Centrum Pharmacy Blog

June 15, 2021

The truth about the placebo effect 

It all starts with the old saying, “mind over matter.”

To break it down, the placebo effect is the impression of cured or improved symptoms of things like illness, pain, nausea, after undergoing or taking what is perceived as a medical treatment. It has been proven time and time again to play an considerable role in our interpretation of our health, and it has been used as a subtle form of manipulation by parents tending to their sick children. Most of all though, it is important to be mindful of the placebo effect phenomenon when developing new drugs— specifically when testing their efficacy.

Experiments have even gone so far as to pin point specific attributes of placebos that are most effective— for example, coloured pills are more convincing than white, and injections and “flashier” more expensive looking procedures are also more convincing. Notably, the placebo effect has an “opponent” known as the ‘nocebo’ effect. This occurs when someone “thinks themselves ill” in result of a medical treatment or occurrence. It relates to what are known as “psychosomatic symptoms” which present themselves as similar to medical symptoms, sometimes even unconsciously. This is an area deeply rooted in neurology, where brain’s relationship with the rest of the nervous system is closely studied.

So… What is the cause of all this?

When it comes to the placebo effect, it really depends on the situation. Certain ailments that are more subjective, such as depression or anxiety, for example, can be more susceptible to a self-fulfilling prophecy, which ties into the placebo effect when certain treatments are involved. It has also been discovered over the years that a person’s pain does not coincide directly with the severity of an injury. This means the mind plays more of a role than we may realize when it comes to the pain scale— which also indicates the mind’s involvement in perceived treatment of injury, as well. Concepts like immune-conditioning, deeply rooted in psychology, also play a big part.

To learn more about the placebo effect, the relationship it has with the ‘nocebo’ effect, and the fascinating science behind what we know as “mind over matter” visit:

https://www.newscientist.com/definition/placebo-effect/

June 14, 2021:

Hot tips to stay cool this summer

With the summer season comes more outings, hotter days, longer nights… all with one catch— more sweat.

Sweat is a natural process, and a necessary one, at that. We need to perspire in order to regulate our body temperature. That said, there are certain things you can do to limit the discomfort that comes along with the oh-so-dreaded armpit sweat stains.

  • Apply antiperspirant at night time.
  • Use a hairdryer (on cool) after applying your antiperspirant.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine—these act as stimulants for sweating. Try drinks with electrolytes, instead!
  • Visit your family doctor if you are concerned about hyperhidrosis, a disorder causing a higher amount of sweating than what is deemed normal. This can be treated with a prescription at your doctor’s discretion.
  • Consult your doctor about oral medications to help reduce sweating, such as glycopyrrolate or oxybutynin—however, be sure to discuss possible side effects, such as dry mouth, eyes, or headache.
  • Look into new remedies on the market, such as Qbrexza, a topical medication that blocks stimulation of sweat glands. It works with a technology similarly to Botox.
  • If you’ve tried all options and are still struggling to get your sweat levels under control, consult your doctor about sweat gland surgery—this can be used as a more advanced measure to treat hyperhidrosis.
  • Wear loose fitted, breathable clothing. This may seem like a no brainer, however this is essential to promote breathability, which will ultimately keep your body cool. Think cotton and linen blends!

For a more in depth look at each tip, including insight from medical professionals, visit the below resource:

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/health/wellness/how-to-sweat-less-this-summer-readers-digest-canada/ar-BB16fYjr?li=AAggFp5#interstitial=1

Below are some high quality over the counter products available at Centrum Pharmacy:

https://www.secretdeodorant.ca/en-ca/clinical-strength-hypoallergenic-smooth-solid 

https://www.drysol.ca/

June 13, 2021:

Lyme Disease: overview, signs and symptoms, prevention, treatment 

Lyme disease is a common vector-borne disease (meaning transmitted from the bite of an infected animal or insect to a human).  Specifically in the Ottawa area, blacklegged/deer ticks carrying a bacteria known as borrelia burgdorferi are commonly found in heavily wooded/grassy areas— and most often during warmer months, between April-September. 

Beginning signs of a tick bite can look like a small red bump similar to a mosquito bite, and is not necessarily indicative of Lyme disease.  However, within 30 days, symptoms of infection may arise.  These include rash expansion while leaving a central clearing at the site of the bite, fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, neck stiffness, and swollen lymph nodes. 

If left untreated, symptoms of Lyme disease can accelerate once entered into the bloodstream, affecting joints, the heart, and the nervous system.

Most importantly, prevention is key for protecting yourself from infection.  Basic protocols include but are not limited to: wearing long sleeved, light coloured clothing to visibly identify ticks, walking on cleared paths and walkways, and doing routine full body checks on yourself, your outdoor gear, your children, and/or pets after spending time in at risk areas.  Proper bug repellant containing DEET for your skin, clothing, and gear is important as well.

Centrum Pharmacy offers highly effective products viewed in the images to your right:  Ben’s Bug Spray, Ben’s Wipes 

Creating your own “tick-free” zone through landscape maintenance at home is another way to stay protected.  This could mean keeping your lawn mowed, keeping recreation items (children’s play equipment, backyard seating) away from the edges of brush/wooded areas and preferably in the sun, and/or keeping wood stacked in a dry area to prevent potential infestation of rodents ticks feed on. 

Although there are endless means of prevention, accidents still happen

This brings us to the question of: what to do if you are bitten/infected by a tick?

Firstly, don’t panic. If you notice a tick bite, it is important to safely remove it as soon as possible.  Doing so within 24-36 hours will reduce chances of infection. You may use sanitized fine-tipped tweezers to detach the tick by getting as close to the skin as possible, and by extracting with upward steady and even pressure.  It is important not to twist the tick as you pull, as this result in the detachment of the tick’s mouth parts under the skin barrier. 

Once the tick is removed, clean the site of the bite and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. For safe disposal, either place the tick in rubbing alcohol, an airtight sealed bag, fold it up in tape, or flush it down the toilet. Do not crush the tick with your fingers.

Now… What about follow-up care?

It is important whether or not you remove the tick safely and promptly to inform your doctor, and to note when the bite occurred— as oftentimes, symptoms can arise over the course of several weeks post-bite.  Your MD will also be able to ensure complete removal of the tick, along with accurate documentation in case of future symptoms of post Lyme disease.  

The presence of borrelia burgdorferi in Ottawa is currently high enough for public health to recommend post-exposure prophylaxis, a means of protective medications after a potential exposure to HIV, if the following criteria are met: 

  1. The tick is fully or partially engorged or has been attached for 24 or more hours
  2. It has been less than or equal to 72 hours since the tick has been removed  
  3. Doxycycline is not contraindicated (e.g., pregnancy, under 8 years old)

A 200 mg single dose of oral doxycycline, an antibiotic made to combat harmful bacteria in the body, may be offered to adults and children eight years and older.  If pregnant, one should discuss with your doctor to make an informed decision between the above mentioned single dose of doxycycline, or to forego, but closely monitor for signs of Lyme disease signs and symptoms.  As for children under eight, doxycycline is not typically recommended, and close monitoring for early signs of Lyme disease is advised. 

For all others who do not meet the earlier mentioned criteria for post-exposure prophylaxis, it is advised to closely monitor yourself for earliest signs and symptoms of Lyme disease for 30 days post-bite, such as lesion expansion or viral infection-life illness. 

Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS)

Although most cases of Lyme disease can be cured within 2-4 weeks of antibiotic treatment, in some cases, symptoms may continue for up to 6 months— this is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.  

The reason for PTLDS is unknown, but a couple of expert hypotheses include the trigger of an autoimmune response causing these symptoms, or possibly due to Lyme disease being a persistent and sometimes difficult to detect infection.  At this point in time, there is no proven long-term treatment for PTLDS— and long term antibiotic use can in turn cause serious health complications.

If you are experiencing PTLDS, it will usually get better over time, but it can sometimes take months to get back to feeling completely well again.  It is important to address your symptoms with your doctor in order to receive best recommendations for managing these symptoms.

View Ottawa Algorithm for Lyme Disease here.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lyme-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20374651
https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html 
https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/professionals-and-partners/resources/Documents/Ottawa-Algorithm-for-Lyme-Disease_July2019.pdf
https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/removal/index.html 
https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/professionals-and-partners/resources/Documents/memo-lyme-2017-04-12_en.pdfhttps://www.cdc.gov/lyme/signs_symptoms/index.html 
Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome | Lyme Disease | CDC

 

May 5, 2021: 

VIRTUAL WALK-IN CLINIC SERVICES AVAILABLE!

Visit: https://www.virtualmdcanada.com/  OR call: 1-800-594-0537

NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR?

Secure Virtual Tele-Medicine visits available.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, family doctors are now offering OHIP covered phone-in appointments to all Ontario residents. If you are a patient of the Orleans Family Health Clinic, please call them (613 837-5454) to schedule an appointment with your own Family Doctor. Your appointment may be in person or over the phone based on your individual circumstances.

IF THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE OR YOU DO NOT HAVE A FAMILY DOCTOR, CENTRUM PHARMACY IS HERE TO HELP!

Have A Simple Medical Issue?  Keep The Community Safe By Having It Addressed Over The Phone Instead Of In Person.  If you need a prescription, it will be faxed to Centrum Pharmacy.  We need to keep ourselves and our community safe during this crisis. By visiting a doctor’s office unnecessarily, you put vulnerable people and yourself at risk.

Health Services Include:

COVID-19 Assessment/Counselling/Prescription refills/UTI treatment/Cold and Flu Assessments/Sexual Health Consultations/Aches, sprains, rashes, and more…

Contact our VIRTUAL WALK-IN CLINIC PARTNER:

Visit: https://www.virtualmdcanada.com/

OR call: 1-800-594-0537

Fill Out The Form And You Will Be Contacted By A Licensed Ontario Physician Within 24 Hours.

www.my-rx.ca

April 14, 2021:

Medical considerations when fasting during Ramadan

For 30 days, Muslims will fast.  Fasting means nothing goes in the mouth – no food, water or medication. But what about those with medical conditions? Should they be taking part in the fast?

To answer that, we turn to another tenant of Islam. If someone is unable to participate, they don’t have to. If fasting makes your medical condition worse, don’t fast. If skipping medication will hurt you, take your medicine. Self-infliction of wound, pain or injury is not expected or should be done. If you have a proper reason for breaking your fast before sundown, you can always make it up later in the year without loss of blessing.”

If you are controlling diabetes with your diet, fasting can be beneficial. However, if you require insulin and food to keep your sugar at safe levels, do it. Keep yourself healthy.

Cancer treatment can bring significant stress on the body. You should eat and stay in optimal shape rather than not eat and make your condition worse.”

If you are newly diagnosed with a condition and aren’t sure the effects of fasting, check with your doctor. You should also check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about changing the times you take your medications.

In general, fasting has positive effects on body and soul. But we all should recognize that the body is a gift of God and we have to treat it with care.

May 19, 2020: 

WE HAVE MASKS AND SANITIZER IN STOCK!

KN95 Masks

3-Ply Disposable Masks

3 Layer High Quality Cloth Reusable Face Coverings

Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer Available

Recommended for daily use, shopping, events and gatherings.

www.my-rx.ca

April 7, 2020

VIRTUAL WALK-IN CLINIC SERVICES AVAILABLE! Visit: https://www.virtualmdcanada.com/

or call: 1-800-594-0537

NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR?

Secure Virtual Tele-Medicine visits available.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, family doctors are now offering OHIP covered phone-in appointments to all Ontario residents. If you are a patient of the Orleans Family Health Clinic, please call them (613 837-5454) to schedule an appointment with your own Family Doctor. Your appointment may be in person or over the phone based on your individual circumstances.

 

IF THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE OR YOU DO NOT HAVE A FAMILY DOCTOR, CENTRUM PHARMACY IS HERE TO HELP!

Have A Simple Medical Issue?

Keep The Community Safe By Having It Addressed Over The Phone Instead Of In Person.

If you need a prescription it will be faxed to Centrum Pharmacy.

We need to keep ourselves and our community safe during this crisis. By visiting a doctor’s office unnecessarily, you put vulnerable people and yourself at risk.

Health Services Include:

COVID-19 Assessment/Counselling/Prescription refills/UTI treatment/Cold and Flu Assessments/Sexual Health Consultations/Aches, sprains, rashes, and more…

Contact our VIRTUAL WALK-IN CLINIC PARTNER:

Visit: https://www.virtualmdcanada.com/

or call: 1-800-594-0537

Fill Out The Form And You Will Be Contacted By A Licensed Ontario Physician Within 24 Hours.

www.my-rx.ca

April 2, 2020: 

Please do not hesitate to contact us using the secure messaging on our website or with our PharmAdvise App or by phone or only if you must, come in person, and speak to us directly.

Our new temporary business hours are:

Monday through Friday 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

And Saturdays we are open 10:00 am till 1:00 pm

We are closed Sundays and Statutory holidays.

Our wish, for all of us, is that this situation resolves itself quickly.

During this challenging time, we’re working hard to give you the confidence you need in your Pharmacy.

Thank you for your business, and for placing your trust in us at Centrum Pharmacy.

www.my-rx.ca

April 2, 2020:

As we all navigate through the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting, all of us at Centrum Pharmacy, would like to reassure you that we remain fully staffed, our supply chains are fully functional, and we will be available to help in any way we can.

This pandemic has forced us all, to work differently and we have to adjust to a new reality for the time being. Your pharmacy is no exception, We are implementing Physical and Social Distancing measures as prescribed by the Ottawa Public Health Department, as well as adjusting our hours and operational practices in an attempt to maximize safety.

We also want to assure you that we’ve taken numerous precautions to keep premises clean and our customers and colleagues safe including limiting the number of customers in the premises at one time and increasing our free delivery options.

Your well-being and the safety of our colleagues and customers is our top priority.

www.my-rx.ca