Archive for the ‘The Pharmacy’Category

Blackout Beers: Caffeine + Alcohol = Dangerous?

PharmD 2011 |

We know that the energy drink, Red Bull, has been around since 1987.  We don’t know, however, when the first individual had an epiphany and said to his friend, “Hey, this would be great mixed with alcohol!” Whoever he is, he probably regrets failing to patent his idea. At one point in time, it was the drink to order because it had everything most young (but, of course, over 21) drinkers would ask for. Alcohol to develop a buzz? Yes. Caffeine from an energy drink to make sure the buzz doesn’t make you sleepy? Yes. Flavored? Yes.  Flash-forward a decade or so at which point companies have caught on and have started manufacturing drinks called caffeinated alcoholic beverages (CAB’s) or alcoholic energy drinks (AED’s) that contain both caffeine and alcohol already combined for you (no bartender needed). We’ll be referring to them as CAB’s for the rest of the article for consistency’s sake. There were more than 25 different brands of CAB’s on the market a couple of years ago including popular brands like Sparks, Four Loko, Joose, and Max. Combining alcohol and energy drinks has always been controversial due to concerns over the cardiovascular effects of such a combo. Recently, the controversy has heated up due to multiple hospitalizations linked to consuming CAB’s.  As potential consumers of these drinks, you may be wondering why they are so bad for you and what the future holds for CAB’s.  Grab a drink and keep reading.

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02 2011

FRS Health Energy: What is Quercetin?

PharmD 2011 |

What do Pro Volleyball, Lance Armstrong, and Motor Sports have in common?  Besides making us feel like we should get off the couch more, all of them are sponsored by a revolutionary energy drink that promises “to produce more real energy.”  Real energy?  It turns out we can blame sleep deprivation for America’s craving for alternative energy.  Approximately 20-40% of adults report difficulty sleeping at some point each year due to a myriad of reasons (first date anxiety, work deadlines, World of Warcraft…you get the idea) (1).  It’s no surprise that more people are turning to a quick “natural” fix after a sleepless night to boost their energy level like Pac-man and his power pellets.  Free Radical System (FRS) claims to offer a natural, healthy form of energy.  Should we denounce milk and pour FRS into our cereal bowls instead? Besides questionable after taste, it might not be a bad idea to learn more about the active ingredient in FRS before doing so.

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01 2011

Salvia divinorum: From Ancient Shaman to Miley Cyrus


Miley Cyrus’ documented celebration of her entry into adulthood has transformed a shaman’s sacred herb into one of the hottest new drugs (and legal one at that) on the market.  Since the YouTube leak of Miley Cyrus smoking Salvia divinorum from a bong on her 18th birthday hit the internet, Google searches for “salvia” in the United States spiked 600% (even Saturday Night Live took a jab at Cyrus for her Salvia indulgence).  What is this wacky Mexican herb that has suddenly found its way to the main stream thanks to Cyrus’ accidental celebrity endorsement?  Is it really as safe is people make it out to be?  We dive into the ancient roots of the herb, its affects on the body and, most importantly, its potential health risks.

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12 2010

Generic Drugs: What’s in a Name?

by Tania Houspian, PharmD 2011 |

Most patients know their medications by one of their two names. Even more patients will wonder why their medications need two names. Is it a first and a last name? Are they having an identity crisis? Why in the world can’t we just pick one name and all call it that? The answers to the questions above: are no, no and we do. For further explanation keep reading.

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08 2010

ADD/ADHD: The Condition We All Think We Have

by Georgina Lee, PharmD 2011 |

Does your mind wander when you’re trying to study or read the newspaper?  Do you tend to switch the subject often when you’re having a conversation?  Do people call you “hyper” or “energetic” when you go out?  If the answer is yes to any of those questions, we’d like to congratulate you on being just like the rest of us who exhibit normal behavioral tendencies (like constantly flipping between radio stations while driving).  Then how exactly is one diagnosed with ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)? Currently, about 3-10% of children and 4% of adults worldwide have ADD/ADHD with a strong propensity for boys over girls (4 boys to every 1 girl).  According to the DSM-IV criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), ADD/ADHD is considered a childhood and adolescent psychiatric disorder in which the person has either inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity (or both) as defined by the following:

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08 2010

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