HEALTH

NHBA declares its support of Heartburn Awareness Month

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO The National Heartburn Alliance recently announced its November sponsoring of Heartburn Awareness Month, a national education and awareness program for heartburn sufferers.

“Between overindulging in food and drink and a variety of lifestyle habits that tend to change over the holidays, heartburn can increase in some patients,” stated Stuart Spechler, NHBA board member and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at the Dallas VA Medical Center. “The materials developed on behalf of the NHBA are able to provide health care professionals with a resource that sufferers can easily take with them when they leave the office.” 

Last year, health care professionals helped to educate more than 120,000 consumers through Heartburn Awareness Month. The goal of Heartburn Awareness Month is to screen, educate and treat patients who suffer from heartburn, using the free tools and patient education materials available through the Alliance.

According to a recent Alliance survey, one out of two Americans reported they would enjoy the holidays more if it weren’t for heartburn—with overindulging in food and drink as the most likely cause (58 percent). More than one-third of consumers (37 percent) reported they are more likely to suffer from heartburn during the holidays than they are during an average week of the year.

“Holiday get-togethers naturally bring an increase in treats available during the holidays,” added Wendy Wright, family nurse practitioner and fellow NHBA board member. “What sufferers need to know is that there are simple steps you can take to help prevent heartburn before it starts. For instance, although mint and spearmint can be found in many holiday candies, what many people don’t know is that mint is a heartburn trigger.” 

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Walgreens gives customers direction on cough-cold OTC dosing for children

BY Jenna Duncan

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has said that it will advise its customers on the proper, safe use of over-the-counter cough and cold remedies by adding in-store signage to shelves and making its pharmacists available for consultations.

After the announcement from the CHPA Tuesday that cough-cold remedies should not be administered to children under age 4, many cough-cold remedy makers are revising their product labels to reflect the new dosing recommendations before the upcoming cold season. Walgreens has made a commitment to make sure the most current labeled cough and cold remedies will be available during the label-upgrading swap, and newly labeled products will be on shelves as soon as they are available.

The FDA has issued a statement that parents should take precautions when administering cough-cold medicines to children, including, checking active ingredients on the Drug Facts product labeling, avoiding given children two products with the same active ingredients at the same time, following directions, using the appropriate measuring instruments, selecting cough-cold medicines with child-proof caps, recognizing that cough-old remedies do not shorten the length of illness but only treat symptoms, not using cough-cold products for sedation and calling a doctor or pharmacist if any adverse reactions occur after administering.

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More parents confused about cough-cold treatments for kids, survey suggests

BY Michael Johnsen

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. News coming out of the recent Food and Drug Administration public meeting on pediatric cough-cold medicines sold over-the-counter, as well as the recent announcement from Consumer Healthcare Products Association that manufacturers would voluntarily cease recommending use of their cough-cold products in children under the age of four, could compound pre-existing confusion among parents.

According to a survey of 606 parents (conducted by Survey.com) released by Kaz Monday, the majority of parents had already been considering not giving their children cough-cold medicine when they become sick with a cold. According to the survey, conducted six months after the FDA announced a ban of the sale of cough-cold products to children under the age of two, 70 percent of parents with children under the age of four reported they give their children cold medicine when they were sick, as do 74 percent of parents with kids under six and 80 percent of parents with children between the ages of seven and 12 old.

When asked in June if they plan to change the way they treat their children’s colds this coming season due to the January FDA warnings, more than half (64 percent) of parents who currently give their children cold medicine either plan to stop (34 percent) or are considering it (30 percent).

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