Q: What is the best way to treat a fever blister?
A: First, make sure what you have is a fever blister. Many people mistake dry, chapped lips for fever blisters or cold sores. If you know you have a fever blister, you can avoid the triggers, such as sun, stress, exhaustion, certain foods, cold weather and infection. This is a herpes virus that does not go away. It lives in the nervous system, and for most people not on suppressive therapy, it comes out three to four times a year, staying for about 10 days.
There are prescription drugs that work well for most people. Valtrex has the FDA indication for cold sores, and it takes only one day of therapy. Zovirax has been effective in reducing the duration of the outbreaks to about four days.
Abreva is the only antiviral available without a prescription. It helps shorten the healing time, but it must be used at the first sign of infection.
Q: Why does it take so long to get a prescription filled? All they have to do with mine is slap a label on it.
A: Well, the actual label slapping is the final step, and label slapping, if you are truly a good label slapper, should take between 0.7 and 2.1 seconds. But that's the easy part.
You could be the first person to walk into a pharmacy after it opens, and it's busy because the refill requests from overnight are being filled. Doctors have left messages on the voice mail.
Prescription filling involves data entry. This usually takes about five minutes. The drugs then are counted and labeled. The pharmacist checks and edits the prescriptions. Drug strength, dosage, interactions, refills and appropriateness of the script are then checked and double-checked. We also check to see whether there have been any changes in your profile.
Q: What does it take to become a pharmacist?
A: First, you must declare your major as pre-pharmacy. The degree offered by most universities in Georgia and South Carolina is the doctor of pharmacy. It requires two to three years of core classes. Pharmacy school usually requires an admissions test and is four years. Usually, the first three years are academic and the last is clinical rotations. The academics include pathophysiology, biochemisty, pharmacokinetics and pharmacotherapy.
You must complete 1,500 hours of internship, most of which is met by the accredited program in which you enrolled. Lastly, you must take the North American Pharmacy Board Licensure Exam.
Angela Neglia, a licensed pharmacist in Georgia, gives general answers to common questions. Her answers are not intended to replace the medical advice of a physician. E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free (877) 373-7850 and leave a message.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.