Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a common serious brain or neurological disorder.

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that causes repetitive seizures. A seizure is a sudden rush of electrical activity in the brain.

There are two types of seizures which is generalized seizures and focal seizures. Generalized seizures affect the whole brain while focal seizures affect just one part of the brain.

Did you know that more men have epilepsy than women? This is because estrogen lowers thresholds for seizures whereas progesterone increases it.

Symptoms

Epilepsy is caused by abnormal activity in the brain. Sign and symptoms may include: 

  • Temporary confusion
  • A staring spell or gaze
  • Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Psychic symptoms such as fear and anxiety.

Causes

  • Genetic influence: epilepsy can be hereditary.
  • Head trauma: a car accident that causes traumatic injury can cause epilepsy.
  • Prenatal injury: Babies are sensitive to brain damage before birth. The causes of these conditions are infection in the mother, poor nutrition, or lack of oxygen.
  • Brain conditions: damage to the brain such as strokes also can cause epilepsy.

Risk Factors

Certain factors may increase the risk of epilepsy:

  • Age: epilepsy is more common in children and older adults.
  • Family history: A person can develop a seizure disorder when any family member has epilepsy.
  • Head injuries.
  • Stroke and other vascular diseases: this can lead to brain damage and triggers epilepsy.

Complications

  • Falling: Falling during a seizure may injure the head.
  • Drowning: If you have epilepsy, you’re more likely to drown while bathing or swimming. This is because you may have a seizure while in the water.
  • Emotional health issues: People with epilepsy can get psychological problems, such as depression, and anxiety. This is because of the difficulties dealing with the condition itself and medication side effects.

How to Diagnose Epilepsy

Electroencephalogram (EEG) is the most common test used to diagnose epilepsy. Firstly, electrodes are attached to your scalp with a paste. Then, you may be asked to perform a task. After that, the electrodes will record the electrical activity of your brain.  If there is a seizure, there will be changes in the normal brain wave pattern.

Treatment

  • Anti-epileptic drugs: These medications can reduce the number of seizures. Some people can eliminate seizures. 
  • Vagus nerve stimulator: This device is placed under the skin on the chest during surgery. It electrically stimulates the nerve that runs through your neck and prevents seizures.
  • Ketogenic diet: This is a high fat with low carbohydrate diet.
  • Brain surgery: Remove the area of the brain that causes seizures.

Mayflax provides drugs such as Gabapentin and Carbamazepine for epilepsy diseases. Mayflax has 25 years of experience and provides over 2000 pharmaceutical products at low prices too! If you want to use our service as a supplier, feel free to contact us here

REFERENCES

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/epilepsy
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16581409/
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Heart Failure

What is Heart Failure?

The term heart failure can sometimes be frightening to people. The definition of heart failure is a chronic, continuous condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s need for blood and oxygen. As a result, body functions are disturbed when there is not enough blood flow. The term “heart failure” does not mean that your heart has stopped. However, heart failure is a serious condition that needs fast treatment.

Usually, heart failure is caused by other medical condition that damages the heart. For instance, this includes coronary heart disease, heart inflammation, high blood pressure, or an irregular heartbeat.

Symptoms

Heart failure can get worse or may start suddenly. For instance, heart failure sign and symptoms may include:

  1. Shortness of breath when you lie down
  2. Fatigue and weakness
  3. Persistent cough
  4. Lack of appetite and nausea
  5. Reduced ability to exercise

Types of Heart Failure

Left-Sided Heart Failure

Fluid may back up in your lungs, causing shortness of breath.

Right-Sided Heart Failure

Fluid may back up into your abdomen, legs, and feet causing swelling.

Systolic Heart Failure

The left ventricle can’t contract vigorously, indicating a pump problem.

Diastolic Heart Failure

The left ventricle can’t relax/fill fully, indicating a filling problem.

 

Risk Factors

Anyone can get heart failure. However, certain factors may contribute to a higher risk of developing this heart failure condition. As an example, people of African descent are at the highest risk of having heart failure compared to other races and men also have a higher incidence than women.

People with a certain disease that damages the heart are also at a higher risk to develop heart failure. These diseases include:

  • Anemia
  • Emphysema
  • Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
  • High blood pressure: your heart works harder than it has to when your blood pressure is high.
  • Certain behaviors such as smoking, eating foods high in fat and cholesterol, living a sedentary lifestyle, and being overweight can also increase your risk of developing heart failure.

Complication

Arrhythmias is one of the potential complications of heart failure. Besides, heart failure also can cause liver damage. This will leads to the accumulation of fluid that puts too much pressure on the liver. This fluid backup will lead to scarring, which causes difficulty for the liver to function properly.

How to Diagnose Heart Failure

The most effective way to diagnose heart failure is by an echocardiogram. This procedure uses sound waves to create detailed pictures of your heart. This can help to evaluate the damage to your heart and determine the underlying causes of the patient’s condition. In addition, the echocardiogram also measures the ejection fraction of the heart which important to see how well your heart is pumping and used to help classify heart failure.

Blood tests also can be used to detect heart failure. Take a blood sample to look for signs of disease that can affect the heart. The test check for a chemical N-terminal pro-B-type Natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) if the diagnosis isn’t certain after other tests. Certainly, the chemical measure the concentration of a hormone produced by the left ventricle which grade the severity of the heart failure.

Prevention and Treatment of Heart Failure

On the first place, regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy body weight are the key to prevent heart failure. Besides, eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains also can help to prevent heart failure. In addition, we also can prevent heart failure by stop smoking and limit moderate alcohol intake.                      

To treat heart failure, it need a lifelong management since it is a chronic disease. Treatment may help the patients to live longer and reduce their chance of dying suddenly.

These are some medications you can take to treat heart failure:

  • Beta-blockers: it slows and reduces blood pressure. Examples are carvedilol, metoprolol, and bisoprolol.
  • Diuretics: cause the patients to urinate more frequently.
  • Digoxin: increase the strength of heart muscle contractions and also tend to slow heartbeat.

In some cases, doctors recommend surgery to treat the underlying problem that led to heart failure. Some of them are:

  • Coronary bypass surgery: This procedure is recommended if there are severely blocked arteries that contribute to heart failure.
  • Heart valve repair/replacement: This procedure is recommended to replace or repair the valve if a faulty heart valve causes heart failure. The original valve can be modified to eliminate backward blood flow.

There is no cure for heart failure. Damage to your heart muscle may improve but it will not go away.

In a conclusion, heart failure usually occurs with other diseases that damage the heart. Living a healthy lifestyle is recommended to prevent heart failure. To treat the disease properly, take the medication prescribed by the doctor.

To get the supply of the drug, you can go with Mayflax which provides pharmaceutical products to a clinic and hospital. Heart failure medications are available here at Mayflax. You can click here or sign up here to know more about us.

REFERENCES

Nur Ayuni Mohd Ruduan

Nur Ayuni Mohd Ruduan

Nur Ayuni Mohd Ruduan, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is staff officer of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.

Gout vs Pseudogout :Risk Factors,Causes, and Symptoms

GOUT

Gout is a common form of arthritis. It is also a painful condition that usually involving the joints. It is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is formed when the body breaks down purines. The purines can be found in the body and certain foods. When symptoms get worse, it is known as flares. When there are no symptoms, it is known as remissions.

Risk Factors

There are many risk factors for gout.Gout generally develops in men between age 30 to 45 and women age 55 to 70.

Increased Risk for Developing Gout:

  1. Obesity.
  2. High Blood Pressure.
  3. Injury or recent surgery.
  4. Fasting or overeating.
  5. Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol regularly.
  6. Diet high in meat, shellfish, and beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.
  7. Taking medications that can increase blood levels of uric acid.

Causes

Gout occurs when there is an excess of uric acid in the body. The body makes uric acid when it breaks down purines. Purines are found in the body and the foods we eat. Usually, uric acid crystals can build up in joints, fluids, and tissues within the body when there is an excess of uric acid in the body. Hyperuricemia does not always cause gout. In addition, hyperuricemia without gout symptoms does not need to be treated. The sharp, needle-like crystals cause gout. 

Symptoms

  1. Intense joint pain: can occur at any joint but usually affects the big toe.
  2. Inflammation and redness: joint is usually swollen, warm, and red.
  3. Limited movement: not able to move joint normally.
  4. Lingering discomfort: last from few days to a few weeks.

Symptoms develop quite rapidly. It can last for three to ten days. Usually, the symptoms and signs affect a single joint. Gout attacks are very painful. It can happen quite suddenly, often overnight. The pain is typically severe. So, it shows the severity of inflammation in the joint. The medical term for excessive fluid in a joint is a “joint effusion”.

Treatment

  1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – reduce swelling and pain. It is used as first-line treatment.
  2. Colchicine – people who cannot tolerate NSAIDs usually take  colchicine.
  3. Steroids (prednisone) – used in people who cannot take NSAIDs or colchicine. Prednisone is linked with an increased risk of a recurrent gout attack.

PSEUDOGOUT

Pseudogout also is a form of arthritis that causes sudden joint pain and swelling. It is caused by calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals (CPPD). 

The sudden attacks of joint pain, swelling, and warmth can occur when you have pseudogout. It can last for days to weeks. It can affect the ankles, feet, shoulders, elbows, wrists, or hands but it mostly affects the knee.

Risk Factors

Besides older age, several other factors also increase the risk for developing pseudogout :

  • Joint trauma due to injury or surgery.
  • Genetics: some people tend to develop pseudogout and more likely to have symptoms at an earlier age.
  • Excess iron: people with a genetic disorder that causes the body to store excess iron.
  • Other disorders: some disorders that affect metabolism or endocrine glands are likely to develop pseudogout.

Causes

Pseudogout occurs when calcium pyrophosphate crystals form in the synovial fluid in the joints. Crystals can also deposit in the cartilage and can cause damage. The formation of crystal in the joint fluid results in swollen joints and acute pain. Older people have higher possibilities of getting pseudogout compared to younger people. In addition, the genetic condition can cause pseudogout because it always occurs in families.

In addition, other factors may include :

  • Low activity of the thyroid gland.
  • Parathyroid glands create too much parathyroid hormone.
  • Excess iron in the blood.
  • High calcium levels in the blood.
  • Lack of magnesium.

Symptoms

Pseudogout most often affects the knees. In addition, it also affects the ankles, wrists, and elbows.

General symptoms may include:

  1. Bouts of joint pain
  2. Swelling of the affected joint
  3. Fluid build up around the joint
  4. Chronic inflammation

Treatment

Until now, no treatment can completely remove or prevent the formation of calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate crystals. Therefore, treatment is generally focused on reducing pain and swelling.

  • Joint injection: insert a needle into the affected joint and take off the fluid. So, the crystals, pressure, and pain will be relieved. Injection of a steroid into the joint can decrease the amount of inflammation present.
  • Oral medications such as NSAIDs, prednisone, and colchicine can decrease inflammation and pain.
  • Joint immobilization: avoid lifting heavy objects if it involve the legs.

REFERENCES

Nur Ayuni Mohd Ruduan

Nur Ayuni Mohd Ruduan

Nur Ayuni Mohd Ruduan, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is staff officer of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.

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Nanotechnology as a drug delivery in Cancer Treatment

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Nanotechnology as a drug delivery in Cancer Treatment

What is Cancer ?

     Cancer is a leading cause of death and remains a difficult disease to treat. It was estimated that there would be 18.1 million new cancer cases and 9.6 million cancer-related deaths by 2018 (Global cancer statistics 2018). Besides, cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell proliferation that spreads to other parts of the organs to cause death. Moreover, cancers can be either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Benign means tend to grow slowly and do not spread to other organs meanwhile malignant can grow rapidly, invade and destroy nearby healthy tissues, and spread to whole parts of the body.  Therefore, current technology as nanotechnology are being used to treat cancer.

Picture of cancer

How Does Nanotechnology as a Drug Delivery?

A nanotechnology is a great tool in the fight against cancer. It is safer and more precise. This application has led to several promising results in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Not only that, it includes drug delivery, gene therapy, detection and diagnosis, drug carriage, biomarker mapping, targeted therapy, and molecular imaging.

The nanotechnology cancer treatments work to destroy cancer tumors with minimal damage to healthy tissue and organs, as well as the detection and elimination of cancer cells before they form tumors.

Picture of nanotechnology cancer

However, nanotechnology diagnoses and treats disease at a very tiny scale. Frankly, the particles are 100 to 10,000 times smaller than human cells. Because of their small size, they can locate and kill cancer more precisely than current cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy. However, many drugs are insoluble, so it difficult to administer. These compounds can be “solubilize” by combining them with organic or lipid nanoparticles, which keep them in circulation for longer periods, or by forming them into crystalline Nano suspensions stabilized by surfactants.

Nanotechnology treatments, for instance, the development of nanoscale drug delivery, can ensure precise cancerous tissue targeting with low side effects. Thus, it can easily cross the cell barrier due to its biological nature.

The tiny size of nanoparticles allows them to deliver medicines into which areas of the part of the human body that be hard to reach. For instance, the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier prevents foreign substances from entering into the brain and also prevents some medications from being absorbed. As a result of their small size, nanoparticles can pass through this barrier, making them a useful treatment for brain cancer.

Nanotechnology Tools Used in Cancer Diagnosis

Nanotechnology can validate cancer imaging at the tissue, cell, and molecular levels, according to current research. Its use in the development of nanomaterials, which include the following:

  1. Near Infrared (NIR) Quantum Dots
  2. Nanoshells
  3. Colloidal Gold Nanoparticles

Is Nanotechnology Now in Use?

Nanotechnology has been used for more than a decade by doctors to treat cancer. For instance,  abraxane and doxil, aid in the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs.

Abraxane is a nanoparticle made of the protein albumin and the chemotherapy drug docetaxel. It inhibits the division of cancer cells. Furthermore, this medication to treat breast cancer and pancreatic cancer that already spread to other parts of the body and non-small-cell lung cancer.

Doxil known as doxorubicin will wrap in a liposome, which is a fatty sac. It disrupts cancer genes, preventing cancer cells from dividing. This drug use to treat cancers of the ovary, multiple myeloma, and Kaposi’s sarcoma.

Does Nanotechnology for Cancer Have Side Effects?

Nanotechnology more precisely targets cancer cells while sparing healthy tissues. However, nanotechnology drugs may have fewer side effects than chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In the case of nanotechnology-based treatments, abraxane and doxil do cause side effects which are weight loss, nausea, and diarrhea.

References:

Nanotechnology, cancer, cancerous, cancer cells,  drug delivery, treatment, death, cell proliferation, organs, benign, malignant, healthy tissues, body, safer, precise, diagnosis, tumors, cancer cells, tiny scale, human cells, kill, inhibits, chemotherapy, insoluble, solubilized, lipid nanoparticle, crystalline nano suspensions, stabilized, surfactants, nanoscale, cell barrier, blood-brain barrier, biological nature, medicines, drugs, foreign substances, Nanoshells, (NIR) Quantum Dots, Colloidal Gold Nanoparticles, chemotherapy, genes, side effects.

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Raihan Ridzuan

Raihan Ridzuan, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is staff officer of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.

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Osteoporosis in women increase risk of Parkinson’s disease

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Osteoporosis in women increase risk of Parkinson's disease

senior women with osteoporosis picture

According to a recent study, a women that suffered osteoporosis are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Estrogen plays an important role to maintain bone strength. Therefore,  women that has menopause their levels of  estrogen will decrease. Hence, the rate of bone loss increases for approximately 8 to 10 years before returning to premenopausal rates. Its may lead to this disease.

“Risk of patients with early-stage PD can reduce the bone-mineral density levels and osteoporosis and PD always linked together (co-occur),” the authors said.

Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database is using retrospective cohort study to test this hypothesis. In the osteoporosis group, between 2002 and 2006 the investigator enrolled 23,495 patients with osteoporosis aged 50 to 80 years and approximately 23,495 patients without osteoporosis in the comparison group.

Age, sex, comorbid conditions, and socioeconomic status is included in this study. It will be use to rate the tendency scores.

Furthermore, about 31% in the osteoporosis group is likely to develop PD than the comparison group. Thus, patients with osteoporosis is significantly having lower PD-free survival rate compare to the comparison group (p<0.001).

In a gender-based analysis, women with osteoporosis is facing higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than men.

According to the author, “patients with osteoporosis is at high risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, and the risk appears to be greater in women.”

However, further research need to investigate the mechanisms underlying findings.

References:

Obesity and Overweight Can Affect Health Problems

Picture of body weight

Obesity and Overweight Can Affect Health Problems

Obesity is a medical condition that occurs when a person carries excess weight that might affect their health!

What are obesity and overweight?

Obesity and overweight are defined as abnormal so, excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.

Furthermore, when people eat more calories than usual over and over again, so their bodies will store the extra calories. For instance, fat may build up in their bodies.

Eventually, fat can harm the health of a person. In addition, The term “overweight” or “obese” actually has a higher chance of developing weight-related health problems. It can lead to other diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and sleep apnea. However, weight can come from muscle, bone, fat, or body water.

Above all, these diseases give a bad impact to our body. For instance, people with severe obesity are more likely to have other diseases.

Facts about overweight and obesity

The global WHO estimates, in 2016, therefore, more than 1.9 billion adults above 18 years and older were  overweight in and more than 650 million adults are obese.

Eventually a large number of the world’s population lives in countries where overweight so, their death number of obesity is however more than underweight people.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height. Therefore, It is used to define whether an individual is considered underweight, healthy, overweight and obesity. In addition, often all doctors use BMI to check patient weight at all routine check-ups.

BMIWeight status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5–24.9Healthy
25.0–29.9Overweight
30.0 and aboveObese

Health problems of being overweight and obesity

Obesity is when your body weight is abnormal. Therefore, it can lead to other diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and many more. In other words, these diseases may affect a poor quality of life, disability, or life threatening.

1. Hypertension

Obesity is the one that cause of high blood pressure. But, also known as hypertension. For instance, about three out of four patients with high blood pressure are obesity. Similarly, high blood pressure increases the risk of other conditions such as heart disease like congestive heart failure (CHF) in addition, so it can also cause stroke, and kidney disease.

2. Respiratory Disorders

Obesity and overweight are at higher risk for lung infections, asthma, and other respiratory disorders. In addition, people with obesity, around 50% to 60% therefore, have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Because, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a very serious breathing disorder and it block air passageways during sleep. Above all, this blockage causes you to stop breathing for a while.

Mostly, it may attack during your sleep at the night. However, it reduced the amount of oxygen in blood. Because, obstructive sleep apnea can cause sudden cardiac death and stroke because apnea will disrupt the normal sleep cycle, and may cause restless sleep. In addition, fatigue and drowsiness occured.

3. Heart Disease

Heart attack is a higher risk with people that have severe obesity. For instance, it increases the risk of heart failure. However, obesity in addition can associated with arrhythmias that is irregular heartbeats.

4. Diabetes

Obesity is a major cause of Type 2 diabetes. Similarly, when blood sugar is too high in your body and difficult to control, because of high blood sugar. So, type 2 diabetes can risk to death.

There can lead to:

  • Amputations (loss of limbs)
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Nerve damage and numbness
  • Hard-to-heal infections
  • Impotence

5. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Obesity has been associated with higher risk of GERD. In addition, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and heartburn, because of stomach acid or intestinal secretions lead to oesophagus damage. In other words, heartburn, indigestion, vomiting, coughing especially at night, hoarseness, and belching is the common symptoms.

6. Bone and Joint Damage

Above all, bone and joint damage may affected if you are obesity. However, it can increase the risk of personal injury and accidents. In addition,  joint diseases (arthritis), disc herniation, spinal disorders,  back pain, pseudotumor cerebri, a condition that increase the pressure in the brain and associated with confusion similarly disorientation, headache, and visual problems might occur.

7.Cancer

As body mass index (BMI) increases, so the risk of cancer and death from cancer might be increased.

These cancers include:

  • Endometrial cancer

  • Cervical cancer

  • Ovarian cancer

  • Postmenopausal breast cancer

  • Colorectal cancer

  • Esophageal cancer

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Gallbladder cancer

  • Liver cancer

  • Kidney cancer

  • Thyroid cancer

  • Prostate cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Leukemia

Above all, for people with severe obesity, the percentage of death increases for all types of cancer. So, the death rate is men is 52% and for women is 62% higher.

Other Conditions

Kidney Disease: High blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure are major causes of kidney disease and kidney failure. In addition, these conditions are even worse with people that have obesity.

Liver Disease: Obesity is the major cause for fatty liver. For instance, most people with severe obesity have fatty liver disease so, It can cause scarring at the liver, resulting in liver damage. In addition, can lead to cirrhosis.

Other conditions that could become life-threatening:  Therefore, pregnancy women that diagnosed with obesity will increases the chance of having a miscarriage, gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, and others.

What causes it?

The following picture shows causes of obesity.

Causes of obesity

How can overweight and obesity be reduced?

However, overweight and obesity as well as unrelated diseases associated with it, are largely preventable.

People can reduced by:

  • Limit the energy intake of total fats and sugars.
  • Increase diet fruit and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts.
  • Do regular physical activity everyday, In other words, at least 1 hour a day for children and 2 hours a week for adults.
  • Limit screen time.
  • Get enough good quality sleep. Because, it can  increase your productivity to burn fats.
Picture of obesity prevention

Benefits of being healthy weight

In addition, to reducing the risk of health conditions and maintain a healthy weight provides other benefits:

References:

Obesity, obese, overweight, underweight, weight, health, health problem, calories, fat, bodies, severe, diseases, WHO, men, women, BMI, check-ups, quality, CHF, OSA, sleep, sleep cycle, blockage, breathing, oxygen, cardiac death, stroke, fatigue, drowsiness, heartbeats, irregular, arrhythmias, blood sugar, risk, death, GERD, pregnancy, causes, fats, sugars, physical activity, screen time, diet, limit, benefits, sleep patterns, circulatory system, energy.

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Raihan Ridzuan

Raihan Ridzuan, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is staff officer of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.

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High Cholesterol : Types, Tests, Risk, Prevention, Treatments.

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High Cholesterol :Types, Tests, Risk, Prevention, Treatments

Picture of level cholesterol

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol actually is good for health. Our body needs cholesterol to perform and supports the normal function of cell membranes, hormone levels, and others. Moreover, if cholesterol level in your blood increased can lead to hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, or high blood cholesterol. 

Besides, if the human body having more cholesterol in the blood, it will build up inside the walls of blood vessels. This buildup is called plaque, or atherosclerosisPlaque will blocks the blood flow and cause a:

Cholesterol can be either good or bad. Furthermore, cholesterol is an oil-based substance. It does not mix with the blood, which is water-based and travels around the body in lipoproteins.

Moreover, cholesterol can be found in egg yolks, meat, and cheese and others.

Types of cholesterol

There are three types of cholesterol:

  • Low-density lipoproteins (LDL): Also known as “bad” cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol may risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • High-density lipoproteins (HDL): Also known as “good” cholesterol, it carries cholesterol back to the liver. Then, the liver flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) are particles in the blood that carry triglycerides. VLDL stands for very low-density lipoprotein.  VLDL also called as “bad” cholesterol because it buildup of plaque in arteries. However, VLDL and LDL are different which is VLDL carries triglycerides and LDL carries cholesterol.

Levels and ranges

Therefore, cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). The target range for cholesterol levels are (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020):

Lipid Profile Normal Range
Total cholesterol< 200 mg/dL
LDL (“bad”) cholesterol < 100 mg/dL
HDL (“good”) cholesterol≥ 60 mg/dL
Triglycerides< 150 mg/dL

Test to measures cholesterol

Cholesterol levels must measured at least once every five years, possibly as early as age 20 years.

Furthermore, high cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. You may also not know you are having a bad cholesterol levels in your body until sudden heart attack or stroke happen. So, it so important to check your cholesterol levels at least every 5 years.

The cholesterol screening, requires a blood sample. Therefore, before do cholesterol test, need to fasting for about 8 to 12 hours. Usually people will fast at night and do the test on the next morning.

The cholesterol test checks the levels of:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). 
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL). 
  • Triglycerides is a type of fat in your blood that your body uses for energy. The combination of high levels of triglycerides with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol levels can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • Total cholesterol is the total amount of cholesterol in the blood based on your HDL, LDL, and triglycerides numbers.

What risk factors affect cholesterol levels?

Risk factors that may raise your high cholesterol:

Age:  When get older, the cholesterol levels may rise. However, young people, such as children and teenagers also tend to have high cholesterol.

Heredity: High blood cholesterol can run in families.

Weight: Being overweight or obese also increases your cholesterol level.

Race: Some races may have an increased risk of high cholesterol. For instance, African Americans have higher HDL and LDL cholesterol levels than whites.

Diet: Saturated fat, trans fat in the food, will increase cholesterol levels. Saturated fats can make your cholesterol numbers higher, so better choose  diet that are lower in saturated fats. For instance,  red meat, butter, and cheese, have a lot of saturated fats.

Prevention

Avoid tobacco: Stop smoking. Frankly, it may reduce the number of good cholesterol in your body.

Diet: Reduce the number of trans fats and saturated fat. Eat heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, and whole grains.  Limit red meat, sugary products, and dairy products made with whole milk.

Harvard Health has identified 11 cholesterol-lowering foods that can lower cholesterol levels:

  • oats
  • barley and whole grains
  • beans
  • eggplant and okra
  • nuts
  • vegetable oil like canola and sunflower
  • fruits such as apples, grapes, strawberries, and citrus
  • soy and soy-based foods
  • fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines
  • foods rich in fiber

Exercise regularly: Try to exercise about 30 minutes per day, 3 times a week.

Lose weight: Hence, losing about 10% of your body weight can make a difference in your cholesterol levels. Get advice from your healthcare provider about the safe ways to lose weight.

Avoid negative emotions: Learn how to deal with anger, stress, and other negative emotions in your life even though is hard.

Control blood sugar and blood pressure: Make sure to follow your healthcare provider’s guidelines for blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes, to keep your blood pressure healthy.

.

Medications

There are ways to treat high cholesterol:-

Lipid-lowering therapy

Drug treatment for people with high cholesterol depends on their level of cholesterol and other risk factors.

Healthcare practitioners usually will advise to start with diet and exercise first, but people with a higher risk of a heart attack may need to take statins or other medications to treat their disease.

Statins are the leading group of cholesterol-lowering drugs. The statins available on prescription in Malaysia include:

  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor®).
  • Fluvastatin (Lescol®).
  • Lovastatin (Mevacor®).
  • Pravastatin (Pravachol®).
  • Rosuvastatin (Crestor®).
  • Simvastatin (Zocor®).

Statin medications are one of the most well-known categories of cholesterol drugs. Thus, statin work by reducing the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. Furthermore, statins work to decrease blood cholesterol and may help reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Other drugs:-

Apart from statins, a doctor may prescribe:

1. Selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors

2. Niacin is a B vitamin that affects the production of fats in the liver.

3. Bile acid sequestrants are another class of drugs used to treat high cholesterol levels. Drugs, also called resins, are attached to bile acid, which cannot be used for digestion. In response, the liver makes more bile by using more cholesterol. These drugs shall include:

  • Cholestyramine (Questran®, Questran® Light).
  • Colestipol (Colestid®).
  • ColesevelamHcl (WelChol®).

4. Fibrates are also called as fibric acid derivatives. They are more effective at reducing triglyceride levels than LDL cholesterol. It  also helps to boost the levels of HDL cholesterol. These drugs include:

  • Fenofibrate (Antara®, Tricor®, Fenoglide®, Fibricor®, Lipidil®, Lipofen®, Trilipix® and Triglide®)
  • Gemfibrozil (Lopid®)

5. Omega-3 fatty acid medications derived from fish oils work to lower high triglyceride levels.

Apart from a healthy lifestyle, some medication helps to reduce the cholesterol level in our bodies. At mayflax, we provide pharmaceutical products to the customer. Cholesterol medication is also available like Crestor® and other drug brands. If you want to deal with us, you can contact us or sign up here for more info.

References:

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Raihan Ridzuan

Raihan Ridzuan, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is staff officer of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.

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Factors That Affect Blood Pressure

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Blood Pressure-Mayflax

     High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. It is abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries, which are the blood vessels that carries blood from the heart to the whole body.

     In about 95 percent of cases, the cause of hypertension is unknown and affects many individuals who do not know they have the condition. These cases are classified as essential hypertension. However, high blood pressure is the main risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and eye problems. When blood pressure level is increased, the heart and arteries have to work harder than normal to pump blood through the body. Thus, overload may lead to thickens the muscles of the heart and arteries or damages artery walls.

     As a result, damage to the heart caused by the extra work and a lack of oxygen causes heart disease.  When blood pressure is high, the artery and blood vessel walls may be damaged over time. This leads to dangerous complications and life-threatening.

   Besides, many factors such as genes, kidney disease, some medications, and lifestyle can affect blood pressure. Lifestyle factors play a key role in balancing our blood pressure.

However, there are some known key factors that increase your risk:

1. Age

Age is one of the factors that contribute to high blood pressure. Our arteries are stiffening with age. Sixty percent of people above 60 years of age likely to have high blood pressure.

2. Exercise

Physical activity elevated the cardiac output and therefore the blood pressure. The recommended, resting after exercises is about 20 to 30 minutes for the following exercise to reduce it. 

3. Stress

Stress will stimulate the sympathetic nervous system which increases the cardiac output and vasoconstriction of the arterioles, thus, increasing the blood pressure reading.

4. Sex

Usually, after puberty, females have a lower blood pressure than males of the same age.

These differences are thought to be caused by hormonal variation. Women in general after menopause have a high blood pressure than in the past.

5. Medication

When, medications or drug that alter one or more of the previous prescription it can be one of the factors that changed blood pressure, including caffeine, diuretics that reduce blood volume, narcotics, analgesia and specific antihypertensive agents.

6. Obesity

Hypertension may be predisposed to childhood and adult obesity. Also, obesity increases the risk of developing high blood pressure by 6% over the next four years. The greatest risk is extra body fat.

7. Inheritance

Hypertension tends to occur in families. You are at higher risk of having high blood pressure if you have a close relative. In some families, genetics are strong for both parents who have high blood pressure. However, the inheritance pattern is unknown.

8. Drinking Alcohol

Researchers have concluded that there is a strong link between binge drinking alcohol and high blood pressure. Regular heavy or binge drinking can also cause significant increases in blood pressure, sometimes extreme enough to cause a stroke. However, alcohol may also have an impact on the efficacy of blood pressure-lowering drugs.

9. Smoking

Whether you smoke or people close to you do, the effects can be damage to the heart. Your heart will not work properly as before. Moreover, smoking causes your blood vessels to shrink which making your heart work even harder.

10. Too much salt

Salt, or sodium chloride, has been used to flavor and preserve foods for thousands of years and is also found in a wide variety of foods.

When sodium increases in our blood, the blood vessels will retain water and try to balance the sodium concentration. As a result, this extra water increases the volume of blood in vessels that cause high blood pressure.

Taking too much salt can cause high blood pressure. The maximum recommended intake of salt is less than 6 grams per day.

Tips to help improve blood pressure

Figure 1. Tips to improve blood pressure.

  • Reduce salt intake
  • Consume a balanced diet

  • Maintain a healthy body weight

  • Be physically active

  • Limit alcohol intake

  • Don’t smoke

What Is the Blood Pressure Range?

A blood pressure reading is 120/80. The top number “120” is called the systolic, and bottom number “80”  is called the diastolic. The ranges are:

  • Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)
  • Elevated: 120-129/less than 80
  • Stage 1 high blood pressure: 130-139/80-89
  • Stage 2 high blood pressure: 140 and above/90 and above
  • Hypertension crisis: higher than 180/higher than 120  

Steps to measuring blood pressure

Picture of steps checking BP

Figure 2. Steps to measuring blood pressure

In summary, hypertension is one of the main risk factors for the development of heart disease and stroke. Our blood pressure is influenced by several factors. So, we need to stop smoking, stay active, eat balance diet and limit the intakes of salt and alcohol to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Not just all that, medication also important to treat who are diagnosed with this disease.

At mayflax, we provide pharmaceutical products to a clinic and hospital. We also serve hypertension medications. Thus, by dealing with us, you will be able to enjoy a large selection of pharmaceutical products at affordable prices.

If you want to know more about us, you can contact us or sign up here.

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Raihan Ridzuan, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is staff officer of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.

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Depression and Anxiety During a Pandemic: 9 Common Tips

Anxiety and Depression- Mayflax

Depression and Anxiety During a Pandemic: 9 Common Tips

The pandemic has caused a mental strain on many people around the world. And for those living with anxiety and depression, the impact is severe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Many aspects of everyday life, including mental health, have been affected. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our physical, economic, and mental well-being. As a result, many people face struggles that can be frustrating, daunting, and cause adults and children to have strong emotions.

However, social distancing and stay-at-home orders are very challenging, especially for people living with mental illness, COVID-19 exacerbates feelings of depression and anxiety.

Thus, during the Movement Control Order (MCO), with the limited movement, closed borders, and roadblocks, some individuals easily get heightened temperament and irritability at home.

Dr. Robert Leahy an attending psychologist at New York-Presbyterian said: “This is the perfect storm for depression and anxiety,”.

All data and statistics are based on the short article “Prevalence  of  Anxiety, Stress,  Depression  among  Malaysian  Adults during COVID-19 Pandemic Movement Control Order”.

Therefore, the  prevalence  in a score  of Stress  70%  (Mean=2.02), Anxiety  67%  (Mean=1.71) and Depression  42.3% (Mean=2.28). There is a significant prevalence of psychological health problems among adults during adverse events due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Movement Control Order.

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to felt hopeless and despair. But these tips can help to improve your mood and ease your mental health problem.

1. Keep a schedule

Schedule your day with useful things. At the end of the day, check everything and make a list of things to do for the next day, so you can look forward to things.

Furthermore, create a set of goals for the week and month. This is the right time to set short-term and long-term goals.

2. Sleep well

Prioritizing sleep is not always easy when you are in a state of mental health. Stress, Anxiety, and Depression can affect the quality of your sleep.

Therefore, poor sleep can also lead to depression. Fixed your daytime habits and sleep routine can help improve how well you sleep at night and reduce the symptoms of depression.

Finding relaxing activities such as reading, writing a journal, or listening to slow music can cause your brain to slow down before bed.

3. Connect with others

Just because we are isolated does not mean we have to completely isolate ourselves. Make a list of friends to contact whenever you feel bored and lonely. Always stay connected with others !

Set a regular time each day to contact others, and schedule virtual get-togethers on online platforms to talk or share your problem and maybe even play games. Stay in touch with friends, family, and especially the mental health care team if you are diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

4. Find simple sources of joy.

Encourage yourself to do things that will boost your mood throughout the day. Try to listen to uplifting music and dancing around if you can as long as can make you happy all day long.

Alternatively, you can watch funny videos or favorite sitcoms on TV, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. Spending time in nature such as walking in the park, or playing with your kids or a pet also can relieve stress.

5. Eat a mood-boosting diet

In times of stress, people always find “comfort foods” such as unhealthy fats, sugar, and refined carbs to release their stress and depression. Therefore, drinks too much caffeine and alcohol also can adversely affect our mood.

Moreover, wholesome foods, fresh food such as salmon, codfish can increase your intake of mood-enhancing nutrients.

6. Stay informed and limit social media usage.

Nowadays, the government always announces information that constantly changes regarding SOP. It is important to stay up-to-date but not to overconsuming sensationalistic news or unreliable social media coverage. This makes your mind full of negative thought and fear.

Limit how often you check the news or social media and limit yourself to reputable sources. Thus, healthcare professionals also recommend not checking the news at least one hour before bedtime.

7. Exercise

Importantly, physical activity is good for mental health. Scientific research has shown that exercise, especially in particular aerobic exercise, can be beneficial for depression and anxiety.

Exercise will release good hormones and lowers your stress hormones. Since covid-19, you cannot go to the gym or fitness studios, try online broadcasts, YouTube workouts, or use the equipment at home to exercise.

Besides that, you can go running or cycling as long as you stay a safe distance away from others who are passing by.

8. Continue treatment or services from mental health professionals

If you are undergoing therapy, taking medication, or both before coronavirus started, make sure to keep up with your treatment regimen. Almost all psychiatrists or mental health professionals are now used online practices like video calls.

Alternatively, you can try an online therapy platform like WhatsApp video, Zoom, Webex, and others.

9. Practice gratefulness and mindfulness

During challenging times, be grateful and mindful can help to cope with anxiety and depression.

“When we take note of the good things in our lives, it bumps up the feel-good hormones of serotonin and dopamine,” said Serani.

As we know, practicing mindfulness meditation is very popular for overcoming depression, anxiety, and stress adds Guttentag.

Also, you can start the practice by taking a few minutes to sit or lying down and try to focus on your breathing. Besides, train your mind to get rid of negative thoughts and feelings to stay away from you.

Counseling and hotlines mental health services in Malaysia

If you are struggling to cope, there are many ways to get help. Contact a healthcare provider if the sign of anxiety, and depression get in the way of your daily activities for many days and also if you are in crisis, immediately get help such as:-

  • Call 999
  • Talian Kasih at 15999
  • Befrienders (main suicide hotlines in Malaysia): 03-7627 2929/ 03-79568145
  • Malaysian Mental Health Association: 03-2780 6803
  • People Psychological Solutions : 017-899 2207
  • HELP University’s Centre for Psychological and Counselling Services (CPCS): 03-2096 1212
  • The Mind Faculty KL: 03-2780 6803
  • HumanKind Community Counselling (victims of physical and sexual abuse): 012-300 5453
  • Soul Mechanics: 010-252 1734 (Gia) / 019-395 9211 (Devi)
  • MentCouch Psychology Centre: 03-2712 9372

Depression and anxiety are soaring and there are many fears that we will face an epidemic of mental health.

COVID-19, make life very difficult for everyone, but they may pose an even bigger challenge for people with depression. Depression is a serious mental health condition that can give a huge impact on people’s lives.

However, depression can be treated. Even in this pandemic, it is important to continue to seek treatment and stick with it until you get cured.

Therefore, there are self tests that you can answer to check whether you have anxiety or depression, if the score tells you are having these mental health issues you need to see the doctors who specialize in psychiatry to diagnosed your disease. We cannot simply just do the test only. These self tests ask some important questions that can help you to know where you are at so you can make a sooner plan for feeling better.

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Raihan Ridzuan

Raihan Ridzuan, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is staff officer of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.

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Improper Inhaler Technique: Affect Asthma Control

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Improper Inhaler Technique: Affect Asthma Control

Healthcare professionals can support patients in optimizing their technique by examining the effects of the sub-optimal inhaler.

Inhalers used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Thus, inhalation techniques play a major role in improving drug adherence.

About 92% people with asthma use their device incorrectly. Improper inhaler have been reported in children and adults, including experienced inhaler users

Moreover, improper inhaler technique can prevent drugs from reaching to lungs. It can be effective if the patient used in correct ways. Good inhalation techniques are very important to maximize the benefits of these drugs.

Hence, the correct technique depends on what type of inhaler. Some inhaler steps differ according to the type  of inhaler.

Besides, healthcare professionals must be proficient in how to use correctly of each inhaler device and need to be aware of common mistakes so they can confidently demonstrate in front of patients.

However, you can purchase the inhaler with doctor’s prescription at any pharmacy, and healthcare professional can buy from any pharmaceutical company such as Mayflax.

Types of Asthma Devices

    Common inhaler are used to deliver asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) medications which are metered dose inhalers (MDIs), dry powder inhalers (DPIs), and soft mist inhalers (SMIs).

Meanwhile, each type of inhaler has advantages and disadvantages. Below,  the various types and technique of inhaler medical device :-

1. Pressurised metered dose inhaler (PMDI)

Description

  • Drug is stored under pressure in the metal canister
  • A fine mist of medication is released upon pressing the canister that can be inhaled into the lungs
  • Works well with a valved holding chamber (VHC) or spacer.

How to use?

  1. First, need to remove cap.
  2. Second, hold inhaler upright and shake well.
  3. Third, breathe out gently and away from inhaler.
  4. Fourth, put mouthpiece between teeth without bite and close lips to form a good seal.
  5. Start to breathe in slowly and deeply. At the same time, press the inhaler device.
  6. Hence, hold breath for 5 to 10 seconds.
  7. While holding breath, remove inhaler from mouth.
  8. Breathe out gently and away from the inhaler.
  9. Repeat dose if needed and replace cap.
  10. Lastly, clean device if necessary after use.
Picture of metered dose inhaler

Available Brand in Malaysia

  • Ventolin® MDI (Salbutamol)
  • Flixotide MDI (Fluticasone)
  • Flutiform® MDI (Fluticasone/Formoterol)
  • Foster®  MDI (Beclometasone/Formoterol)
  • Alvesco® MDI (Ciclesonide)

2. Tuberhaler

Description

  • Dry powder inhaler (DPI)
  • No coordination required
  • Device dispenses a small amount of very fine powder directly into the lungs
  • Comes with a dose indicator

How to use?

  1. First, need to unscrew and remove cover.
  2. Second, check dose counter.
  3. Third,  keep inhaler upright while twisting grip at the base.
  4. Twist around and then back until click is heard.
  5. Then, breathe out gently, and away from the inhaler.
  6. Fourth, put mouthpiece between teeth without bite and close lips to form good seal
  7. Do not cover the air vents.
  8. Breathe in strongly and deeply.
  9. Fifth, hold breath about 5 to 10 seconds.
  10. Hence, remove the device before breathing out fully.
  11. If more than one dose is needed, repeat all steps starting from step 3.
  12. Lastly, replace cover and clean the device if necessary.
PIcture of taking tuberhaler

Available Brand in Malaysia

  • Symbicort® Turbuhaler (Budesonide/Formoterol)
  • Pulmicort® Turbuhaler (Budesonide)
  • Bricanyl® Turbuhaler (Terbutaline)

3. Respimat soft mist inhaler

Description

  • Dispenses fine and easy to inhale droplets directly deep into the lungs.
  • Requires very less effort during inhalation
  • Comes with a dose indicator

 How to use?

  1. Hold inhaler upright with the cap closed.
  2. Then, turn base in direction of arrows on label until it clicks. Half a turn.
  3. Open the cap until it snaps fully open.
  4. Breathe out gently, and away from inhaler.
  5. Moreover, put mouthpiece in mouth and close lips to form a good seal.
  6. After that, start to breathe in slowly and deeply through mouth;
  7. And at the same time, press down on the dose button.
  8. Continue to breathe in slowly and deeply.
  9. Hold breath for 5 to 10 seconds.
  10. While holding breath, remove inhaler from mouth.
  11. Breathe out gently, away from mouthpiece.
  12. Close cover to click shut.
  13.  If you need two doses, repeat from step 1 to get the full dose.
Picture of taking Respimat soft mist inhaler

Available Brand in Malaysia

  • Spriva Respimat® (Tiotropium)

4. Accuhaler

Description

  • Dry powder inhaler (DPI)
  • No coordination required
  • Device dispenses a small amount of very fine powder directly into the lungs
  • Comes with a dose indicator

How to use?

  1. Check dose counter.
  2. Open cover using thumb grip.
  3. Load dose.
  4. Keep device horizontal or upright while sliding lever until it clicks and do not shake.
  5. Then, breathe out gently but not into device.
  6. Put mouthpiece in mouth, without biting and close lips to form a good seal. 
  7. Breathe in quickly and deeply.
  8. After that, hold breath for a count of ten.
  9. While holding breath, remove inhaler from mouth.
  10. Slowly breathe out.
  11. If more than one dose is needed, repeat all steps starting from step 3.
  12. Close cover to click shut.
  13. Clean device if necessary after use.
Picture of Accuhaler

Available Brand in Malaysia

  • Seretide® Accuhaler (Salmeterol/Fluticasone)

5. Ellipta

Description

  • Medication is stored under pressure in the metal canister
  • A fine mist of medication is released upon pressing the canister that can be inhaled into the lungs
  • Works well with a valved holding chamber (VHC) or spacer.

How to use?

  1. First, check dose counter and do not shake.
  2. Second, slide cover down until click is heard.
  3. Third, breathe out away from inhaler.
  4. Fourth, put mouthpiece in mouth and close lips to form a good seal;
  5. And do not block air vent with fingers.
  6. Then, breathe in steadily and deeply.
  7. Fifth, hold breath about 5 to 10 seconds.
  8. While holding breath, remove inhaler from mouth.
  9. After that, breathe out gently, and away from inhaler.
  10. Slide the cover upwards as far as it will go, to cover the mouthpiece.
  11. Lastly, rinse your mouth with water and spit it out for a steroid-containing inhaler.

Available Brand in Malaysia

  • Ventolin® MDI (Salbutamol)
  • Flixotide MDI (Fluticasone)
  • Flutiform® MDI (Fluticasone/Formoterol)
  • Foster®  MDI (Beclometasone/Formoterol)
  • Alvesco® MDI (Ciclesonide)
Picture of taking ellipta

Common Errors with Inhaler Technique

  • Not breathing with the proper way.
  • Breathing in too early and too late when pressing the inhaler canister.
  • Forget to shake the inhaler before use.
  • Not waiting for the next puff. Some inhalers, need to wait at least 30 to 60 seconds before taking the next puff.
  • Hence, not breathing out before using the inhaler and does not have  a tight lip seal.
  • Not lifting your chin slightly before breathing in. 
  • Furthermore, not holding your breath after taking the inhaler;
  • As well as, not using a spacer when needed.

Guidance of How To Use Your Asthma Devices?

This video shown how to use different types of inhalers. 

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Raihan Ridzuan, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is staff officer of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.

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