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Shingrix is the new shingles vaccination.  The CDC is now recommending Shingrix instead of Zostavax.  Recommendations for administration of Shingrix are two doses separated by 2-6 months.  Healthy adults ages 50 and greater are the population that should be immunized.  Shingrix is NOT a live vaccination, so it can be used in a wider range of patient population.  Shingrix has been shown to be >90% effective at protecting against shingles and post herpetic neuralgia when both doses are administered.

In adults 50 to 69 years old who received two doses, Shingrix was 97% effective in preventing shingles and 91% effective in preventing post herpetic neuralgia.  In adults 70 years and older who received two doses, Shingrix was 91% effective in preventing shingles and 89% effective in preventing post herpetic neuralgia.  At least 85% coverage has been shown even 4 years after the initial vaccination series.

Patients should receive Shingrix even if they have had shingles, already had Zostavax, or if chicken pox status is unknown.  Patients should wait 8 weeks if he/she has recently had Zostavax before getting Shingrix vaccinations.  There is no maximum age for the vaccination as risk of shingles and post herpetic neuralgia increase with age.

Patients that should not receive Shingrix are those who are allergic to Shingrix, pregnant or breastfeeding, currently have shingles, or have tested negative for immunity to varicella zoster.

If a patient has a minor illness with temperature <101.3F, he/she may receive the vaccination.  If a patient has a moderate-severe illness or if temperature is >101.3F, wait until he/she is well before receiving the immunization.

Side effects in studies last 2-3 days included, a sore arm with mild-moderate pain, redness and swelling at injection site, feeling tired, muscle pain, headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea.  Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness.

The Shingrix vaccine is available daily.  Stop by to get vaccinated or contact one of our pharmacists for more information. 

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To all our friends and family who have a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, this information is for you! Did you know Medicare Part D plans change yearly? The copays on your medications, the list of medications covered, the plan premiums and deductibles all change each year! And since these plans change yearly, that means your costs do not stay the same. And this is why we highly encourage you to review available Medicare Part D plans each year during open enrollment, which is now!

 

Open Enrollment began October 15th and goes through December 7th.  We recommend you stop by our pharmacy during this enrollment period to receive a free Med D evaluation.  We will go through your current prescriptions and give you a list of available Medicare Part D plans for 2018 and the costs of each plan, including premiums, deductible, copay information and more. 

Don't pay more for your prescriptions in 2018, let us assist you in finding the best plan based on your prescriptions!

 

Stop by the pharmacy or give us a call if you have any questions or concerns.  

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Could you be saving more on your prescriptions?  Medicare Part D Open Enrollment is just around the corner.  This is the time of year that you can make changes to your current Medicare prescription drug coverage for 2017. 

It is very important that you review your drug plan every year. Medicare private drug plans can change their costs and the list of drugs that they cover every year.  Most people can only change Medicare drug plans during Fall Open Enrollment which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year.

Even if you are satisfied with your current Medicare coverage, you should check if there is another plan in the area that offers better coverage at a lower price. Look at other Medicare options in your area and compare them with your present coverage to see which plan will best suit your needs in the upcoming year. Research shows that people with Medicare Part D plans could lower their costs by shopping among plans each year. For example, another Part D plan in the area may cover the drugs you take with fewer restrictions and charge you less.

When choosing a Medicare private drug plan, make sure to look at all the costs, not just the premium. Your costs throughout the year will depend on what drugs you take, whether your plan covers them, and whether there are any coverage restrictions. Another plan may have lower copays, cover more of your drugs, have fewer restrictions or offer some coverage during the coverage gap.

MediCenter Pharmacy is able to assist you in identifying the most cost effective Medicare Part D plans based on your current prescriptions.  Call Dave today and request your personalized Medicare Part D Evaluation.

 

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