Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Brand name or generic drugs—do you know the difference?

Mayo Clinic Health System Health Note on Consumerism:

Do you know the difference between brand name drugs and generic drugs? If you’ve been buying brand name drugs due to uncertainty over whether the generic equivalent is sufficient, you may be surprised.

There are many myths about generic drugs, mainly that they are significantly different from the brand name drug. If you’re a consumer who sticks to buying brand name drugs because of uncertainty, you’re likely spending more money than needed. Brand name drugs and generic drugs have the same active ingredients and both have to meet the same FDA regulations before being approved and put on the market. For example, generics need to meet the same standards for strength, quality, and purity as brand name drugs. In addition, the generic drug must prove that it provides an identical or almost identical blood level to that of the brand name drug.

Why are generic drugs cheaper?

Generic drugs are cheaper because the companies producing those drugs do not have to spend time and money on research, development, clinical trials, marketing and advertising. Additionally, when two or more drug manufacturers make a drug, the price is 50-95% cheaper than the brand name drug.

Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist if there are any generic alternatives to the brand name drugs you are taking. There may not always be a generic alternative, but it’s worth asking. Whether it’s a drug that’s prescribed once or one you will have to take the rest of your life, taking the generic form will save you money.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Are you meeting the physical activity recommendations for aerobic activity according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC)?

Mayo Clinic Health System Health Note on Physical Activity Intensity, and Daily Requirements

Do you know the difference between moderate physical activity and vigorous physical activity? How can you be sure you’re getting enough aerobic activity in your daily lives?

The CDC suggests that adults take part in 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Another option is to do 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week. Here are some examples of moderate and vigorous aerobic activities:

Moderate-intensity aerobic activity includes any activity that raises your heart rate and causes you to break a sweat. Examples include: Fast paced walking, water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground, playing doubles tennis, and pushing a lawn mower.

Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity is any activity that causes you to breathe hard and fast. At this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing to take a breath. Examples include: jogging or running, swimming laps, riding a bike fast or on hilly terrain, playing singles tennis, or playing basketball.

It's OK to start small! You don't need to do your activity all at once. Three ten-minute segments still add up to 30 minutes! And remember, even 10 minutes is better than nothing. All types of activities count, as long as you are doing them at a moderate to vigorous intensity level for a minimum of ten minutes at a time.

Visit http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html for more information.