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Reminder: Check Your Medications Before Heading Back-to-School

Going back to school next month?  Here are some medication reminders to help prepare.

Taking Insulin?  Check your glucagon

If you take insulin, it’s best to have glucagon available in the event of severe hypoglycemia.

Glucagon injections, as with all medications, have an expiry.  Before school starts is a good time to check your supply to be sure it isn’t expired.

Glucagon is now also available in a nasal powder version, called Baqsimi.  The nasal spray version is very easy to use (no injection training required) and tends to have a longer expiry date.

Have severe allergies?  Check your epinephrine injection

If you have life-threatening allergies, you likely have been prescribed an epinephrine injection.  Before school starts is a good time to check your supply to be sure it isn’t expired, especially if you must leave one at school or the daycare centre.

In Canada, there are 3 auto-injection device versions of this:

  • EpiPen – in 0.15mg and 0.3mg strengths
  • Allerject – in 0.15mg and 0.3mg strengths, with a built-in “talking box” giving the user directions
  • Emerade – in 0.3mg and 0.5mg strengths

The 0.5mg strength is no typo – it’s a newer, higher dose version.  If you need help to know which strength of epinephrine device you should get, or have coverage question, please contact our Diabetes Depot pharmacist [email protected]

Are you a university student?  Consider having an “emergency box”

If you take insulin, you already know it’s a good idea to have glucagon on hand.  Just also make sure your housemates or residence friends know when to use it, where you keep it and how to use it, if required. 

Here are some other items to consider putting together in an “emergency box”:

  • If you use an insulin pump, extra batteries are always good to have around
  • First aid supplies – an inexpensive way to have these items on hand is to get a mini first aid kit from the dollar store
  • Tweezers – especially if you are in a tick-prone area or will be making excursions into the woods
  • Over-the-counter medications such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain – because when you have a headache is exactly when you don’t want to have to go out to get something for it
  • Naloxone kit – even if you do not take recreational drugs, this is something to have on hand that may save someone else’s life.  And they are available free from pharmacies.
  • Flashlight and batteries

Your Diabetes Depot Pharmacist

Have questions about your medications?  Need to get others in your care circle trained in case of an emergency?  Diabetes Depot is operated by LMC Pharmacy-Brampton.   Our Certified Diabetes Educator pharmacists are here to help with titrations, medication concerns, coverage questions, and group training for items such as glucagon and epinephrine.  Our LMC Certified Pump Trainers are also here to help troubleshoot with your pump.  These services are available at no charge to Ontario clients of Diabetes Depot.  Contact us at [email protected]

Have a great, safe and healthy school year!

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