Have a burning question about the medications you are taking, let Dr. Cooper, The Pharmacist help!  Post your question here, and Dr. Cooper will provide the best answer possible.  Please note, because Dr. Cooper does not know your case personally, it is encouraged that you make an appointment for a medication consultation and follow-up with your attending physician(s), as he is not responsible for outcomes based on response(s) to questions.

Hello Dr. Cooper. In your response regarding Plan B you state that Plan B is 90% effective at terminating an unintended pregnancy. It is my understanding that Plan B doesn’t terminate pregnancy, but rather, it inhibits pregnancy either by stopping ovulation altogether, delaying ovulation, preventing implantation of a fertilized egg, and/or altering the uterine lining. Wouldn’t a pill that terminates pregnancy by more consistent with RU-486 (aka the “abortion” pill) since to terminate a pregnancy the pregnancy would have to have already occurred in which case Plan B would not be effective against this since it doesn’t work if you’re already pregnant? 10. September 2017

Is there a “best” time to take a vitamin to get the most effectiveness? 10. September 2017

Great question. Yes. When we think about vitamins we talk nutrients. We want nutrients absorbed. To get the most effectiveness we need the best absorption. There are two times a day to get the best absorption for vitamins. One time is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach if tolerated. The second time is at night right before bedtime. However, some people can’t take vitamins on an empty stomach because it causes stomach pains, nausea, and diarrhea. In those cases, eat a healthy breakfast then take vitamins about 30 minutes afterward. More specifically, there is a distinction to be made between fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. And when it comes to vitamin/mineral combination supplements dosing and scheduling presents a little more of a challenge.

What is an alternative to premarin 0.625? 16. March 2015

Great question. The alternatives to Premarin are both numerous and situational. It also depends on patient symptoms and how a medication is currently affecting  the patient’s body. Patient age is a major factor. Patient health status is a major factor. To decide the best alternative would require finding the best treatment unique to your specific situation by way of a thorough medication evaluation. Here’s a good list of alternatives to Premarin, including adjusting the Premarin dose. These medications come in different forms, tablets, gels, creams, patches, injections, etc.:

1. Premarin (adjusting the dose)
2. Plant-based Bioidentical Hormones
3. Prempro
4. Premphase
5. Activella
6. FemHrt
7. Estraderm
8. Provera
9. Prometrium
10. Enjuvia
11. Vivelle-Dot
12. Minivelle
13. Estrace
14. Estring
15. Vagifem
16. Cenestin
17. Menest
18. Ortho-Est

What is the real difference between Norco 10 and Tylenol 4? 16. March 2015

This is a great question. Thank you. The real difference between Norco 10 and Tylenol #4 lies in the pharmacology of each medication. Pain medications work by connecting to a receptor site in the nervous system. The medication and the receptor site are attracted to each other. The stronger the attraction the stronger the pain relief. Although they relieve pain  through a similar way, hydrocodone has a stronger attraction to the receptor site. Therefore, hydrocodone has a stronger pain relieving action. The receptor site is more attracted to hydrocodone, so it doesn’t take as much hydrocodone to turn on the receptor site compared to codeine. The receptor site in the nervous system isn’t attracted to codeine the same way. It takes more codeine to turn on the receptor. So for every 10mg of hydrocodone, it will take 60mg of codeine to turn on the receptor and produce the same pain relief. So that means hydrocodone is stronger. The Tylenol(Acetaminophen) is used to lower the abuse potential and adds some additional pain relief.

Hi Dr. Cooper….I need to make an appointment with my doctor and I really need a complete physical with the works when it comes down to blood work…what test do I request the doctor to do make sure my healther isn’t abnormal? 14. January 2015

Thank you. Great question. A complete physical exam is essential for maintaining your health. There are so many lab tests, blood tests that can be done to make sure you stay healthy. There may be 100 or more tests that can done, I will list a few of them for you here. This is not a complete list but these tests are all very important and reveal a lot of information about your body.

1. Lipid Panel. This test monitors cholesterol levels.

2. Glucose Blood Test. This test monitors blood sugar levels.

3. Thyroid Panel. This test monitors low and high thyroid production, energy levels, etc.

4. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). This test also monitors low and high thyroid production.

5.  Allergy Test. This test identifies substances your body may be sensitive to.

6. Anemia Panel. This test monitors if your body is producing enough blood cells and looks at iron levels, vitamin b-12 levels, folic acid levels, etc.

7. Chemistry Panel. This is a very important combination of tests that monitors your body’s electrolyte, protein, and mineral levels.

8. Arthritis Screening Panel. This is a very important combination of tests that monitors any inflammation and infection in your bones and bloodstream.

9. Cardiac Risk Panel. This test looks at your overall heart health.

10. Hemoglobin A1C. This test looks at trends in blood sugar over the last 3 or 4 months.

11. HIV Test. This test identifies if the virus that causes AIDS is in your bloodstream.

12. STD Test. This test identifies the presence of any sexually transmitted infections, i.e., syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea.


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