August 22, 2008

[ Your Health ]

Medication roulette:

Do you take so many medications it's like juggling cats to keep track of them?

One survey found one-third of older Americans take eight medications or more.

A new packaging system called onePAC aims to simplify the process.

OnePAC holds each day's medications together in a sealed, clear plastic packet, with the dosage stamped on each dated packet, including a description of what each pill looks like.

Pharmacies that offer the service typically charge $10 to $20 a month.

To request a free sample from Parata systems or find out where the service is available, go to or call (888) 663- 7221.

Weight and fertility:

Losing weight may not only improve a woman's health, it increases her fertility.

Researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that women with a body mass index of 30 to 35 had a four percent decrease in conception rates for every BMI unit increase.

No sweat:

Even moderate exercise can yield big health benefits.

Thirty minutes of brisk walking, bicycling, pushing a lawn mower, shoveling snow, scrubbing floors, playing with grandchildren or dancing all qualify.

The Mayo Clinic reports such activity can increase energy, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, prevent or manage type 2 diabetes, manage weight and help prevent osteoporosis and cancer.

If you can't find a half-hour to exercise, try breaking it up into three 10 minute blocks by taking the stairs, walking the dog or walking at work after lunch.

Aspirin therapy:

If you take a daily aspirin for heart protection, you should be careful about taking other pain-relievers.

Ibuprofen like Advil and Motrin IB and possibly other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aleve counteracts aspirin's anti-clotting effect.

So the Food and Drug Administration recommends waiting 30 minutes after the daily aspirin to take such medicines.

Or, try using acetaminophen like Tylenol, which doesn't seem to affect aspirin's benefits.

- Robert McCoppin

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