomine HCL (Bentyl), or with an anticholinergic and barbiturate combination (Donnatal).

Dietary and lifestyle changes seem to help the most. People with IBS should avoid aggravating their condition with fried and fatty foods and caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.

IBS and IBD may seem to share similar symptoms, but these are two different conditions with very different treatment requirements. A gastroenterologist can help determine your specific condition and offer the best treatment plan and resources to help you manage symptoms.

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ScriptSave WellRx prescription savings on ADHD medications

There’s no known cure for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a common disorder that often starts in childhood, but is sometimes not diagnosed until adulthood. It is important for parents to remember that ADHD can be successfully managed. There are many treatment options, so parents should work closely with everyone involved in the child’s life—healthcare providers, therapists, teachers, and family members.

For children 6 years of age and older, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends both behavior therapy and medication as good options, preferably both together. For young children (under 6 years of age) with ADHD, behavior therapy is recommended as the first line of treatment, before medication is tried. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring of whether and how much the treatment helps the child’s behavior, and making changes as needed along the way. You can learn more about the AAP recommendations for treatment of children with ADHD by visiting the Centers for Disease Control ADHD Recommendations page.

Behavior therapy for young children: Training for parents

Behavior therapy as the first line of treatment for preschool-aged children (4–5 years of age) with ADHD. Parent training in behavior therapy has the most evidence of being effective, but teachers and early childhood caregivers can use behavior therapy in the classroom as well.

Why should parents try behavior therapy first, before medication?

Behavior therapy is an important first step because:

  • Behavior therapy gives parents the skills and strategies to help their child.
  • Behavior therapy has been shown to work as well as medication for ADHD in young children.
  • Young children have more side effects from ADHD medications than older children.
  • The long-term effects of ADHD medications on young children have not been well-studied.

A review of treatment results found enough evidence to recommend parent training in behavior therapy as a solid treatment option for children under six years old with ADHD symptoms and for disruptive behavior, in general.

ADHD treatment – medication therapyCompare ADHD treatment medication prices

Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants are the most commonly prescribed class of ADHD drugs. The parents and their doctor should decide together on which medication is best for their child and whether the child needs medication during school hours only or on evenings and weekends as well.

Common CNS stimulants include:

Nonstimulant medications:

Nonstimulant medications are often considered when stimulants haven’t worked or have caused intolerable side effects. Nonstimulant medications used to treat ADHD include atomoxetine (Strattera) and antidepressants like nortriptyline HCI (Pamelor).

Support Groups

Support groups are great for helping parents of children with ADHD to connect with others who may share similar experiences, concerns, and successes. Support groups typically meet regularly so relationships and support networks can be built. Knowing you’re not alone in dealing with ADHD can be a huge relief. Support groups can also be a great resource for specialist recommendations and practical strategies, especially if you are a parent of a child newly diagnosed with ADHD.

Extracurricular Activities

Children with ADHD often thrive with activities that channel their energy productively. Classes, like art, music or dance lessons, or martial arts classes can also be a source of positive reward and foster mental discipline. Find out what your child is interested in and remember, don’t force them into anything.


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A healthy diet can help you have a healthy heart

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in men and women in the United States. Heart disease can affect anyone, no matter your age, race or ethnicity. There are many risk factors that contribute to heart disease. Some of these factors include high blood pressure, high LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, lack of physical activity, being overweight or obese and smoking. You can make changes to improve your heart health.

There are many things a person can do to improve heart health and to decrease heart disease. Some of these include following a heart healthy diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding excessive alcohol use and not smoking. Knowing your family health history and discussing blood pressure goals regularly with your doctor can help avoid risks for heart disease as well.

Heart Healthy Diet

Compare Your Heart Medication Copay and Improve Your Heart HealthFollowing a heart healthy diet can help decrease your risk for heart disease. Always follow the type of diet and calorie intake your doctor recommends. Heart healthy diets usually include fat-free or low fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. It is also recommended to eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as trout, tuna and salmon at least twice weekly. When following a heart healthy diet, it is recommended to avoid too much red meat, palm and coconut oils and sugary foods and drinks. You should also limit your sodium intake. For more information about heart healthy diets including recipes, please visit The American Heart Association’s (AHA) Healthy Eating page.


Exercising can help improve your heart health, and is one of the best ways to lower your cholesterol, too. The AHA recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days weekly for a total of 150 hours per week. Aerobic exercise is an exercise that makes you use more oxygen than usual and it will stimulate your heart to beat faster. These exercises can include brisk walking, swimming, cycling or even dancing. Aim for and maintain a healthy weight, not only to help with decreasing your risk for heart disease, but to help with your overall health. Remember to speak with your doctor before starting any diet and/or exercise program. Your doctor can help determine if you may need a statin, a common class of cholesterol lowering medications.

Limit Alcohol Use

To help improve your heart health, it is recommended to limit your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol may lead to high blood pressure and put you at risk for other heart related diseases. An alcoholic drink is defined as one 12 ounce beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits. Recommendations for alcohol use include no more than 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men.

Stop Smoking

Quitting smoking today and avoiding second hand smoke is important to improve your heart health. Smoking can raise your heart disease risk considerably and smoking can lead to heart attacks as well as strokes. Smoking not only affects your heart, but it also affects other organs in your body including your lungs, bladder, digestive organs and even your bones. If a person who smokes already has existing heart disease, that person is at a much higher risk for heart related health problems. It is important to quit smoking and to stay quit! Staying quit will also help improve overall health. For more information about smoking cessation programs, visit or you can call the National Quit Smoking Hotline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Speak to your doctor about smoking cessation programs and/or products, like nicotine patches, that can help you stop smoking.


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Photo of patient taking warfarin sodium on ScriptSave WellRx blog

Do you feel like you’re losing the war with warfarin?

You have your annual doctor’s visit, which includes a brief conversation about “anticoagulation” or “INR” and receive a prescription for warfarin, which requires blood tests every few weeks. The conversation goes on to detail dietary restrictions, including foods and over-the-counter medications you should not take while on this drug, along with a long list of side effects.  Walking out with a dazed look from information overload you ask yourself “What does this all mean?” Here’s the break down.

What is Warfarin?

Warfarin is a medication that thins the blood. You may have been given this medication because when your blood is too thick, this can cause the blood to stick together. When this happens, it forms a “clot,” which can travel to the heart or lungs and be dangerous. Sometimes this can cause a heart attack or stroke, which is why this medication might be needed.

Because of the way warfarin works, it takes several weeks to see the full effect. This is why your doctor will start you on a low dose and your doctor or pharmacist will monitor your blood every few weeks to make sure it is not too thin or not too thick for a healthy body. Blood thickness is measured using an “INR” test, which shows how long it takes for your blood to clot. If you are taking warfarin at the right dose for your body, your value should be between 2 and 3.

Greater than 3 means your blood is too thin and you could be at an increased risk for bleeding, while too low means your blood is too thick and can clot. It is VERY IMPORTANT for you to know when your next INR appointment is for blood work to stay healthy.

Dietary Restrictions

When it comes to diet and warfarin, consistency is key. If you keep your diet consistent when taking warfarin, a dose can be determined that goes along with your current diet. Some foods that are high in Vitamin K can decrease the effect of warfarin, making the blood more thick. These include:

·         Kale

·         Spinach

·         Brussels sprouts

·         Parsley

·         Collard greens

·         Mustard greens

·         Chard

·         Green tea

While the foods above decrease the effect of warfarin, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, and alcohol can all increase the effect of warfarin. It is always a good idea to eliminate alcohol in the diet when using warfarin or limit use to one glass per day.

Medications such as aspirin or aspirin-like drugs and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib) may have effects similar to warfarin. It’s important to ask your doctor or pharmacist before using these over-the-counter products.  Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is usually a good alternative in these cases.

Warfarin and Herbs

Certain herbal medications also affect warfarin, so ask your doctor or pharmacist before beginning any of the following: bromelains, coenzyme Q10, danshen, dong quai, fenugreek, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, and St. John’s wort, among others. If you take a daily vitamin, it might have Vitamin E, which can also increase the effects of warfarin.

Side effects of warfarin almost always revolve around signs of bleeding. When on warfarin, bleeding will sometimes not stop or there may be bleeding you cannot see. If you have a cut, bleeding gums, or experience a fall, be sure to get help right away.

Your provider prescribed this medication because the benefits outweigh the risks. As always, never hesitate to contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist with questions.





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checking medicine cabinet photo

There may be times when you have expired or unwanted medication in your home. It could be that your doctor has changed your prescription or eliminated a medication in your treatment plan.

Whatever the reason, it is important to remove any unused medication from your household as soon as possible. Doing this will reduce the chance that anyone will misuse or accidentally take your Rx. You may be wondering, “Where can I dispose of unused or expired medicine?” There are several options, depending on what kind of medication it is.

Medication Take Back Programs

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) hosts medication take back programs at various times throughout the year. During these times, you can drop your medication off at designated collection sites. The DEA will then properly dispose of the unused medicine for you. These programs take any type of prescription drugs.

For more information on medication disposal in areas near you, visit the DEA website (Drug Disposal Information), or search National Prescription Drug Take Back events (National Prescription Drug Take Back Day).

You can also call the DEA Office of Diversion Control’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539.

How to Dispose of Medication at Home

It is usually not ideal to flush medication down a sink or a toilet or simply throw unused medicine in the trash. However, if there are no take-back programs in your area, some medications may be disposed of in this manner.

If you throw unused medication in the trash, make sure you mix it with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, coffee grounds or kitty litter. Do not crush tablets or open capsules before mixing with the substance you choose. Place the mixture in a sealed plastic bag or other sealed container and then throw it away. You can dispose of the bottles separately, but make sure you remove any personal identifiers, such as prescription labels with your name on them, to protect your privacy.

There are only certain medicines that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be flushed down a sink or toilet. For a list of approved medication that can be flushed, visit the FDA’s website.

How to Dispose of Used or Expired EpiPens

EpiPens expire every 12 to 18 months. It’s important to get a new epinephrine auto-injector after your current one has expired or after you’ve used it. Since EpiPens have a needle, they are considered a “sharp.” Each state has its own laws regulating the disposal of sharps.

You may be able to put your expired or used EpiPens in the trash depending on where you live, but it will require extra steps to ensure the safety of sanitation workers. This may include putting the EpiPen in a plastic container and marking it with a label that says “do not recycle.” Check your state’s regulations at

The safest way to dispose of EpiPens is to take them to a supervised collection site such as a doctor’s office, local hospital, or pharmacy (be sure to confirm that they take EpiPens). Always make sure the EpiPen is in its case before you dispose of it – the needle could injure someone.

How to Dispose of Inhalers

Inhalers should never be thrown away because there could still be medication in them that will leak into the environment. Additionally, the containers may explode under pressure or heat. Instead, take your used inhalers to a pharmacy or doctor’s office for disposal. Police departments or fire departments often accept them for disposal as well.

Saving on Medications

If you find yourself having to replace an expired medication, be sure you’re getting the best price. ScriptSave WellRx has a pharmacy price comparison tool that will show you discounts at pharmacies in your area (even on over-the-counter medication).

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ScriptSave WellRx - Travel Vaccines - Map Image

As the summer months approach, many have started planning their summer vacations. However, before you consider making travel plans for the summer, you should also consider looking into any pertinent travel vaccines or medications that may be necessary for international travel. There are risk factors which are dependent on where you are traveling, activities you will participate in while traveling, your current health status, and your vaccine history. It’s important to get vaccines prior to travel because in the rare instance you would catch something, you don’t want to bring it back to the U.S. and cause a possible outbreak. Certain diseases such as yellow fever, typhoid fever and malaria are still found in underdeveloped countries. For example, Zika virus started in Brazil and gradually has spread to the United States due to travel to this area.

Getting Vaccines for Travel

To prevent occurrences like this, consider the following steps prior to international travel.

1.   Check vaccines that are recommended when traveling to a particular country at:

2.  Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss vaccinations 4 to 6 weeks prior to travel. Also, make sure you are up to date on routine vaccines.

3. Discuss any prophylactic medications that you may want to take with you. For example, your doctor may prescribe ciprofloxacin in the case of traveler’s diarrhea.

4. If your doctor prescribes medications, determine when they should be started and for how long after travel you will need to continue to take them.

5. Check for any travel notices in the area in which you are traveling at:

Once you arrive at your destination, remember to take additional precautions such as avoiding room temperature food, not drinking water that is not bottled, and wearing insect repellent while outdoors. Also, be sure to bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands often. Taking all of the above precautions will ensure that you have a safe and healthy trip.



1.      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention –

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Folic acid info for expectant mothers

The truth about folic acid

Folic acid supplementation has always been regarded as the key to natal wellness. However, recent studies have linked high levels of this vitamin to autism. So this may have you wondering what is a sufficient amount and where can I obtain it? First, you should be aware of the difference between folate and folic acid. Folate is the naturally occurring form of the vitamin which is found in foods such as dark leafy greens and legumes. On the other hand, folic acid is the synthetic form of the vitamin that you will find in over the counter supplements and fortified foods. There are many sources of folic acid which you may not have thought contained this pertinent vitamin (See Table 1). Depending on your diet, you may be able to obtain the daily requirements of folic acid from everyday foods. The daily requirement for adults is 400 mcg per day, for pregnant women it is 600 mcg per day and for breastfeeding women it is 500 mcg per day.

Folic acid containing foods

●     Dark leafy greens- spinach (1 cup raw = 110 mcg folate)

●     Asparagus- (1 cup raw = 122 mcg folate)

●     Broccoli- (½ cup cooked = 50 mcg folate)

●     Citrus Fruits- oranges (1 medium = 40 mcg folic acid)

●     Strawberries- (8 medium = 80 mcg folate)


●     Okra- (½ cup cooked = 135 mcg folate)

●     Beans-(black, kidney, pinto), ½ cup = 115-145 mcg folate

●     Peanuts- (¼ cup dry roasted, unsalted = 166 mcg folate)

●     Avocado- (1 cup = 386 mcg folate)

●     Banana Pepper- (1 cup raw = 443 mcg folate)

●     Salmon- (1 filet = 881 mcg folate)

Folic acid dietary intake is important because it aids in the development of the brain and spinal cord of the developing infant. Therefore, it is crucial that you are getting the correct amount either from the foods you eat or through supplementation. A recent study by ConsumerLab tested multivitamins and discovered that many vitamins did not match label claims, so you may be getting too much or too little of the desired vitamin. As always, it is important to discuss supplementation with your doctor and also consider blood work to determine your current levels of folic acid prior to adjusting your daily intake.

Although the prevalence of autism is at an all-time high, with careful monitoring of your daily folic acid intake you can avoid getting too much of this vitamin.


  2. Wiens D, DeWitt A, Kosar M, et al. Influence of Folic Acid on Neural Connectivity during Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurogenesis. Cells Tissues Organs 2016:1-12.

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