PharmEasy Blog

What Are The Safest Ways To Dispose of Old/Expired Medicines?

 

Our medicine shelves are usually cluttered with medications, some of which we have stopped taking and some of which we may have forgotten to take. These medicines are either no longer required or are well beyond their expiry date. Improper disposal of such drugs can lead to a safety issue for people as well as the environment. Accidental poisoning, overdose, abuse are just a few problems that could arise by unused or expired prescription drugs being thrown in the trash from where they could be easily retrieved and abused or sold illegally. These medicinal drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a doctor’s prescription or supervision. Safe removal of old/expired medicine protects you and others. Proper disposal of drugs can also prevent the negative and toxic effects on our environment that can take place if the drugs are not disposed of correctly.

Why is the Proper Disposal of medicines required?

Drugs in the Environment and Water Supply

Flushing down any substance including drugs results in them entering the water supply. Treating water before putting it back into the Public water supply does remove foreign substances, however, they do not process water to remove drugs. The substances become a part of both water and soil, thereby harming the environment. Our drinking and household water are part of this very environment. The drugs we take are usually processed and eliminated as by-products when we urinate and defecate, these eventually enter the waste stream, something we can’t do anything about. However, properly disposing of the original drugs will prevent them from leaching into the ecosystem.

Drugs Get into the Wrong Hands

Drug abuse is a well-recognized and rampant problem. By not disposing of drugs correctly, we increase the chances of them falling into wrong hands. It may be a teenager who steals them for his own use, a curious toddler who puts everything in her mouth or a trash picker combing through a dumpster.

Taking the Wrong Drugs or Expired Drugs

When drugs go out-of-date or aren’t well labeled, it’s easy for someone who is sick or confused or simply can’t see well, to swallow the wrong ones. These problems can be prevented by disposing of drugs as they expire or as they are no longer required. Labeling the drugs with large, colorful letters will also help the patients take the right drugs.

Storing your medicines

Storing your medicines properly ensures they work as they should as well as prevent poisoning accidents. Be sure to store your medications on a high shelf away from the reach and sight of toddlers and teenagers. Check the expiration date on your medicine. DO NOT KEEP old or unused medicines around.

When should you consider disposing of medicines?

Follow these guidelines to know when to dispose of a medicine.

  1. Your health condition has improved and your health care provider has advised you to discontinue using it.
  2. You have excess medicine than what you actually need.
  3. Your prescription has been changed by your health care provider but you still have some of the previous medicine left.
  4. You have medicines of someone who has expired or is no longer in a condition to use them.
  5. Your medicine is past its date of expiration.

How to Dispose of Medicines at Home?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests the following rules to dispose of medications:

Disposing medicines in the household trash:

Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in pills, liquids, drops, patches, creams and inhalers can be thrown into the household trash.

Follow these steps:

  1. The drugs should be removed from their original containers and mixed with something undesirable, such as used coffee grounds or dirt, thus making the medicine less appealing to children and pets as well as unrecognizable to someone looking through the trash for drugs.
  2. This mixture should be then put into something that can be closed (are-sealable zipper storage bag, empty can or other containers) to prevent the drug from leaking or spilling out.
  3. Throw the container in the garbage.

Disposing of Inhaler Products

Inhalers and aerosol products could be dangerous if punctured or thrown into a fire or incinerator. These should be destroyed following local regulations and laws. You may contact your trash and recycling facility.

Flushing medicines:

 Flushing could potentially harm the environment but because some medicines could be especially harmful to others, they have specific directions to immediately flush them down the sink or toilet when they are no longer needed.

Disposing of Fentanyl Patches

Some prescription drugs like Fentanyl Patches deliver strong pain medicine through the skin. A lot of medicine remains, even after a patch is used. Such powerful narcotic pain medicines and other controlled substances should be flushed to reduce the danger of overdose from unintentional or illegal use.

Harmful effects of expired medicines

Expired medical products can be less effective or risky due to a change in their chemical composition or a decrease in strength. Certain expired medications are at risk of bacterial growth and sub-potent antibiotics can fail to treat infections, leading to more serious illnesses and antibiotic resistance. Once the expiration date of medicine has passed, there is no guarantee that the medicine will be safe and effective. If your medicine has expired, do not use it.

According to the DEA, many people do not know how to properly clean out their medicine cabinets.   Failing to safely dispose of old medications, especially opioids, all too often leads to dangerous drugs ending up in the wrong hands. The CDC reports that over 60,000 young children end up in emergency rooms each year because they got hold of medicines while an adult was not looking.

Finally, expired medicines are also not just a risk to the person they were prescribed for and can injure children and pets if taken by mistake. For all these reasons, proper disposal of expired medication is essential.

Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.

How To Take Care Of My Hair & Skin During Holi?

Holi is unequivocally the most colourful, vibrant and cheerful festival not just in India but around the globe. Traditionally Holi was celebrated with dry gulal and buckets of water. Unfortunately, today it comes with splashes of synthetic pigments, the after-effects of which not only causes discomfort to our skin, hair, eyes but also can be hazardous to our health. Hence, being a little precautious goes a long way. Along with all the Holi party fun, it’s also important to care for your skin during the celebration. So, before you step out for Holi this year, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Pre Holi Skin & Hair Care Tips:

Oil is your best friend. Apply oil on your face and the exposed parts of the skin or areas of your body that would come in contact with the colour. You can use coconut oil or almond oil, which will help protect your skin from colours. A day before Holi, apply body oil all over your body and massage it into the skin. This not only hydrates your skin but also ensures that less colour is absorbed the next day. In addition, you can also oil your hair to form a protective shield on the strands. Apply oil generously all over the body. Do not forget the smaller areas like the earlobes, nail crevices and skin behind the ears.

Don’ts:

Do’s:

Post Holi Skin & Hair Care Tips:

It’s best to remove colours when it’s wet, as it is difficult to remove them once they’ve dried. Take a shower as soon as you reach home.  Use a gentle face wash and body wash and gently scrub the skin with a loofah to get rid of the color. Use a clarifying shampoo to rinse color from hair. After the shampoo, apply conditioner along with the length of hair. Leave it on for a couple of minutes and rinse with cold water. Use colour protect conditioner for color-treated hair. While removing colors, don’t rub your skin vigorously, this can cause more damage to your skin. Instead, use oil to remove colors gently. After you shower, don’t forget to apply nourishing body lotion and face moisturizer as the skin tends to become dry due to excess colour and sun exposure. If you find your skin breaking out mildly, apply Aloe-Vera gel or Lacto-Calamine lotion which have anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the skin. Take an anti-allergy medicine, but if the rash doesn’t subside in a day, visit a dermatologist without further delay. Get a facial done only a week after, provided you don’t have any skin trouble or issues.

Protecting your skin and hair during Holi requires you to follow all the pre and post-care tips as well as the do’s and don’ts mentioned above. It’s always a good idea to use more water and flower petals and less colour. If you have to use colour, go organic or use natural colours like haldi, beetroot juice and organic gulal.

Have questions about Diabetes and Tuberculosis? Click here to ask Anya!

Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.

12 Amazing Benefits Of Laughter!

We have probably been hearing the phrase ”Laughter is the best medicine”, ever since our school days and it was then that we put it into practice laughing a hundred times a day. With all the stresses and tensions that surround our growing up into adults, laughter seems to have become infrequent and life more serious. We often forget that laughter is actually an antidote to this very stress, pain and conflict which works the fastest to ease our minds and bodies. Humour not only elevates our mood but also increases our focus and alertness. It connects us with those around us, releases our anger and allows us to forgive sooner. And the best part it’s free, fun and easy to use.

Health Advantages of Laughter:

  1. It builds up your immune system: A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggested that people who laugh often show a decrease of stress-related hormones and an increase in the number of activated T cells and natural killer cells, both of which boost the immune system.
  2. Laughing instantaneously increases blood flow to the all-important organ of the human body – The Heart.
  3. According to a 2011 study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers found that the simple act of laughing which releases the feel-good endorphins into the body along with the deep breaths helps relax the muscles and aids in pain relief.
  4. Laughter is powerful as it helps burn calories. Researchers have found that laughing for about 10-15 minutes a day, helps burn approximately 40 calories. All the more reason to laugh regularly!
  5. It lowers your blood pressure and helps your blood vessels to function better.
  6. It decreases stress and anxiety.
  7.  It helps fight depression. Although you may not feel like it, a 2015 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that laughter helps ease your symptoms.
  8. Laughter may possibly prolong your life. People with a good sense of humour outlived others who don’t laugh nearly as much, according to a Norwegian study. For cancer patients, the difference was very noticeable.
  9. Laughing benefits the immune system. It reduces stress hormones while increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, boosting overall infection resistance.
  10. One of the ways your body may effectively regulate cortisol is through laughter. Laughing boosts oxygen intake, which improves blood circulation and lowers cortisol levels.
  11. A good belly laugh works out the diaphragm, the abdomen, and even the shoulders, leaving the muscles more relaxed afterwards. It also gives your heart an excellent workout. Laughing 100 times is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on the exercise bike.
  12. Laughter causes your lungs to expel more air than they take in, which has a cleansing effect similar to deep breathing. This is especially beneficial for patients who have respiratory problems, such as asthma.

Social Benefits of Laughter:

Ways You can bring Laughter in your life:

  1. Smile: It is the beginning of laughter. Practice smiling. Instead of being lost on your phone, look up, smile at the people you pass on the streets, the person serving you your coffee or a co-worker you meet in the elevator. Like laughter, a smile is contagious too. You will see the effect it has. Read more about the benefits of smiling.
  2. Count your blessings: Think of all the positive aspects of your life. This will help block all the negative thoughts.
  3. When you hear laughter, move towards it.
  4. Surround yourself with fun, playful people. Be around people who have the ability to laugh at themselves as well as life’s absurdities. Such people find humour in everyday things. Their energy and playful attitude are contagious.
  5. Bring Humor into your conversation.
  6. Stimulated laughter can be just as beneficial as real laughter. Join a laugh yoga or laugh therapy group.  Hearing others laugh, even for no apparent reason, often triggers genuine laughter.
  7. Try to find laughter in a serious situation. When confronted with a dangerous or difficult situation, experts advise adjusting your perspective. If you can shift your perspective to a more optimistic one and find humour in more serious circumstances, you’ll be better able to combat the tension and avoid becoming overwhelmed by the negativity and stress of it all. Make the problem appear less serious to make it simpler to find a solution.

Create Opportunities to Laugh: 

  1. Watch comedy movies, shows and videos.
  2. Read funny stories.
  3. Invite your friends or family to a comedy club.
  4. Play with a child.
  5. Do something silly.

Develop Your Sense of Humour:

  1. Learn to laugh at yourself.
  2. Remember funny things, jokes, stories. Write them down or best, share them with people.
  3. Attempt to laugh at situations.
  4. Keep out the negative people and thoughts.
  5. Nurture your inner child. Laugh at ordinary things.
  6. Don’t go a day without laughing. Like exercise, meditation and food, make it a conscious effort to laugh every day.

The ability to laugh, enjoy and have fun benefits you in more than one way. It helps you solve problems, connect with others and also increases your creativity. When depression haunts your mind, life problems weigh you down and you take life too seriously. It is difficult to think out of the box, laughter takes you to a higher place where you can view the world from a more relaxed, positive and joyful perspective.

Also Read: 7 Different Relaxation Techniques for De-stressing

Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.

19

How Soon Can I Start my Exercise After Being Sick?

”How sick is too sick to exercise? When can I resume my workout?”, these questions can haunt anyone who strictly follows an exercise routine. No questions about the health benefits of exercising, however, strenuous exercises while recovering from a serious illness can be hazardous. Returning to exercise after sickness can be strenuous on the body and even intensify the symptoms of a sickness. Overtaxing your body after a prolonged illness can be risky. Your muscles would have been idle for weeks and will get sore a lot quicker. One could risk a muscle sprain or a tear.

Ideally, suffering from a common cold with the usual symptoms of a runny nose, or a sore throat is not a good reason to skip your exercise; instead exercising in this condition can help speed up your recovery. On the contrary, after a week or maybe a month-long of nasty illness, returning to regular exercise regimens can be a challenge.  It is a known fact that after a long illness, your cardio-respiratory fitness has drastically diminished and all your body energy is drained fighting the infection and jumping back to routine can do more harm than good. One’s immune system isn’t back to its full strength after fighting off an illness. Routine exercise increases immunity, but overtaxing your body could lead to a drop in immunity for the next 24 hours. 

Ideal Time To Start Your Workout

The answer is to Wait. Wait until your symptoms have disappeared. Wait until you have gained enough strength. Wait until your body decides you’re ready for it. For e.g., while recovering from a respiratory illness wait at least 2 weeks after your symptoms have resolved to start your workouts. Avoid working out even when you have a fever. Your body temperature is already high and exercising will not only cause your heart rate to increase but also dehydrate your body. You may also consult your doctor for advice on when you can start your workout and the intensity of workouts.

When you finally do start with your workouts, avoid being too harsh on yourself. Do not try to make up for all your missed days at the gym. Rather start with a workout plan that is of shorter duration and lower intensity. Over-working after a prolonged illness can result in elevated cortisol level which is an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive thus preventing the immune system from fighting infections towards repairing muscles and thus making your muscles sore. The depression of your immune system can cause the illness to come back, sometimes stronger than before. Make sure to stop when you feel dizzy or nauseated.

The aim should be to resume your workouts slowly and at the same time learning to listen to your body and in knowing when to stop considering your present health condition. Here are a few tips you can follow to resume your workouts:

Test Yourself

Read More About 14 Things That Cause Fatigue

Tips To Prevent Relapse

Tips For Resuming Workouts

Must Read About: How to Stay Fit and Healthy?

Follow the above-mentioned healthcare routine to resume your exercise schedule smoothly. Make a complete recovery and there won’t be anything keeping you away from returning to your previous levels of fitness.

Read More About: What Is the Best Time To Exercise?

Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients, and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.

6

Delmicron – What Is It And How Is It Different From Omicron?

When India is troubled by a steep rise in the cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the United States and some European countries are facing an all-new threat called “Delmicron”. Now, you would be filled with so many queries like if this is a new variant of Coronavirus? If this is going to trigger the third wave? If it is deadlier or milder than the Omicron variant?

First of all, there is no need to panic and we are here to answer all your queries.

What is Delmicron?

Delmicron is not a new variant of Coronavirus, but as per the experts, it is the term used for the infections spreading together due to twin spikes of Delta and Omicron variants. The name has also been derived by combining the names of the previous two variants of COVID-19. The reason for coming up with this name was that both variants are being found all over the world. 

Currently, the US and UK are the COVID-19 hotbeds across the globe. According to the data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Omicron has already taken over the Delta variant with about 73 percent sequenced cases (by December 18). Just a week earlier, the Delta variant was dominating with a total of 87 percent caseload.

Even more shockingly, CDC has estimated that over 90 percent of the cases in portions of the Northwest, South, Southeast and Northeast are of the Omicron variant. These numbers clearly show that the US is battling both variants at the same time. The UK is also facing a similar situation with the number of cases rising rapidly.

Delmicron Symptoms

The symptoms of the Delmicron are similar to Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19. Please have a look at the most common symptoms reported by the patients:

The researchers have claimed that both, Omicron and Delta variants, are highly transmissible. The UK government scientists, however, have claimed that people who contract the Delta variant are more likely to fall sick with serious symptoms than those who get infected with the Omicron variant.

Various variants in India 

The Indian scientists are yet to figure out how the Omicron variant would behave in the localities where there is widespread exposure to the Delta variant. Some of them, however, think that the Omicron variant would not affect the Indian population as badly as the Delta strain of COVID-19.

Looking at the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant, some experts believe that even if a majority of people report mild symptoms, third wave can affect a larger population. The total number of hospitalisations can still be higher if we do not limit the spread of this virus. Are we on the brink of the third COVID-19 wave?

India has started to feel the heat of carelessly celebrating the holiday season of the New Year 2022. On Friday, 7th Jan 2022, India has reported 1,17,100 cases of COVID-19 infection which is way higher than a few weeks earlier when there were just about 5,000 cases being recorded in a day. It would not be wrong to say that we are heading towards yet another wave of COVID pandemic.

Takeaway

The governments of respective states have started to impose night curfews and close down schools and cinema halls, but all this would be futile if we as the citizen of India do not understand our responsibility and abide by the social protocols established by the government. All of us must avoid social gatherings, wear a mask whenever outside and maintain physical distancing at public places. Getting vaccinated is also one of our main responsibilities to protect ourselves and our country from the dreadful effects of COVID-19.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

World Men’s Day – Are Urological Disorders Challenging Your Manhood?

We all know that diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases are life-threatening but the good thing about these conditions is that you can talk about them without being subjected to any kind of ridicule or shame. On the other hand, Urological Disorders continue to be a taboo that people do not like to speak about even with their friends.

With World Men’s Day just around the corner (November 19), we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the most common urological disorders men face at least once in their lifetime and prefer not to talk about them because of a “social stigma” attached to them.

Additionally, you can also take health checkups to understand your health better. 

Most Common Urological Disorders in Men:

  1. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

BPH basically means an enlarged prostate, which usually affects older men. Apart from being a very troublesome condition, it can be dangerous too. In this condition, the prostate, which is a walnut-sized gland found between the bladder and the male reproductive organ, gets bigger than its usual size and causes trouble in urination.

The most common symptoms of BPH include:

  1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

In this urological condition, a man experiences pain or burning sensation while urinating. Some people also experience cloudy urine after contracting UTI. There are some specific tests available to ascertain if the person is suffering from UTI or has some other condition.

UTI is easily treatable with a round of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.

  1. Over Active bladder(OAB)

Overactive bladder is a combination of symptoms that can cause you to need to urinate more frequently, have more urgency, experience incontinence (leakage) and a need to urinate at night. 

  1. Prostatitis

Prostatitis is a very prevalent condition among men. In it, the prostate gland gets swollen and inflamed. This condition presents itself with various troubling symptoms like pain while urinating, fever coupled with chills and pain in the abdominal, lower back and pelvic area (area of- the lower body in which the legs are attached).

Due to presenting similar symptoms, people usually confuse prostatitis with urinary tract infection. Hence, it is advised to see a urologist for an accurate diagnosis of the problem and opting the right course of treatment. Generally, antibiotics treat this problem effectively.

  1. Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Erectile Dysfunction or ED refers to a condition in which a man finds it difficult to get or maintain an erection. There are plenty of modes of treatments available for this urological condition including medications, surgery, psychological counselling, lifestyle changes, testosterone replacement and acupuncture. The lifestyle changes that can help are weight loss, quitting to smoke, reducing stress and following a strict exercise regime.

  1. Infertility

This is also a very prevalent urological condition among men these days. The main causes of infertility among men, when they cannot conceive a child, are abnormal sperm production, genetic defects, underlying health conditions like diabetes, undescended testicles, trauma or prior surgeries on the testicles and prior infections like mumps.

When you are unable to conceive a child for over a year, you should immediately see a gynaecologist, an endocrinologist to diagnose the actual problem and begin with an accurate treatment plan.

  1. Kidney Stones

This is a very common problem among the masses these days. It happens when minerals and other crystals, like uric acid and calcium, accumulate in the kidneys or any other part of the urinary tract. This causes a lot of pain and is really difficult to pass. These, however, are very easily diagnosable. The treatment for kidney stones is ascertained depending upon their size and location.

The doctors use medications to reduce the size of the stone to make it easily passable. There can be instances like the large size of the stone or it blocking the flow of urine when a surgical procedure may be required to remove them.

  1. Prostate Cancer

The second biggest reason behind cancer-related deaths among men is prostate cancer. It begins with the uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells in the prostate gland. Some of the most common causes of this kind of cancer are age, race, ethnicity and family history.

The best way to prevent and successfully treat prostate cancer is early detection of the disease. Experts suggest men should go for a regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test along with a digital rectal examination every year once they turn 40. The doctors decide the course of treatment depending upon the state of the disease. The treatment options include surgery, medications, radiation therapy and active surveillance.

Takeaway

Urological disorders are very common among men these days and they usually suffer in silence which leads to bigger troubles in the future. Instead of feeling ashamed of these common issues, people should treat these like every other health condition and see a doctor immediately to avoid any further complications.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

1

Worried About The Delay For 2nd Dose of The COVID Vaccine? Know All About It

Are you also one of those people who are worried over the shortage of COVID-19 vaccines forcing you to wait for the second dose? Are you also wondering if you may need to restart your vaccine schedule because it has already been months since your first dose?

Well, you do not need to panic yet as the studies and experts suggest that the booster (second) dose works just fine even if you take it after a gap of 4-5 months from the date of your first jab.

How do the vaccine doses work?

When you take the first dose of any COVID-19 vaccine, it triggers an immune response, which stays active even if you delay your booster dose. It, however, doesn’t work at the optimum level and that’s why you need the second dose.

The booster dose basically enhances and increases the immune response of the first dose-response. 


Once the first dose of vaccine is taken, our body starts reacting and produces antibodies specific to the vaccine. The amount of time required by the body to produce an immune response may take time, but it triggers the memory cells of the immune system. When the second dose is given the immune response against the vaccine will be much faster and more effective than the first dose. Thus, a delay in the second dose will not harm and does not wear off.

Why has the government increased the duration between the two doses?

Amid the rising demand and insufficient supply of vaccines, the government has increased the duration between two Covishield doses from 4 to 12 weeks. The decision has been taken after analyzing the data from the international trials, in which the researchers observed the immune response of the vaccinated people from the first dose till the booster jab.

The experts also observed that in some cases where the second dose was administered as late as 12 weeks, the antibodies and immune response from the vaccine were equivalent and comparable.

What do other experts say?

Some experts believe that from an immunology perspective, researchers always specify a ‘minimum’ interval, not ‘maximum’ between the doses. They believe that any vaccine works better if the gap between the first and the booster dose is slightly longer in most cases.

In the case of Covaxin, the minimum gap of 4-6 weeks remains unchanged. In case the vaccine is not available, it can be delayed but has been mentioned for 28 days but everyone must get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine even if it is delayed.

Some experts also recommend that people should not think about taking the first dose again if the booster jab has been delayed. Even in children’s vaccination, the norm is to pick up from where the one left off.

Moreover, even children are not recommended a repeat dose of the same vaccine even if they have a weaker immune response. Hence, it should not be done for the COVID vaccination too.

Another expert has claimed that the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, even if delayed, is effective in preventing the infection.

What if you contract Covid between shots?

There have been cases where people contracted covid within a few days or weeks of getting their first dose of COVID vaccination. In case a person contracts the infection very close to getting their second COVID-19 dose, here’s what you should do. Remember that the infection helps the body build certain protective antibodies naturally, but we don’t know for sure how long these antibodies last and hence it is advisable to get the second dose of the vaccine after recovering. 

You must postpone your vaccination by at least 6 weeks after a mild covid infection. Those with a severe form of illness should consider getting a go-ahead from the doctor first. Make sure you recover well but do not miss the vaccine dose as it will add to your immunity and serve additional purposes.

What else do we know?

In the United Kingdom, the recommended gap between the two shots of Covishield is 12 weeks, while Canada has kept it to 16 weeks. A study by Public Health England has proved that the first jab of Covishield is 65 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 and 80% against a severe form of the disease.

Some experts even recommend that even if a person gets infected after getting the first dose of the vaccine and takes 6-10 weeks to recover, he/she must take the second jab after 3 months of being completely recovered from the illness.

How can we ensure getting the vaccine in time?

First of all, you should not worry at all about the revision of the vaccination schedule. The decision has been taken after a thorough analysis of every aspect of the efficacy of the doses. Still, if you are unable to get the vaccine at a government-designated centre, you can always look for a private vaccination centre in your locality and get the vaccine.

Takeaway

The shortage of vaccines may have sparked a wave of fear among the people who have got their first shot of the vaccine, but there isn’t anything to worry about as of now. There would be no need to restart the vaccine schedule even if you have completed 12 weeks from your first dose. Everyone should just focus on getting their second dose as per the government-specified schedule.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

Oxygen Concentrators – How Are They Helping The COVID-19 Patients?

As India is grappling with the Coronavirus pandemic, people are running from pillar to post to arrange hospitals, ICU beds, life-saving medications, ventilators and most importantly ‘oxygen’, to save their loved ones. 

Arranging these basic necessities is so tough today because the availability of all these things is way less than what the country requires to win this battle.

In these testing times, Oxygen Concentrators have turned out to be a ‘saviour’ for the people who are mildly affected with COVID-19 and are trying to recover in home isolation, owing to the shortage of hospital beds.

What is an oxygen concentrator?

An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that is generally bigger than a computer monitor. It works by concentrating oxygen from the ambient air and aiding the patient in breathing easily. 

How does it work?

In today’s polluted world, atmospheric air contains about 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen. The last one percent consists of various other gases.

An oxygen concentrator sucks this atmospheric air, filters it through a sieve/filter and releases the nitrogen back into the atmosphere. The filtered oxygen is given to the patient through a cannula.

The studies have shown that these concentrators produce 90-95 percent pure oxygen. The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2015 stated, ”Concentrators can operate and produce oxygen 24 hours a day continuously and may last up to five years.”

When does a patient need concentrators?

As the majority of the states in India are facing scarcity of oxygen right now, people should start taking the help of concentrators when their oxygen saturation level drops below 94 percent. Notably, oxygen saturation level between 94-100 percent is considered safe and healthy.

These concentrators are effective on patients whose saturation level doesn’t drop below 90 percent, but they can be of help even for those with oxygen saturation dropping as low as 85 percent. Patients, whose oxygen level drops below this point, will require a better flow of oxygen than these concentrators can offer.

How good are these concentrators?

The experts claim that oxygen concentrators are not as good as Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO), which are 99 percent pure and are a good option for mild to moderate COVID-19 patients, whose oxygen saturation level is at 90 percent or above.

The experts say that these are not appropriate for ICU patients.

What are the types of oxygen concentrators?

Basically, there are two types of concentrators – Continuous flow and Pulse dose.

Continuous flow concentrators keep supplying the same flow of oxygen every minute if they are not turned off. The pulse dose concentrators are a little smarter and read the breathing pattern of the patient and release O2 on detecting inhalation. In the second type, the per-minute oxygen dispensation will vary.

How are these different from oxygen cylinders and LMO?

These are the best alternatives of the cylinders and LMO, which are very tough to be transported and stored. Moreover, cylinders require to be refilled but concentrators can keep producing oxygen for up to five years or more, using just the ambient air and a power source.

The only drawback with the concentrators is that they can only supply 5-10 litres of oxygen per minute, while the critical patients may require 40-45 litres per minute.

How much do they cost?

The cost of these concentrators varies depending upon how much oxygen they produce per minute. Their cost may vary between Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 90,000 in different markets.

What to check while renting or buying oxygen concentrators?

As per the experts, if a patient is given one-litre oxygen through a concentrator, the oxygen percentage in the lungs shoots up to 24 percent, while with two litres, it reaches 28 percent and with 10 litres, it rises up to 60 percent. The oxygen per minute has to be regulated as per the requirement.

The patient must consult a physician to know how many litres per minute of oxygen is needed and a pulse oximeter is also necessary to monitor the oxygen saturation.

The quality of oxygen produced depends upon the number of sieves/filters used in the concentrator and their quality is not measured by their weight but by litre per minute output. The ideal weight of these concentrators is less than 27 kgs.

If the concentrator gets heated while working, the quality of oxygen produced may deplete. Hence, it should be used only when required.

Takeaway

The coronavirus pandemic has given a huge boost to the oxygen concentrator sales in India, as their demand has shot up shockingly. Earlier, where the demand was 40,000 concentrators annually, now it has gone up to 30,000-40,000 a month.

Well, oxygen concentrators have been an essential part of every home in China where there are people over 65 years of age. With COVID-19 infecting an increasing number of people on a daily basis, these concentrators can really help the Indian healthcare system.  

Grab a concentrator and book a test for advanced health checkup.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

Sputnik V Gets Emergency Use Approval In India

The new COVID-19 strain has derailed the Indian healthcare infrastructure in no time, and our country, which was donating vaccines to the neighbouring nations a few weeks ago, is facing a shortage of the life-saving shots and almost every other facility required to fight this pandemic.

In a huge relief to the people, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in India. This is the third vaccine India has approved to use against the deadly virus. The earlier two are – Covishield and Covaxin. The former has been developed by the Oxford University-AstraZeneca and Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) is manufacturing it, while the latter has been developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).

Who will distribute Sputnik V in India?

Indian pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has joined hands with the Russian sovereign fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for carrying out the bridge clinical trials of the vaccine in India, which is the 60th country to approve its use.

When will the distribution of Sputnik V start in India?

The RDIF has confirmed that vaccine distribution will begin by the end of April or in the first week of May.

Who has developed and is manufacturing Sputnik V?

The Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, backed by the Russian state, has developed the vaccine. The registration of the vaccine in Russia was done in August 2020 as Gam-COVID-Vac, and the “V” in the name of the vaccine stands for alphabet V. The developer has informed that the vaccine can be stored at 2-8 degree celsius.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has got the contract of distributing up to 250 million doses in India, by importing them. RDIF has also signed a manufacturing contract with Stelis Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Virchow Biotech, Panacea Biotec and Hetero Biopharma to manufacture more than 850 million Sputnik V doses in India. The doses produced in India will be exported across the world.

The production of the vaccine is soon to start at Hetero Biopharma and Panacea Biotec, while the other pharma companies will begin production in September 2021.

How is Sputnik V different from other vaccines?

Sputnik V is an adenovirus viral vector vaccine, which carries viruses especially made containing the coronavirus genes. Some of these types of vaccines make their way into the cells and cause them to produce viral proteins. The others just gradually replicate, travelling through the body with virus proteins on their surface.

How many doses are required?

People have to get two doses of Sputnik V, similar to Covishield and Covaxin. Both the doses have to be administered at least 21 days apart. These are inoculated through injection into the muscle.

What’s the efficacy of Sputnik V?

The Russian vaccine has shown excellent results with an efficacy rate of 91.5 percent. This rate is the highest after Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccines. Before giving it the green signal, a bridging trial was conducted in India.

Another positive news is that only 0.1 percent of the vaccine receivers have complained about the side effects.

What’s the price of the vaccine?

In the international market, the Russian vaccine costs around Rs. 750 per dose, but its price in India is still to be decided, as the government is trying to negotiate the pricing with the manufacturer.

Why is it important for India at this time?

The vaccine approval for emergency use in India is very crucial as the second wave of the pandemic has already put India on the back foot in the war against the virus. Many states in the country have been reporting a shortage of vaccines, even when India is all set to expand the vaccination drive.

Which countries are currently using it?

Russia became the first country to start inoculating its citizens with Sputnik V. It is currently being administered in many countries including Pakistan, Egypt, Argentina, Vietnam, Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Panama, Mauritius, Hungary, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Takeaway

With the quickly rising number of cases of COVID-19 in India, approval to Sputnik V for emergency use can come as a boon for the countrymen. We should hope that the first lot of vaccines land in India soon so that the vaccination drive can come back on the right track.

Know your current health status.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

Why Is There A Rise In COVID-19 Cases Amidst The Vaccination Drive?

Right when India was starting to smell victory against the deadly COVID-19 disease, the virus has struck back with a new strain, which in a way has derailed the ambitious vaccination drive of the Indian government.

The virus has restarted spreading its wings across India The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already confirmed that the new strain of the coronavirus is even more contagious than the previous one and at the same time, people in India have started to take it less seriously.

What does the government have to say?

To investigate and figure out ways to stop the second wave of COVID-19, the central government formed a panel, which in its report, said, ”The main reason behind the second wave is the superspreader events like weddings, elections and social gatherings and people being unwilling to keep following the social distancing norms.

Niti Ayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul has suggested not to show any laxity in our fight against COVID-19, as breaking the chain of transmission should be our utmost priority at the moment. He also emphasized that vaccines are a major tool in our mission but we can not afford to give up on the containment and surveillance methods that we have been following for so long.

What’s the actual COVID-19 situation in India?

In the last 24 hours ending at 8 AM Monday, India recorded the highest ever 1,03,558 new COVID-19 cases. These cases have taken India’s total to 1,25,89,067, out of which 9.07 lakh are currently active, while 1.17 crore has recovered successfully. In the last 24 hours, a total of 478 deaths have been reported, taking the toll up to 1.65 lakh.

Maharashtra is the worst affected state right now with over 3.36 lakh active cases. The state recorded 31,643 cases on Monday itself. To curb the resurgence of the virus, the state is likely to release new work norms by April 1. The decision on a full lockdown will be taken in a meeting headed by the Chief Minister of the state.

In a strange occurrence, eight states of the country accounted for 84.5 per cent of the total 68,020 fresh cases recorded on Monday. Delhi also recorded more than 1,900 cases on Monday, breaking its past three-month record.

Why should we be worried?

India’s indigenous vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield – have been performing well, but looking at the huge population of our country, it is impossible to immunize everyone in a short period. Till now, India has managed to vaccinate only six crore people, which is just 4.43 per cent of the 135.5 crore population of the country.

More shockingly, only 0.5 per cent of people in India had received both doses of vaccines by March 18, 2021. If Indian authorities maintain the same pace of vaccination, they would be able to vaccinate 70% of the population in the next 10.8 years.

Hence, it becomes essential for the people of the country to maintain the social distancing norms specified by the authorities, so that the government doesn’t have to use their time, manpower and focus on stopping the spread of the virus, instead of speeding up the inoculation drive.

How can we help the government?

Any government cannot succeed against the deadly virus if the people of the country do not contribute their bit to the mission. Hence, getting vaccinated timely should be our top priority and until we are not inoculated, we must follow the social distancing norms.

Takeaway

To stop the resurgence of COVID-19 in India, people must ensure that they are following all the protocols set by their local authorities, and also step forward to get themselves immunized against the disease. We must stop the spread of misinformation and myths related to the disease and vaccines. Moreover, people should also ignore attending social gatherings to stay safe.

Know your current health status!

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

Next Page »