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Vlada Korol: Health conscious

I would like to introduce myself, Vlada Korol, Doctor of Pharmacy at Kedvon pharmacies ( Chicago and Wheeling). At Kedvon, we are a full service pharmacy, we fill prescriptions and also carry herbals, homeopathy, vitamins, and supplements. I’ m a pharmacist who believes that traditional and natural medicines can be used in one practice, to give patients a broader range of treatment choices. Through my world travels and Russian roots, I have found remedies and herbals from other parts of the world that are not common in the United States, but have been helping people for many years.
Therefore, at Kedvon pharmacy, the traditions of the Eastern world meet the medicine of the West, to bring our patients, health, wellness and all the best!
Please keep in mind, the purpose of my article is to offer practical recommendations, based on my experiences in practice. As a pharmacist, I can tell you, there is quite a difference in sharing information on herbals/ supplements as compared to prescription medications. It’s not that one side works better than the other, it’s that the pharmaceuticals go through very extensive research, studies, and a strict approval process by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The prescription medications come with approved literature and studies, and this documentation claims treatments and/ or prevention of diseases. The herbals and supplements are not approved by the FDA and often require the following disclaimer on the packaging. “ These products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure any diseases.” (1) Nevertheless, herbal medicine has been used since the beginning of time, and plants were extracted and studied to develop and synthesize chemical medicinals. There are a number of wonderful herbal companies, that produce high quality products, which patients can choose to add to their health regimen. So if used as directed, they can also benefit the wellbeing of a patient. Remember to inform your pharmacist and doctor of everything that you take, (including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbals, supplements, and vitamins) since not everything can be combined together, you don’t want to harm yourself! In general vitamins/ supplements can help our bodies replenish nutrients that we are not receiving from our diets.

What are some herbals and supplements I can take and /or give my children to boost immunity?

1. Vitamin C
2. Hibiscus/ Rose Hips (dried berries)
3. Omega -3 Fish oil
4. Echinacea
5. Sambucus Syrup

Best prevention of spreading germs is to wash your hands with soap and warm water, also use antibacterial sanitizers when on the go. Avoid crowded areas in the winter time. Most people believe that cold weather causes us to get sick….this is a myth. In reality, cold weather causes crowding of people indoors, which makes it easier to spread germs. ( example: day cares, children rapidly pass germs from one to another). A germ/ virus has to be present to get one sick with a cold or flu, cold weather alone will not get a person sick. Having said that, it is important to stay warm and dry so that you don’ t exacerbate the symptoms. (2)

What about the Flu Shot? Getting the flu vaccine is a controversial topic. the flu shot is composed of multiple viral strains that were prevalent in previous flu seasons, hence in the current season there maybe entirely new or mutated strains. Getting a flu shot does not guarantee you will not get the flu.

Which non-prescription products can help at the first symptoms of cold or a virus (possibly prevent virus from progressing within the first 48 hours)?
1. Vira Clear
2. Anaferon
3. Occilococcum

Also, Treat individual symptoms with medicines specific for each of the following: fever, cough, runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat.  Or you can choose a medication which treats a combination of your symptoms, for example: Theraflu, Tylenol Cold, DayQuil or NyQuil, or the herbal Umcka.

If your physician prescribes you a medication, make sure to follow all directions. If the cause of the respiratory illness is bacteria, your doctor most likely will prescribe an antibiotic. A common one we see is ZPak / Azithromycin. If you are on an antibiotic, tell the pharmacist your allergies, to prevent emergencies. Also, make sure to finish your full course of treatment. This will allow to kill off the bacteria completely. Store the antibiotics as directed, taking them with food can prevent stomach issues.If your doctor suspects the cause of illness to be viral such as Influeza ( the Flu), he or she may tell you to treat the symptoms with over the counter medications and drink plenty of fluids to help wash the virus out of your body. Sometimes doctors may prescribe Tamiflu, which can treat the flu, but is only proven to be effective if taken within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms. (3)

Sources:
(1) http://wildmedicinalherbs.com/disclaimer/
(2) http://www.13abc.com/story/20640687/cold-weather-does-not-make-you-sick
(3) http://www.gene.com/download/pdf/tamiflu_prescribing.pdf

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