We are quickly approaching cold and flu season, which means it’s time to organize that medicine cabinet! Pharmacist, Jim Morelli was kind enough to join me recently to share tips on how to organize our medicine cabinet once and for all, and give us the scoop on the must have products for cold and flu season and drug alternatives for pain relief.
Candace Rose: With cold and flu season upon us, can you give us some advice on how to organize our medicine cabinet?
Jim Morelli: “Really simple stuff- go in there and find out if there’s anything that’s expired (obviously those things need to come out) also if you’ve got prescription medications that you took for a little while and you’re not using anymore…take those out. Anything that doesn’t look the way that it should- maybe you’ve got a solution in there that’s cloudy and it should be clear, that should come out as well. Now the way that you dispose of these things is not by flushing them or dumping them down the drain, or throwing them down the trash. You have to get in touch with your local municipality and find out what the regulations are because medications are considered to be hazardous waste, and if you don’t get any result there, talk with your pharmacist…they usually can help you out with that.”
Candace Rose: What should we get rid of and what should we keep?
Jim Morelli: “Well, you can keep things that are not expired, and then you’ve got to access do you have what you need? You want to have the basics: alcohol or hydrogen peroxide that’s fresh, you also want to make sure you have some gauze pads, bandages, tapes, a pair of scissors, tweezers. These are all important things that many people do not have. They may have a cluttered medicine cabinet, but they don’t have the basics. And then when you go ahead and restock it, make a commitment not to re-clutter.
Let’s talk about vitamins. A lot of people start to take vitamins this time of year, we’re trying to eat better…be healthier. People are confused about what brand do I buy? Where do I buy? What should I look for? I always say you want to look for a vitamin product that is independently verified. That means you know that it is quality, it’s the proper strength, it has the proper disintegration rate in the stomach, and NatureMade meets all those and has a USP seal on it (US Pharmacopeia) and that’s your guarantee that what’s on the label is in the bottle. That’s why this is the number one pharmacist recommended brand when it comes to the letter vitamins and the omega fish oils.
And the other thing I would recommend is to look for some non-drug ways to relieve common symptoms that are up and coming for the next season. Let’s talk about nasal congestion for example. Kids these days are really not supposed to be using cold and cough medications, and parents are looking for something they can use that can relieve the symptom but is not a drug. I’ve got a perfect example right here, it’s Simply Saline Nasal Relief spray, and it is just what it says it is: it’s purified water and salt. How can that work? It moisturizes the nasal cavity. It also will rinse out particles that might cause allergic reactions and that kind of thing. You can use it whenever you need to use it with no adverse side effects.
Another alternative that is drug-free and is a very exciting development from HomeMedics is their Rapid Relief Electronic Pain Relief Pad. This is a great alternative to taking drugs for pain. This is a pad that you actually put on your back, lower back, arms and legs. Put it over the area that’s painful, and it provides targeted relief. What it does is it sends little electronic signals down and that tells the nerve there not to tell the brain there’s pain, so you get pain relief. And this is not a new technology, this has been used by physical therapists for years, it’s called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, it’s the first time you can get it over the counter- drug-free, latex-free, odor-free…no one knows you’re using it. It is economical as well, it’s like $30 and you get 50 treatments for $30, and then you can get a refill. It runs by a battery. It’s a great alternative, and I would recommend you checking it out if you’re someone who has aches and pains.”
Candace Rose: Well, thank you so much, Jim. Where can we go for more information?
Jim Morelli: “Well, check out the pad at RapidReliefPad.com; ArmAndHammer.com, you can learn the benefits of using a saline spray; and at NatureMade.com, you can learn the importance of the USP seal.”