Pharmacy/addiction

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Question
Hi,
  I have arthritis and during the night the pain and aches keep me awake.  
  I bought a cheap over the counter medicine called "Pain Relief PM" which is Acetaminophren 500mg and Diphenhydramine hci 25mg.  I took it for 5 days and I could sleep.  Then I stopped because I don't want to get addicted.  But now the pain is back and I can't sleep again.  Can you tell me if it is bad to take this on a regular basis or is it OK way to get some sleep?

Answer
Hi Don,
  
 Over the counter medications such as Pain Relief PM should be taken on a regular basis only under the supervision of a doctor.  Hence, this is a question to ask your physician.  Pain Relief PM may only provide temporary relief of your arthritis pain and resulting insomnia.  You may need medication that is prescription only that is stronger than over the counter medication.  Diphenhydramine can be addicting.  You may develop a tolerance for it so it may not be effective long term for treating insomnia.  

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Nanaz Khosrowshahi

Expertise

Being a pharmacist, I can answer questions on medications. This includes how drugs work in the body, drug interactions, drug side effects, warnings and precautions to take when using certain medications, dosage forms and strengths, management of overdosing, storage of medications, drug administration, contraindications, and drug indications. I am able to guide them on lab work that needs to be drawn and monitored while on certain medications. I am able to help patients save money when purchasing medications by directing them to cost-effective therapies. I am able to answer questions on federal laws governing pharmacy practice in the United States. I am unable to answer questions legally as if I am diagnosing the patient's disease or illness. For example, if a patient stated he had upper flank pain, I am unable to say he definitely has a urinary tract infection. However, I am able to direct the patient to the correct next step, which is to call his physician with such a side effect.

Experience

I have been a licensed pharmacist since 2007, holding licenses in CT and MA. I have a PHARM.D from an accelerated pharmacy school program. Currently, I work at the Hebrew Home and Hospital in West Hartford, CT as a pharmacist. I am a well-rounded pharmacist, with experience in long-term care, IV home infusion, retail, hospital, and hospice. I serve as the pharmacy unit coordinator for Mass Dispensing Area #31 in CT, where I am called upon as a volunteer pharmacist in case of public emergencies, such as anthrax threats. I helped run the swine flu vaccine clinic in 2009. I am on the Editorial Advisory Board for Pharmacy Today, a publication of the American Pharmacists Association. My position on the board runs for three years. Every month I make suggestions and offer ideas that would help improve the magazine. I have undergone extra training to administer vaccines to patients, which is training that only a certain percentage of registered pharmacists in the country have.

Organizations
American Pharmacists Association 2007

Education/Credentials
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Worcester, MA- PHARM.D 2007 University of California, Irvine- BA psychology 2001 cum laude

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