4 posts tagged “medication”

Talking medication and sleep for National Sleep Awareness Week

Posted April 24th, 2017 by

Do medications disturb sleep?

Did you know this week is National Sleep Awareness Week? Sleep disorders affect around 50-70 million US adults, and troubled sleep is common within the patient community – just take a look at the results from a patient poll we did with you in 2015. There are many reasons someone might be struggling with a sleep disorder, and one of the contributors could be when you take your medication.

Some medications cause drowsiness, while others can keep you awake, so taking your medication at a certain time could impact your sleep schedule. Below are some medications that can affect sleep. Make sure you talk to your doctor before making any changes on your own!

  • Anti-arrhythmics (for heart rhythm problems)
  • Beta blockers (for high blood pressure)
  • Clonidine (for high blood pressure)
  • Corticosteroids (for inflammation or asthma)
  • Diuretics (for high blood pressure)
  • Cough, cold, and flu medications that contain alcohol
  • Headache and pain medications that contain caffeine
  • Nicotine replacement products
  • Sedating antihistamines (for colds and allergies)
  • SSRIs (for depression or anxiety)
  • Sympathomimetic stimulants (for attention deficit disorder)
  • Theophylline (for asthma)
  • Thyroid hormone (for hypothyroidism)

Find out more.

Think your medication might be causing difficulty with your sleep schedule? Bring it up with your doctor, they may be able to work with you on finding a solution. You can also join the conversation on PatientsLikeMe, there are over 31,000 topics in the forum on sleep!

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A PatientsLikeMe researcher’s take on the opioid crisis and new prescribing regulations

Posted January 25th, 2017 by

Meet Emily (EmilyMcNaughton), a PatientsLikeMe researcher with more than ten years of experience in both the private and public sector. She’s here to weigh in on the recent Boston Globe article addressing the aftermath of the opioid crisis. New prescribing regulations have some doctors hesitant to prescribe these drugs, but that could prove more harmful to the patients who rely on them for pain control.

Check out the Boston Globe article, and see what Emily has to say below.

 

A researcher’s perspective

Prescription opioid medications have been widely discussed over the past 15 years, especially with the surge of prescriptions dispensed during the 2000s, which created an epidemic of abuse and overdose-related deaths. Because the prescription-opioid landscape seems to be constantly changing, people all across the medical, public health, regulatory and pharmaceutical sectors have been working to find solutions that will still allow patients to access their prescribed pain medications while minimizing problems with abuse, misuse, death, and product diversion (when patients either share, give or sell their prescription medications, or medications are stolen).

Many would agree that it’s been helpful to increase awareness, education and open communication between doctors and patients about these medications, but some aspects of restricting the availability of prescription opioids might cause unintended harm to patients.  As this Boston Globe article highlights, many doctors are now prescribing fewer opioids than in previous years and in some cases doctors fear that these reductions may hurt patients.

With any public health problem, solutions are not always perfect and there are pros and cons to every decision. In terms of prescription opioid medication, here are some of my thoughts on public health recommendations, regulatory changes and how they might impact patients. 

Advantages

  • There’s more awareness around how to appropriately use prescription opioids, the potential risks they pose and the proper prescribing practices, both within the medical community as well as patients and the public.
  • We’re seeing recommendations for increased patient-doctor communication about goals for prescription opioid use as well as alternative treatments, when appropriate.

Potential Unintended Consequences

  • There’s a growing pressure among doctors who fear there may be consequences for prescribing opioid medications.
  • There’s a possibility that difficult regulatory hurdles might deter a physician’s willingness, or even ability, to prescribe opioid medications in appropriate situations.
  • Blanket regulations that set maximum prescribing limits do not take into account the individual needs of each patient or doctor expertise.
  • Patients might have insufficient access to or may be unable to afford alternative treatments or pain medicine specialists if a physician is reluctant to prescribe opioid medications.

Other Considerations

  • Regulatory changes don’t address the issue of opioid-deaths that are caused by abuse of non-pharmaceutical products, like heroin.
  • For individuals with opioid addiction, substance abuse treatment remains complicated and is not always affordable.

What do you think about this topic?

 

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PatientsLikeMe Adds Patient Reviews of Medications to Walgreens.com

Posted November 17th, 2016 by

Real-World Reports on Use, Effectiveness and Alternative Medications Now Available for Thousands of Brand Name and Generic Drugs

CAMBRIDGE, MA., November 17, 2016PatientsLikeMe has expanded the scope of patient-reported information it offers through Walgreens.com to help more people better understand how certain prescription medications may affect them.

The new information, which is updated daily and comes from aggregated reports by PatientsLikeMe members, highlights the reasons why patients use specific prescription drugs and how effective they think they are. Also included are lists of the top five medication alternatives patients have tried for the same condition, as well as links to more extensive reports about dosage, duration, adherence and burden for more than 5,000 medications.

PatientsLikeMe is a free network where anyone living with a chronic condition can track and share symptom and treatment experiences, connect with others and contribute data for research. The website has helped more than 400,000 people learn from each other about how to improve outcomes.

Walgreens is the first pharmacy to provide PatientsLikeMe reports about medications on its website. The offering is an expansion of the collaboration between the two companies formed in 2015, when PatientsLikeMe first offered its patient-reported information on medications’ side effects and their severity on Walgreens Health Dashboard, a secure and private personalized health information offering.

“Whether you’re just starting a new medication or you’re researching alternatives, knowing what others have already experienced is invaluable,” said Michael Evers, PatientsLikeMe’s Executive Vice President of Marketing, Technology & Operations. “We’re excited that our members are helping more people know their options and what to expect, so that everyone can make more informed choices for their health.”

About PatientsLikeMe

PatientsLikeMe is a patient network that improves lives and a real-time research platform that advances medicine. Through the network, patients connect with others who have the same disease or condition and track and share their own experiences. In the process, they generate data about the real-world nature of disease that help researchers, pharmaceutical companies, regulators, providers and nonprofits develop more effective products, services and care. With more than 400,000 members, PatientsLikeMe is a trusted source for real-world disease information and a clinically robust resource that has published more than 80 research studies. Visit us at www.patientslikeme.com or follow us via our blog, Twitter or Facebook.

Contact
Margot Carlson Delogne
(781) 492-1039
mcdelogne@patientslikeme.com


PatientsLikeMe adds information about patient experiences with medications to Walgreens Pharmacy website

Posted February 18th, 2015 by

               

Newly-enhanced health dashboard now includes access to patient-reported data on side effects for 5000+ medications

CAMBRIDGE, MA., February 18, 2015PatientsLikeMe is working with Walgreens to help make it easier for people to understand how the medications they take may affect them. Now, anyone researching a medication or filling a prescription on Walgreens.com can access a simple snapshot that shows how their prescribed medication has impacted other patients on the therapy, including medication side effects, as reported by PatientsLikeMe members.

PatientsLikeMe is a free, online network where patients living with chronic conditions can track their health, connect with others and contribute data for research. More than 300,000 individuals have joined PatientsLikeMe and shared their own experiences with various treatments. The PatientsLikeMe-sourced information is updated daily with new patient reports and covers many medications available at Walgreens pharmacies.

PatientsLikeMe is the first featured external contributor to the new Walgreens Health Dashboard, a secure and private personalized health information offering. Walgreens can access PatientsLikeMe content to share information that may be of interest to Walgreens patients based on individual medication needs.

 

This example shows patients’ experience with Gabapentin, a medication often used to treat pain in conditions like fibromyalgia.

 

“Leveraging patient perspectives and experiences through Walgreens Health Dashboard provides our patients with helpful insight into their medications and overall therapy management,” said Walgreens Divisional Vice President of Digital Health, Adam Pellegrini. “Our collaboration with PatientsLikeMe underscores the power of social support and shared experiences on a wellness journey.”

The agreement also marks the first time PatientsLikeMe has integrated its data on another company’s website.

“We want to help patients wherever they are, so they can be better informed about the treatments they’re taking and make more informed health decisions,” said PatientsLikeMe Executive Vice President of Marketing and Patient Advocacy Michael Evers. “We’re thrilled to be working with the nation’s largest drugstore chain. Our work with Walgreens will give their patients important insights from people taking both simple and complex medications. It can also help enrich our treatment data should Walgreens patients decide to join our community.”

To access patient-reported data on medication side effects, Walgreens patients can visit www.walgreens.com. Walgreens patients interested in connecting with other patients managing similar conditions and sharing their medication experiences through PatientsLikeMe can visit http://www.patientslikeme.com/join/walgreens.

About PatientsLikeMe
PatientsLikeMe® (www.patientslikeme.com) is a patient network that improves lives and a real-time research platform that advances medicine. Through the network, patients connect with others who have the same disease or condition and track and share their own experiences. In the process, they generate data about the real-world nature of disease that help researchers, pharmaceutical companies, regulators, providers, and nonprofits develop more effective products, services and care. With more than 300,000 members, PatientsLikeMe is a trusted source for real-world disease information and a clinically robust resource that has published more than 50 peer-reviewed research studies. Visit us at www.patientslikeme.com or follow us via our blog, Twitter or Facebook.

About Walgreens
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com), the nation’s largest drugstore chain, constitutes the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,229 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens digital business includes Walgreens.com, drugstore.com, Beauty.com, SkinStore.com and VisionDirect.com. Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic and provider practice locations around the country.

Contacts
Margot Carlson Delogne
(781) 492-1039
mcdelogne@patientslikeme.com

Markeisha Marshall
(847) 315-2923
Markeisha.marshall@walgreens.com