Channary Long, PharmD Candidate, 2015 California Northstate College of Pharmacy
We have all heard and seen commercials on products that promise to keep us looking younger, even the possibility of reversing the aging process. These commercialized products come in a variety, from powder, cream, facial solution, and even pills. One promising agent, gaining recent attention, is human growth hormone (HGH, aka: somatotropin), which is a natural hormone that the body makes, but is now widely synthesized for many uses. One of its controversial uses is in the claim that it can work as an anti-aging agent. Let’s look at what growth hormone is and how it affects the body.
What Is Growth Hormone?
Growth hormone is produce naturally in the anterior pituitary gland, which is a pea-size gland located in the brain. The gland makes, stores, and releases the hormone to the rest of the body when needed. The hormone is extremely essential for the normal physical growth in children and adolescents. Its levels rise during childhood and peak during the time of puberty when there is a rapid acceleration in growth. Growth hormone works by regulating body...more
Priya Patel PharmD Candidate, 2014, California Northstate College of Pharmacy
Losing weight can be a daunting task, and often times we just need something that will make it a bit easier. For many, weight loss drugs seem to be the ray of hope to overcome their challenge in losing weight. Phentermine, a prescription medication, is one such drug that may help some lose weight. However, it is important to be aware that phentermine is not the magic weight loss drug for everyone.
Phentermine works by decreasing the feeling of hunger and makes the individual feel fuller. Ideal, right? However, phentermine is not for those who want to shed a few pounds, it is actually for those who are facing dramatic health consequences due to being significantly overweight. Phentermine is also not recommended for those who have heart disease, hypertension, overactive thyroid, glaucoma, history of drug use, are pregnant or could be pregnant.
If you do qualify for phentermine there are many salient points to know to optimize weight loss while on phentermine. Phentermine will help you lose weight but it is contingent on the diet and exercise pattern that is set during...more
Heather Sakai, PharmD Candidate, 2013, California Northstate University, College of Pharmacy
Pharmacy is one of the most transparent professions. You can walk up to any pharmacy and literally watch what a pharmacist does. You can talk directly to a pharmacist almost immediately and ask for advice. Even with this easy access and availability, many people are not aware of how valuable a pharmacist can be in their health care.
Prior to the 1950s all pharmacies compounded medications; however, by the end of that decade, almost all medications were mass produced by pharmaceutical companies. Since then, pharmacists have changed into drug dispensers. Amazingly, compounding pharmacies have survived and are now starting to become more and more popular. Compounding pharmacists work with other health care providers to find the appropriate medication, strength and dosage form for each patient. This investment into each patient opens up communication between all parties and ultimately results in improved patient care.
While commercial medications may be sufficient to treat some people, others may benefit greatly by using compounded medications. By compounding medications,...more
Heather Sakai, PharmD Candidate 2013, C
It is well known that women go through menopause, but what about men? Men experience something very similar, known as andropause or late-onset hypogonadism. Starting as early as 35 years old, the level of testosterone in men can start to gradually decline at a rate of 1-1.5% annually. This decline in testosterone may not effect every man, but is seen in about 39% of the male population > 45 years old. Many of the signs and symptoms of low testosterone are overlooked as signs of old age, including weakness, fatigue, decreased muscle mass and decreased bone density. Other effects of low testosterone include depression, hair loss and sexual issues, such as decreased libido and erectile dysfunction. If men start to experience these symptoms, it is important for them to talk to their physicians and get lab work done to see if their testosterone level is truly low.
Having low testosterone can greatly impact a man’s health and general well-being. Men with low testosterone are more likely to have other diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes....more
Kendra Morotti, 2012 PharmD Candidate, California Northstate College of Pharmacy
When we discuss hormone replacement we typically talk about putting back what is missing. Whether insufficient, or out of balance inadequate hormone levels can cause all sorts of disruptions in our body. But not all hormones are so temperamental that we would consider monitoring or supplementing them. Some reliably perform their duties and almost never cause upset. Despite their importance to the body they are ignored and often their potential therapeutic value goes unnoticed.
For example, the parathyroid glands synthesize and secrete a hormone that is responsible for regulating the amount of calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus in our bloodstream. The task of maintaining the level of calcium in our blood within a very narrow range is essential to our survival. Excess calcium is stored away in our bones and teeth to provide strength and serve as a reservoir when levels in the blood drop. The 1% of calcium found outside this is responsible for creating the electrical energy that allows us to function. It enables our muscles to contract, our nervous system to relay...more
John Ortego, PharmD, Parkside Pharmacy
While it is firmly established that the most clinically effective treatment for menopausal symptoms is hormone replacement, one common distinction that too many fail to make is that “conventional” hormone replacement and “bioidentical” hormone replacement are not one and the same. It amazes me how often patients tell me their physician has said to them “hormones are hormones”– even the OB/GYN who really should know better. My own personal research, and that of countless other scientists and physicians in this area of medicine, tells us that all hormones are NOT created equally.
The Women’s Health Initiative study looked at two very specific drugs, namely Premarin and Prempro. Premarin is a distillation of various non-human hormones derived from pregnant mares’ urine. The drug’s package insert vaguely describes the pill’s content of “conjugated estrogens” without providing much more detail of the assorted components or their chemical structure. But, if one is able to examine with an understanding of chemistry and physiology the specific make-up of the non-human hormones...more
The specific answer to this question may be different for each individual you ask, but generally they will fall into one of three categories.
Veterinary: For about 1/3 of the customers we serve, the answer is that Parkside makes a pet-friendly delivery system that enables one to administer his/her pet’s medicine with less difficulty or resistance from the animal, or the medicine their veterinarian has prescribed is not commercially available in the needed strength or dosage form.
Another 1/3 of Parkside’s customers need compounding because the hormones their provider prescribes requires compounding to deliver the unique strength, combination and/or dosage form they require–this is commonly referred to as BHRT (bio-identical hormone replacement therapy).
Everybody else: The remaining 1/3 of patients who need compounding is a “mixed bag”. In this group are often pediatric patients who require a lower than conventionally available dose or a medicine made into a liquid that is otherwise only dispensed in pill form. Patients whose...more