Showing posts from February 24, 2019

Generic Drugs vs. Brand: What You Need to Know

By Frieda Wiley, PharmD, RPh

One of the most common questions I get as a pharmacist is, “Are generics really as good as brand medications?” Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dried answer. It’s not really a question of whether a brand drug is better than a generic drug, but whether the specific version of the drug you are taking is giving your body what it needs.

Two of the most common concerns patients tend to have about generic medications:

Are generic versions as strong as brand?

Many people believe that the often-cheaper price of generic drugs means that are not getting the same drug dose as you would. The FDA requires manufacturers of generic drugs to prove that the active ingredient in the generic version will produce the same result as the brand-name drug.

Though generic drugs have the same active ingredient, the inactive ingredients often vary (e.g., binders, fillers, dyes, etc.). Changing even one of these components can have a major effect on how the drug behaves. Different inact…

Fix Your Tech Dependence

Yes, smartphones can cause health problems. See what you can do to head them off.

GermsYour cellphone probably goes with you everywhere. Ever check it while you were -- errr -- in the bathroom? And when’s the last time you cleaned it? Ever? It makes sense that there might be bacteria, viruses, or other germs on it. One study found 1 in 6 phones has poop on it. On the bright side, it’s a hard surface, which usually makes it harder for germs to survive. Still, it’s probably a good idea to wipe it down now then. Swipe to advance 2/15 Text Neck SyndromeToo much time looking down at your phone can strain your neck muscles and cause tightness or spasms. You might even get nerve pain that goes to your back, or to your shoulder and down your arm. Take breaks at least every 20 minutes to stretch and arch your back. Try not to hunch forward. It helps to hold your phone higher up when you text, too. Posture exercises from yoga or Pilates will help you stay strong and avoid neck pain. Swipe to advance …

Want to Stay Healthy? Check Off This List

Keys to Good HealthYou hear lots of advice from many sources about what it takes to live well and keep your body in good working order. Sorting out what that means for you could seem like an overwhelming task. Let's break it down into a few simple, easy-to-remember ways for adults to stay on a healthy path. Swipe to advance 2/16 Become a flexitarian.Numerous studies have shown that a plant-based diet is healthiest, but you can still get many of the benefits even if you don't go full-on vegetarian. Following a semi-vegetarian diet that includes fewer animal products but doesn't completely cut them out may help you keep your weight in check as well as lower your chances of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease. Swipe to advance 3/16 Expand your palate's palette.Dietary guidelines recommend that half of what's on your plate at any meal be vegetables or fruits. But it's also important to mix things up. While all fruits and veggies are healt…

Oakland Teachers Strike for Meaning, Not Just Money

Teachers are walking out of the classroom in Oakland, California—and in the process revitalizing their city.

By Jeremy Adam Smith

I am not a teacher.

That became tremendously obvious the other day as I tried to help a couple of second-graders solve math problems at a “solidarity school,” which gives kids a place to go and learn during the teachers strike that is unfolding in Oakland, California.

TJ and Alejandro had been leaping out of their seats, crawling under tables, talking out of turn, all the usual kid stuff. When it came time to do some math worksheets, they weren’t having it. I felt pretty useless. In point of fact, I was useless.

The solidarity school, housed at a Montclair church, in which the author struggled to help kids with math. The blackboard is off to the right.

Then I called them both over to a blackboard, took out some chalk, and asked them to draw. This they did. After a bit, I pulled up the worksheets and coaxed them to solve just one problem together. Alejandro …

20 Social Change Books to Read in the New Year

These stories of hope for a better future will inspire you to rediscover your humanity. Can you widen your views of climate to include all of nature as your self, seeing it all as sacred and valuable? How would a new economy be reorganized to inspire creativity and connection? How will working together, forming cooperatives and creating more connection help us to rediscover our capacity for growth and spirited evolution?

Finding Your Strengths

Do you fixate on your flaws and shortcomings? Our happiness guinea pig tries the opposite: focusing on her personal strengths.


CINDY WILSON: I was at an orphanage in Seoul Korea and was adopted by an African-American family that was in the army. And shortly after, maybe a year or so, we ended up moving back to America. At seven my parents got a divorce. And so my mother, my brother, and myself moved back to their hometown of Jackson, Mississippi and that’s pretty much where I grew up.

Before I moved to Jackson, yeah, I didn’t really think anything about my situation. And so when I went to school was when I realized that I was different, because a majority of the people as far as population there are mostly either black or white. And so growing up I only knew like two other Asian people that lived there. And so going to school you got these kids picking on you and they’re picking on you because…

Into the Middle of Nowhere

Imaginations run wild in this touching video of young children as they explore their surroundings at an outdoor nursery in Scotland. With admirable patience and unwavering deliberation, they build an aeroplane and travel the world without ever leaving the ground. Press play to witness the human mind's capacity for creativity, connection, and joy of discovery.

Why Telling Our Own Story Is So Powerful for Black Americans

Andrea Collier reflects on the role of storytelling in black American history—and in her own life.

By Andrea Collier

As we come to the end of Black History Month, I am reminded of all the strong narratives that have come out of the black American experience. Storytelling is our roots and wings.

No matter who you are or where you come from, the human spirit wants—no, needs—to be validated. While story means so much in every culture and ethnicity, I know that black folk, no matter how they got here, are planted in story and shared lived experience. It’s the way we witness. The late Virginia Hamilton, the author of The People Could Fly—a revered children’s book of African American storytelling—said that storytelling was the first opportunity for black folks to represent themselves as anything other than property. As Congressman John Lewis, a standard bearer of the civil rights movement and equity in this country, says, “The movement without storytelling, is like birds without wings.”