Will the Anti-Viral Kleenex Work?
You may spot it on the shelves any day now—the new product from Kleenex that
claims to be able to block cold and flu virus transmission to others. The
Kleenex is treated with citric acid and sodium laurel sulfate, which are used in
foods and toothpaste. But will it work?
It all depends on the way people use the Kleenexes and the way they throw them
away. If there’s a lot of mucus, the anti-viral formula may not be strong
enough. If the user of the Kleenex doesn’t wad it up carefully and throw it away
instantly, the virus can still spread.
Source: American Medical News, 23/30 August 2004
Ask Your Pharmacist
Think of your pharmacist as a resource.
When you wonder whether a new prescription is safe to mix with something else
you’re already taking, ask your pharmacist.
- If you’re allergic to something and want to be sure it’s not an ingredient
in your medication, ask your pharmacist.
- If you forgot to ask your doctor about possible side effects of a
prescription, ask your pharmacist about it when you go to pick up the drug.
- If you’re wondering which over-the-counter medication might work best for
your symptoms, ask your pharmacist.
Are Generic Drugs as Effective?
People often wonder whether a generic drug is as effective as the original brand
name one. According to the Food and Drug Administration, generic drugs must be
“identical in strength, dosage form, and route of administration.” They must
also “meet the same batch requirements for identity, strength, purity, and
FDA-approved generic drugs have met the same strict standards as the original
drug. So if you do notice that you’re getting a generic, you can rest assured
that it’s as effective as the brand name product.
Source: Food and Drug Administration
What to Take for Exercise-Induced Asthma
Now that the weather is getting cooler, there are likely to be more problems
with exercise-induced asthma, which occurs more frequently in colder air. If you
or your child have this condition, remember that there are medications available
to ease the symptoms. Drugs such as Albuterol, Salmeterol, montelukast and
cromolyn can help. Be sure to make an appointment with your doctor or
pediatrician to determine which medications would be most effective for you.
You can also help the condition by warming up slowly, stopping to rest when the
asthma symptoms begin and then continuing after they stop, and by avoiding
certain activities that tend to bring on the problem, such as running outside in
Source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Alternative Remedy for Cold, Flu?
If you’re looking for a natural remedy during cold and flu season, you may want
to consider trying astragalus. It’s commonly used in China, and it’s thought to
help boost the immune system. Astragalus is used in teas, tinctures or capsules,
and comes from the root of the astragalus plant.
It’s generally believed that astragalus is safe for adults and children, but
it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor about it first, to be safe.
Source: K. Pelletier, The Best Alternative Medicine, Simon & Schuster, 2000.