Tag Archives: Aspirin

Straight, No Chaser: Aspirin – It’s Not Just for Heart Attacks Anymore

aspirin-for-heart-disease-and-prevention-of-cancer1-500x375

…not that it ever was! Aspirin has been known to be a pain reliever for thousands of years. Let’s take a brief look at the additional qualities that should make aspirin one of the meds you’d want to have if stranded on a deserted island.
Heart attacks: Many doctors routinely prescribe a daily aspirin to help prevent heart attacks. In fact, the research was so good that a Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to those discovering that aspirin prevents the clot formation that leads to heart attacks. It has been estimated by the American Heart Association that up to 10,000 American lives would be saved every year if an aspirin (325 mg) was taken at the first signs of a heart attack. However, it is important to note that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its recommendations to state daily use of aspirin should only be in those instances in which individuals already have cardiovascular disease, due to aspirin’s side effect profile.
Strokes: Aspirin has the same preventive effects on stroke development as it does for heart attacks, and daily preventive medicine is now part of many lives for that reason.
Cancer prevention: Aspirin appears to have preventative benefits for certain digestive cancers. Just this week, research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that daily aspirin use at recommended levels for at least five years was associated with a 27% less likelihood of developing colorectal cancer. Additional evidence is strong for presentation of esophageal and stomach cancers, but outside of the digestive tract, conclusive evidence hasn’t presented of yet.
So if you’ve been told to take a daily aspirin to reduce your risk of a heart attack because you likely fell into one a high-risk category, here are some logistical considerations about what to do.

Aspirin-tablet-300x300

1) Is there a better time of day to take an aspirin?
Recent data suggests that most heart attacks occur early in the morning. The best time to take an aspirin is relatively soon before you have that heart attack. However, since your heart doesn’t give you a heart attack alarm clock (and many of us aren’t especially mindful of heart attack recognition), the best move would seem to be to take an aspirin before going to bed, and recent research supports that an aspirin taken before going to bed offers the most protection from a heart attack. There are limitations to doing this (e.g. taking aspirin on an empty stomach if you have a history of ulcers may not prove to be the most pleasant thing), and you should discuss such timing with your physician.
2) Is there a better dose of aspirin to take?
That’s a question your physician will answer and is dependent on your personal situation. That said, doses as low as 75-81 mg have been shown to be effective. You may be placed on any dose up to 325 mg/day. It really is important to take an aspirin dose recommended by your physician for this consideration.
3) Is it better to chew or swallow an aspirin?
Chewing an aspirin is the quickest way to achieve effective blood levels. In case you were thinking about taking an Alka-Seltzer (which contains aspirin), that’s also good – but it’s just not as good as chewing an aspirin.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: What Should Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

medicine cabinet sick-care-vs-health-care

You’ve all done it. I’ve caught a few of you doing it. Why do you rummage through someone else’s medicine cabinet? Are newer homes even built with medicine cabinets anymore? Oh well… Today, Straight, No Chaser tackles a simple but important question in an ongoing effort to better empower you. For starters, here’s hoping your cabinet doesn’t resemble any of these pictured, but there is a role for medicines in your medicine cabinet.
medicine-cabinet_59x73.5_we
1. What should be in your medicine cabinet? Here’s my top five and why.

  • Aspirin (324 mg).

Aspirin-tablet-300x300

On the day you’re having a heart attack, you’ll want this available to pop in your mouth on the way to the hospital. Of all the intervention done in treating heart attacks, none is better than simply taking an aspirin. It offers a 23% reduction in mortality (death rates) due to a heart attack all by itself.

  • Activated charcoal.

activated charcoal

This one may surprise you. Talk to your physician or pharmacist about this. If someone in your family ever overdoses on a medicine, odds are this is the first medication you’d be given in the emergency room. The sooner it’s onboard, the sooner it can begin detoxifying whatever you took. That said, there are some medications and circumstances when you shouldn’t take it, so get familiar with it by talking with your physician.

  • Antiseptics such as triple antibiotic ointment for cuts, scratches and minor burns.

triple abx

It should be embarrassing for you to spend $1000 going to an emergency room when you could have addressed the problem at home. I guess I should include bandages here as well.

  • A variety pack for colds, including antihistamines (like diphenhydramine, aka benadryl) and cough preparations.

OTCdrugs

As a general rule, give yourself 3-5 days of using OTC preparations for a cold to see if it works or goes away. If not, then it’s certainly appropriate to get additional medical care. I guess I can lump a thermometer in this bullet point.

  • The fifth item would be this number: 800-222-1222, which is the number to the national poison control center.

poisoncontrol

They will address your concerns, route you to your local poison center, advise you on the appropriate use of activated charcoal and help coordinate your care when you go to your emergency department.
Be smart about the items in your home in general and in your medicine cabinet in particular. We’ll continue the theme with the next Straight, No Chaser.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Should I Take a Daily Aspirin?

heart aspirin

So… I’m stuck on a desert island, and I’m allowed to take two medications. I’m pretty sure aspirin is going to be one of them. This begs the question “Who should take a daily aspirin?” The answer is actually easy: anyone and only anyone whose physician recommends it. The better question is when will your physician recommend it? In yesterday’s Straight, No Chaser, we reviewed the expanding use of aspirin. That was the “why” of it all. Today we look at the “how” and “when.”
The benefits of aspirin in reducing heart attack risk have been known and well described for quite a while now, and you should check this list to see if you’d benefit from taking a daily aspirin. Truth be told, it’s of such importance that if you’re of a certain age, you should have this conversation with your physician at your next physical exam. Here’s a partial list that will get you a daily aspirin or very strongly considered for one.

  • If you’ve previously had a heart attack
  • If you’ve had a coronary artery stent or surgery
  • If you’ve previously had a stroke (caused by a blood clot) or TIA (transient ischemia attack, aka ‘mini-stroke’).
  • You’re a male over 50.
  • You’re a female over 60.
  • You have a bad risk factor profile (i.e. You smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, are overweight, don’t exercise or have a personal or family history of heart disease)

The above list actually isn’t exhaustive but is sufficient for most individuals’  ability to remember to start a conversation with their physician.  These considerations will be measured against others that would suggest you shouldn’t be taking a daily aspirin (e.g. allergy, bleeding ulcers, a bleeding disorder or if you’re taking certain other medications).
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Should I Take a Daily Aspirin?

heart aspirin

So… I’m stuck on a desert island, and I’m allowed to take two medications. I’m pretty sure aspirin is going to be one of them. This begs the question “Who should take a daily aspirin?” The answer is actually easy: anyone and only anyone whose physician recommends it. The better question is when will your physician recommend it? In yesterday’s Straight, No Chaser, we reviewed the expanding use of aspirin. That was the “why” of it all. Today we look at the “how” and “when.”
The benefits of aspirin in reducing heart attack risk have been known and well described for quite a while now, and you should check this list to see if you’d benefit from taking a daily aspirin. Truth be told, it’s of such importance that if you’re of a certain age, you should have this conversation with your physician at your next physical exam. Here’s a partial list that will get you a daily aspirin or very strongly considered for one.

  • If you’ve previously had a heart attack
  • If you’ve had a coronary artery stent or surgery
  • If you’ve previously had a stroke (caused by a blood clot) or TIA (transient ischemia attack, aka ‘mini-stroke’).
  • You’re a male over 50.
  • You’re a female over 60.
  • You have a bad risk factor profile (i.e. You smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, are overweight, don’t exercise or have a personal or family history of heart disease)

The above list actually isn’t exhaustive but is sufficient for most individuals’  ability to remember to start a conversation with their physician.  These considerations will be measured against others that would suggest you shouldn’t be taking a daily aspirin (e.g. allergy, bleeding ulcers, a bleeding disorder or if you’re taking certain other medications).
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Aspirin – It’s Not Just for Heart Attacks Anymore

aspirin-for-heart-disease-and-prevention-of-cancer1-500x375

…not that it ever was! Aspirin has been known to be a pain reliever for thousands of years. Let’s take a brief look at the additional qualities that should make aspirin one of the meds you’d want to have if stranded on a deserted island.
Heart attacks: Many doctors routinely prescribe a daily aspirin to help prevent heart attacks. In fact, the research was so good that a Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to those discovering that aspirin prevents the clot formation that leads to heart attacks. It has been estimated by the American Heart Association that up to 10,000 American lives would be saved every year if an aspirin (325 mg) was taken at the first signs of a heart attack. However, it is important to note that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its recommendations to state daily use of aspirin should only be in those instances in which individuals already have cardiovascular disease, due to aspirin’s side effect profile.
Strokes: Aspirin has the same preventive effects on stroke development as it does for heart attacks, and daily preventive medicine is now part of many lives for that reason.
Cancer prevention: Aspirin appears to have preventative benefits for certain digestive cancers. Just this week, research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that daily aspirin use at recommended levels for at least five years was associated with a 27% less likelihood of developing colorectal cancer. Additional evidence is strong for presentation of esophageal and stomach cancers, but outside of the digestive tract, conclusive evidence hasn’t presented of yet.
So if you’ve been told to take a daily aspirin to reduce your risk of a heart attack because you likely fell into one a high-risk category, here are some logistical considerations about what to do.

Aspirin-tablet-300x300

1) Is there a better time of day to take an aspirin?
Recent data suggests that most heart attacks occur early in the morning. The best time to take an aspirin is relatively soon before you have that heart attack. However, since your heart doesn’t give you a heart attack alarm clock (and many of us aren’t especially mindful of heart attack recognition), the best move would seem to be to take an aspirin before going to bed, and recent research supports that an aspirin taken before going to bed offers the most protection from a heart attack. There are limitations to doing this (e.g. taking aspirin on an empty stomach if you have a history of ulcers may not prove to be the most pleasant thing), and you should discuss such timing with your physician.
2) Is there a better dose of aspirin to take?
That’s a question your physician will answer and is dependent on your personal situation. That said, doses as low as 75-81 mg have been shown to be effective. You may be placed on any dose up to 325 mg/day. It really is important to take an aspirin dose recommended by your physician for this consideration.
3) Is it better to chew or swallow an aspirin?
Chewing an aspirin is the quickest way to achieve effective blood levels. In case you were thinking about taking an Alka-Seltzer (which contains aspirin), that’s also good – but it’s just not as good as chewing an aspirin.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: What Should Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

medicine cabinet sick-care-vs-health-care

You’ve all done it. I’ve caught a few of you doing it. Why do you rummage through someone’s else’s medicine cabinet? Are newer homes even built with medicine cabinets anymore? Oh well… Today, Straight, No Chaser tackles a simple but important question in an ongoing effort to better empower you. For starters, here’s hoping your cabinet doesn’t resemble any of these pictured, but there is a role for medicines in your medicine cabinet.
medicine-cabinet_59x73.5_we
1. What should be in your medicine cabinet? Here’s my top five and why.

  • Aspirin (324 mg).

Aspirin-tablet-300x300

On the day you’re having a heart attack, you’ll want this available to pop in your mouth on the way to the hospital. Of all the intervention done in treating heart attacks, none is better than simply taking an aspirin. It offers a 23% reduction in mortality (death rates) due to a heart attack all by itself.

  • Activated charcoal.

activated charcoal

This one may surprise you. Talk to your physician or pharmacist about this. If someone in your family ever overdoses on a medicine, odds are this is the first medication you’d be given in the emergency room. The sooner it’s onboard, the sooner it can begin detoxifying whatever you took. That said, there are some medications and circumstances when you shouldn’t take it, so get familiar with it by talking with your physician.

  • Antiseptics such as triple antibiotic ointment for cuts, scratches and minor burns.

triple abx

It should be embarrassing for you to spend $1000 going to an emergency room when you could have addressed the problem at home. I guess I should include bandages here as well.

  • A variety pack for colds, including antihistamines (like diphenhydramine, aka benadryl) and cough preparations.

OTCdrugs

As a general rule, give yourself 3-5 days of using OTC preparations for a cold to see if it works or goes away. If not, then it’s certainly appropriate to get additional medical care. I guess I can lump a thermometer in this bullet point.

  • The fifth item would be this number: 800-222-1222, which is the number to the national poison control center.

poisoncontrol

They will address your concerns, route you to your local poison center, advise you on the appropriate use of activated charcoal and help coordinate your care when you go to your emergency department.
Be smart about the items in your home in general and in your medicine cabinet in particular. We’ll continue the theme with the next Straight, No Chaser.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Should I Take a Daily Aspirin?

heart aspirin

So… I’m stuck on a desert island, and I’m allowed to take two medications. I’m pretty sure aspirin is going to be one of them. This begs the question “Who should take a daily aspirin?” The answer is actually easy: anyone and only anyone whose physician recommends it. The better question is when will your physician recommend it? In yesterday’s Straight, No Chaser, we reviewed the expanding use of aspirin. That was the “why” of it all. Today we look at the “how” and “when.”
The benefits of aspirin in reducing heart attack risk have been known and well described for quite a while now, and you should check this list to see if you’d benefit from taking a daily aspirin. Truth be told, it’s of such importance that if you’re of a certain age, you should have this conversation with your physician at your next physical exam. Here’s a partial list that will get you a daily aspirin or very strongly considered for one.

  • If you’ve previously had a heart attack
  • If you’ve had a coronary artery stent or surgery
  • If you’ve previously had a stroke (caused by a blood clot) or TIA (transient ischemia attack, aka ‘mini-stroke’).
  • You’re a male over 50.
  • You’re a female over 60.
  • You have a bad risk factor profile (i.e. You smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, are overweight, don’t exercise or have a personal or family history of heart disease)

The above list actually isn’t exhaustive but is sufficient for most individuals’  ability to remember to start a conversation with their physician.  These considerations will be measured against others that would suggest you shouldn’t be taking a daily aspirin (e.g. allergy, bleeding ulcers, a bleeding disorder or if you’re taking certain other medications).
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Aspirin – It’s Not Just for Heart Attacks Anymore

aspirin-for-heart-disease-and-prevention-of-cancer1-500x375

…not that it ever was! Aspirin has been known to be a pain reliever for thousands of years. Let’s take a brief look at the additional qualities that should make aspirin one of the meds you’d want to have if stranded on a deserted island.
Heart attacks: Many doctors routinely prescribe a daily aspirin to help prevent heart attacks. In fact, the research was so good that a Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to those discovering that aspirin prevents the clot formation that leads to heart attacks. It has been estimated by the American Heart Association that up to 10,000 American lives would be saved every year if an aspirin (325 mg) was taken at the first signs of a heart attack. However, it is important to note that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its recommendations to state daily use of aspirin should only be in those instances in which individuals already have cardiovascular disease, due to aspirin’s side effect profile.
Strokes: Aspirin has the same preventive effects on stroke development as it does for heart attacks, and daily preventive medicine is now part of many lives for that reason.
Cancer prevention: Aspirin appears to have preventative benefits for certain digestive cancers. Just this week, research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that daily aspirin use at recommended levels for at least five years was associated with a 27% less likelihood of developing colorectal cancer. Additional evidence is strong for presentation of esophageal and stomach cancers, but outside of the digestive tract, conclusive evidence hasn’t presented of yet.
So if you’ve been told to take a daily aspirin to reduce your risk of a heart attack because you likely fell into one a high-risk category, here are some logistical considerations about what to do.

Aspirin-tablet-300x300

1) Is there a better time of day to take an aspirin?
Recent data suggests that most heart attacks occur early in the morning. The best time to take an aspirin is relatively soon before you have that heart attack. However, since your heart doesn’t give you a heart attack alarm clock (and many of us aren’t especially mindful of heart attack recognition), the best move would seem to be to take an aspirin before going to bed, and recent research supports that an aspirin taken before going to bed offers the most protection from a heart attack. There are limitations to doing this (e.g. taking aspirin on an empty stomach if you have a history of ulcers may not prove to be the most pleasant thing), and you should discuss such timing with your physician.
2) Is there a better dose of aspirin to take?
That’s a question your physician will answer and is dependent on your personal situation. That said, doses as low as 75-81 mg have been shown to be effective. You may be placed on any dose up to 325 mg/day. It really is important to take an aspirin dose recommended by your physician for this consideration.
3) Is it better to chew or swallow an aspirin?
Chewing an aspirin is the quickest way to achieve effective blood levels. In case you were thinking about taking an Alka-Seltzer (which contains aspirin), that’s also good – but it’s just not as good as chewing an aspirin.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: What Should Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

medicine cabinet sick-care-vs-health-care

You’ve all done it. I’ve caught a few of you doing it. Why do you rummage through someone’s else’s medicine cabinet? Are newer homes even built with medicine cabinets anymore? Oh well… Today, Straight, No Chaser tackles a simple but important question in an ongoing effort to better empower you. For starters, here’s hoping your cabinet doesn’t resemble any of these pictured, but there is a role for medicines in your medicine cabinet.
medicine-cabinet_59x73.5_we
1. What should be in your medicine cabinet? Here’s my top five and why.

  • Aspirin (324 mg).

Aspirin-tablet-300x300

On the day you’re having a heart attack, you’ll want this available to pop in your mouth on the way to the hospital. Of all the intervention done in treating heart attacks, none is better than simply taking an aspirin. It offers a 23% reduction in mortality (death rates) due to a heart attack all by itself.

  • Activated charcoal.

activated charcoal

This one may surprise you. Talk to your physician or pharmacist about this. If someone in your family ever overdoses on a medicine, odds are this is the first medication you’d be given in the emergency room. The sooner it’s onboard, the sooner it can begin detoxifying whatever you took. That said, there are some medications and circumstances when you shouldn’t take it, so get familiar with it by talking with your physician.

  • Antiseptics such as triple antibiotic ointment for cuts, scratches and minor burns.

triple abx

It should be embarrassing for you to spend $1000 going to an emergency room when you could have addressed the problem at home. I guess I should include bandages here as well.

  • A variety pack for colds, including antihistamines (like diphenhydramine, aka benadryl) and cough preparations.

OTCdrugs

As a general rule, give yourself 3-5 days of using OTC preparations for a cold to see if it works or goes away. If not, then it’s certainly appropriate to get additional medical care. I guess I can lump a thermometer in this bullet point.

  • The fifth item would be this number: 800-222-1222, which is number to the national poison control center.

poisoncontrol

They will address your concerns, route you to your local poison center, advise you on the appropriate use of activated charcoal and help coordinate your care when you go to your emergency department.
Be smart about the items in your home in general and in your medicine cabinet in particular. We’ll continue the theme with the next Straight, No Chaser.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Should I Take a Daily Aspirin?

heart aspirin

So… I’m stuck on a desert island, and I’m allowed to take two medications. I’m pretty sure aspirin is going to be one of them. This begs the question “Who should take a daily aspirin?” The answer is actually easy: anyone and only anyone whose physician recommends it. The better question is when will your physician recommend it? In yesterday’s Straight, No Chaser, we reviewed the expanding use of aspirin. That was the “why” of it all. Today we look at the “how” and “when.”
The benefits of aspirin in reducing heart attack risk have been known and well described for quite a while now, and you should check this list to see if you’d benefit from taking a daily aspirin. Truth be told, it’s of such importance that if you’re of a certain age, you should have this conversation with your physician at your next physical exam. Here’s a partial list that will get you a daily aspirin or very strongly considered for one.

  • If you’ve previously had a heart attack
  • If you’ve had a coronary artery stent or surgery
  • If you’ve previously had a stroke (caused by a blood clot) or TIA (transient ischemia attack, aka ‘mini-stroke’).
  • You’re a male over 50.
  • You’re a female over 60.
  • You have a bad risk factor profile (i.e. You smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, are overweight, don’t exercise or have a personal or family history of heart disease)

The above list actually isn’t exhaustive but is sufficient for most individuals’  ability to remember to start a conversation with their physician.  These considerations will be measured against others that would suggest you shouldn’t be taking a daily aspirin (e.g. allergy, bleeding ulcers, a bleeding disorder or if you’re taking certain other medications).
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, AmazonBarnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright, Sterling Initiatives, LLC. 2013-2015

Straight, No Chaser: Aspirin – It's Not Just for Heart Attacks Anymore

aspirin-for-heart-disease-and-prevention-of-cancer1-500x375

…not that it ever was! Aspirin has been known to be a pain reliever for thousands of years. Let’s take a brief look at the additional qualities that should make aspirin one of the meds you’d want to have if stranded on a deserted island.
Heart attacks: Many doctors routinely prescribe a daily aspirin to help prevent heart attacks. In fact, the research was so good that a Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to those discovering that aspirin prevents the clot formation that leads to heart attacks. It has been estimated by the American Heart Association that up to 10,000 American lives would be saved every year if an aspirin (325 mg) was taken at the first signs of a heart attack. However, it is important to note that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its recommendations to state daily use of aspirin should only be in those instances in which individuals already have cardiovascular disease, due to aspirin’s side effect profile.
Strokes: Aspirin has the same preventive effects on stroke development as it does for heart attacks, and daily preventive medicine is now part of many lives for that reason.
Cancer prevention: Aspirin appears to have preventative benefits for certain digestive cancers. Just this week, research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that daily aspirin use at recommended levels for at least five years was associated with a 27% less likelihood of developing colorectal cancer. Additional evidence is strong for presentation of esophageal and stomach cancers, but outside of the digestive tract, conclusive evidence hasn’t presented of yet.
So if you’ve been told to take a daily aspirin to reduce your risk of a heart attack because you likely fell into one a high-risk category, here are some logistical considerations about what to do.

Aspirin-tablet-300x300

1) Is there a better time of day to take an aspirin?
Recent data suggests that most heart attacks occur early in the morning. The best time to take an aspirin is relatively soon before you have that heart attack. However, since your heart doesn’t give you a heart attack alarm clock (and many of us aren’t especially mindful of heart attack recognition), the best move would seem to be to take an aspirin before going to bed, and recent research supports that an aspirin taken before going to bed offers the most protection from a heart attack. There are limitations to doing this (e.g. taking aspirin on an empty stomach if you have a history of ulcers may not prove to be the most pleasant thing), and you should discuss such timing with your physician.
2) Is there a better dose of aspirin to take?
That’s a question your physician will answer and is dependent on your personal situation. That said, doses as low as 75-81 mg have been shown to be effective. You may be placed on any dose up to 325 mg/day. It really is important to take an aspirin dose recommended by your physician for this consideration.
3) Is it better to chew or swallow an aspirin?
Chewing an aspirin is the quickest way to achieve effective blood levels. In case you were thinking about taking an Alka-Seltzer (which contains aspirin), that’s also good – but it’s just not as good as chewing an aspirin.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, AmazonBarnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright, Sterling Initiatives, LLC. 2013-2015

Straight, No Chaser: What Should Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

medicine cabinet sick-care-vs-health-care

You’ve all done it. I’ve caught a few of you doing it. Why do you rummage through someone’s else’s medicine cabinet? Are newer homes even built with medicine cabinets anymore? Oh well… Today, Straight, No Chaser tackles a simple but important question in an ongoing effort to better empower you. For starters, here’s hoping your cabinet doesn’t resemble any of these pictured, but there is a role for medicines in your medicine cabinet.
medicine-cabinet_59x73.5_we
1. What should be in your medicine cabinet? Here’s my top five and why.

  • Aspirin (324 mg).

Aspirin-tablet-300x300

On the day you’re having a heart attack, you’ll want this available to pop in your mouth on the way to the hospital. Of all the intervention done in treating heart attacks, none is better than simply taking an aspirin. It offers a 23% reduction in mortality (death rates) due to a heart attack all by itself.

  • Activated charcoal.

activated charcoal

This one may surprise you. Talk to your physician or pharmacist about this. If someone in your family ever overdoses on a medicine, odds are this is the first medication you’d be given in the emergency room. The sooner it’s onboard, the sooner it can begin detoxifying whatever you took. That said, there are some medications and circumstances when you shouldn’t take it, so get familiar with it by talking with your physician.

  • Antiseptics such as triple antibiotic ointment for cuts, scratches and minor burns.

triple abx

It should be embarrassing for you to spend $1000 going to an emergency room when you could have addressed the problem at home. I guess I should include bandages here as well.

  • A variety pack for colds, including antihistamines (like diphenhydramine, aka benadryl) and cough preparations.

OTCdrugs

As a general rule, give yourself 3-5 days of using OTC preparations for a cold to see if it works or goes away. If not, then it’s certainly appropriate to get additional medical care. I guess I can lump a thermometer in this bullet point.

  • The fifth item would be this number: 800-222-1222, which is number to the national poison control center.

poisoncontrol

They will address your concerns, route you to your local poison center, advise you on the appropriate use of activated charcoal and help coordinate your care when you go to your emergency department.
Be smart about the items in your home in general and in your medicine cabinet in particular. We’ll continue the theme with the next Straight, No Chaser.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd. Preorder your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com.

Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions About Taking a Daily Aspirin

aspirin-for-heart-disease-and-prevention-of-cancer1-500x375

Thanks for your enthusiastic response to yesterday’s post on taking an aspirin.  Today, I’ll follow up with some of your questions.
So you’ve been told to take a daily aspirin to reduce your risk of a heart attack because you likely fell into one a high-risk category. Here are some logistical considerations about what to do.
1) Is there a better time of day to take an aspirin?
Recent data suggests that most heart attacks occur early in the morning. The best time to take an aspirin is relatively soon before you have that heart attack. However, since your heart doesn’t give you a heart attack alarm clock (and many of us aren’t especially mindful of heart attack recognition), the best move would seem to be to take an aspirin before going to bed, and recent research supports that an aspirin taken before going to bed offers the most protection from a heart attack. There are limitations to doing this (e.g. taking aspirin on an empty stomach if you have a history of ulcers may not prove to be the most pleasant thing), and you should discuss such timing with your physician.
2) Is there a better dose of aspirin to take?
That’s a question your physician will answer and is dependent on your personal situation. That said, doses as low as 75-81 mg have been shown to be effective. You may be placed on any dose up to 325 mg/day. It really is important to take an aspirin dose recommended by your physician for this consideration.
3) Is it better to chew or swallow an aspirin?
Chewing an aspirin is the quickest way to achieve effective blood levels. In case you were thinking about taking an alka-seltzer (which contains aspirin), that’s also good – but it’s just not as good as chewing an aspirin.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Should I Take a Daily Aspirin?

asaheart

So… I’m stuck on a desert island, and I’m allowed to take two medications. I’m pretty sure aspirin is going to be one of them. This begs the question “Who should take a daily aspirin?”
The answer is actually easy: anyone and only anyone whose physician recommends it. The better question is when will your physician recommend it?
The benefits of aspirin in reducing heart attack risk have been known and well described for quite a while now, and you should check this list to see if you’d benefit from taking a daily aspirin. Truth be told, it’s of such importance that if you’re of a certain age, you should have this conversation with your physician at your next physical exam. Here’s a partial list that will get you a daily aspirin or very strongly considered for one.

  • If you’ve previously had a heart attack
  • If you’ve had a coronary artery stent or surgery
  • If you’ve previously had a stroke (caused by a blood clot) or TIA (transient ischemia attack, aka ‘mini-stroke’).
  • You’re a male over 50.
  • You’re a female over 60.
  • You have a bad risk factor profile (i.e. You smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, are overweight, don’t exercise or have a personal or family history of heart disease)

The above list actually isn’t exhaustive but is sufficient for most individuals’  ability to remember to start a conversation with their physician.  These considerations will be measured against others that would suggest you shouldn’t be taking a daily aspirin (e.g. allergy, bleeding ulcers, a bleeding disorder or if you’re taking certain other medications).
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: What Should Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

medicine-cabinet_59x73.5_we
You’ve all done it. I’ve caught a few of you doing it. Why do you rummage through someone’s else’s medicine cabinet? Are newer homes even built with medicine cabinets anymore? Oh well… Today, I’m tackling a simple but important question in an ongoing effort to better empower you.
1. What should be in my medicine cabinet? Here’s my top five and why.

  • Aspirin (324 mg). On the day you’re having a heart attack, you’ll want this available to pop in your mouth on the way to the hospital. Of all the intervention done in treating heart attacks, none is better than simply taking an aspirin. It offers a 23% reduction in mortality due to a heart attack by itself.
  • Activated charcoal. This one may surprise you. Talk to your physician or pharmacist about this. If someone in your family ever overdoses on a medicine, odds are this is the first medication you’d be given in the emergency room. The sooner it’s onboard, the sooner it can begin detoxifying whatever you took. That said, there are some medications and circumstances when you shouldn’t take it, so get familiar with it by talking with your physician.
  • Antiseptics such as triple antibiotic ointment for cuts, scratches and minor burns. It should be embarrassing for you to spend $1000 going to an emergency room when you could have addressed the problem at home. I guess I should include bandages here as well.
  • A variety pack for colds, including antihistamines (like diphenhydramine, aka benadryl) and cough preparations. As a general rule, give yourself 3-5 days of using OTC preparations for a cold to see if it works or goes away. If not, then it’s certainly appropriate to get additional medical care. I guess I can lump a thermometer in this bullet point.
  • The fifth item would be this number: 800-222-1222, which is number to the national poison control center. They will address your concerns, route you to your local poison center and help coordinate your care when you go to your emergency department.