Script Your Future – The Importance of Cholesterol Medications

Script Your FutureCholesterol is a type of fat that is naturally made in our bodies and can be found in various foods. The problem with cholesterol arises when we have too much of it in our blood vessels, causing a plaque to form. This plaque can impede blood flow to the heart leading to a heart attack or stroke. When a person has high cholesterol, whether its elevated LDL, elevated triglycerides, or low HDL, they are often completely unaware of it. High cholesterol often presents without any symptoms, and can be left unnoticed for many years. Fortunately, a simple blood test can determine what your cholesterol level is.

If your doctor tells you that you have high cholesterol, there are a few things you can do to manage this condition. Lifestyle modifications like increasing exercise to at least 30 minutes/day and eating a heart-healthy diet are great ways to get your cholesterol back at goal (total cholesterol <200). If this does not work, however, there are medications you can take to lower your cholesterol. The most popular class of cholesterol medications are referred to as “statins” (i.e. pravastatin, atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin, etc.). These medications have proven to be effective in managing cholesterol levels and are used by many patients. Other common cholesterol-lowering drugs include bile acid sequestrants, niacin, fibrates, and omega-3-fatty acids. Although these medication classes work in slightly different ways, they all lower blood cholesterol to some degree.

The problem with these medications is that many people do not “feel” like they are making a difference in their health. This can cause patients to stop taking their cholesterol medications as they are prescribed, or stop taking them all together. It is important for all patients to be educated about how important cholesterol medications are to their health. Even though you may not physically feel any different from taking cholesterol medicine, it could very well be saving your life by preventing plaques from building up in your vessels and causing a heart attack. It is so important to take these medications as directed by your physician, especially for patients with other chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. So take the pledge to take your cholesterol medicine today at http://www.ucwv.edu/pharmacy!

For more information about cholesterol medications visit http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ByAudience/ForWomen/FreePublications/UCM179918.pdf

UCSOP Is Going Red For Women

Welcome to February 2017…. or shall we say Welcome to American Heart Month!

This means that here at UCSOP we are preparing for a month full of exciting and educational events geared towards cardiovascular health. With Script Your Future happening in full-force, what better way to expand our reach than to incorporate Go Red For Women into our message? UCSOP students and faculty are dedicated to promoting heart health among all persons and encourage everyone to take their medications as they are prescribed!Go Red For Women

Go Red For Women is a campaign that was established by the American Heart Association in response to increased heart disease and strokes among women. This campaign encourages awareness of the issue of women and heart disease, and also promotes action to save more lives. Go Red For Women challenges women to “know their numbers” or know their risk factors for getting heart disease, and also gives participants the tools they need to live a heart healthy life. Cardiovascular disease has numerous risk factors, but thankfully, many of them can be controlled via medications and/or lifestyle changes. Things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and elevated blood glucose all play a part in heart disease. This is why it is so important for women and men with these chronic diseases to take their medications as directed.

At UCSOP we will be participating in “Go Red for Women Day” on February 3rd, for which we encourage our students, faculty and staff to dress in red to support the cause! Our student organizations will also be hosting a variety of health fairs and tweet-a-thons promoting Go Red For Women.  Furthermore, we will continue to promote medication adherence as it fits in with cardiovascular health through our Script Your Future events. Stay tuned to our blog and other social media for updates on events regarding these causes!

FREE Life Saving Training Coming to UCSOP

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy will be hosting the American Heart Association’s Mobile CPR Unit on UC’s Charleston campus Thursday, September 29, 2016 in the Keenan Parking lot (across from the School of Pharmacy). This programming is being delivered in collaboration  with the UC school of pharmacy, Unicare Inc., and the American Heart Association. The event will serve as UCSOP’s kick off to American Pharmacist Month, which begins October 1, 2016.  

We have a goal of 250-500cpr persons participating in this hands on CPR training education. The program will run every hour on the hour from 10am until 2pm and those wishing to participate MUST sign up athttp://www.cvent.com/d/4vq000. All members of our surrounding community are invited to participate. We also urge faculty and staff participation! 

Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer on this date (beyond participating in the program) should contact Dr. Susan Gardner, Assistant Dean for Professional and Student Affairs in the school of pharmacy, susangardner@ucwv.edu