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Pharmacists bridge gap between mental health care and primary health care systems

A 53-year-old man from northern Minnesota had been seeing his mental health doctor for years, but never received care from a primary care doctor. When the man noticed heart-related side effects from his medications, it was time for him to seek primary care. But since he had never seen a primary care doctor in his lifetime, the process of setting up an appointment, sitting in the waiting room and seeing a new doctor was overwhelming.

Mark Schneiderhan, Pharm.D., a Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist, and an associate professor in the College of Pharmacy in Duluth, says the process of going to a primary care doctor can prevent mentally ill patients from seeking primary care, an essential piece to their overall health care.

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u-of-m-voices

College of Pharmacy’s Dean Speedie steps down as College reaches 2nd in the Nation

A lot can change in twenty years. From a program shift to a doctoral degree, to an addition of another location in Duluth, Dean Marilyn Speedie has been with the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy through a wide range of exciting moments. As she prepares to step down as dean in early 2017 and transition to a faculty appointment, Speedie is leaving the College of Pharmacy better than when she started. In fact, the school was just ranked the number 2 Pharmacy school in the country by US News and World Report.

We sat down with Speedie to ask her about her time here in the College of Pharmacy and how it will continue to move forward and serve the needs of Minnesota.

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education

Safe practices for over-the-counter pain medications

At the first sign of a headache or sore back, many of us reach for a bottle of over-the-counter pain medication. Advil, Tylenol and aspirin are commonplace in many of our medicine cabinets, and because they are over-the-counter medications, we think they are safer than prescription medications. As a result, we often overlook the recommended dosages on the back of the pill bottle.

According to Jean Moon, Pharm.D., assistant professor in the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, over-the-counter pain medications can be just as harmful to your body as prescription medications when used incorrectly.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Used medications causing serious harm to the environment: how you can help

Medications are causing serious harm to the environment.

It’s well known that improperly discarded medications are seeping into our water system, but research shows that medications are also entering the water supply from our feces and urine. In fact, up to 90 percent of certain drugs will end up in the water system.

“When we talk about pharmaceutical waste, we don’t usually talk about the leftover medications that are not used,” Lowell Anderson, Dsc, professor in the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, said. “We don’t talk about the medications that we ingest and are excreted in some form.”

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expert-perspectives

UMN Expert: Antidepressant use later in pregnancy linked to autism

A recent Star Tribune article highlighted a study published in JAMA Pediatrics that found, “Women who took a class of widely used antidepressants during their second and third trimesters of pregnancy were roughly twice as likely as those who did not to have a child who would later receive a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, says a new study.”

Health Talk spoke with Jean Moon, associate professor in the College of Pharmacy, to find out what this means for pregnant women who are taking antidepressants, specifically SSRIs that include medications like Prozac, Zoloft and Lexapro.

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education

It takes a village: volunteers teach future healthcare professionals how to connect with patients

It’s a common occurrence: Patients leave the doctor’s office more confused than when they arrived. Healthcare practitioners are good at their jobs, but often lack the communication skills needed to work with patients and explain their decisions.

That’s why the University of Minnesota has partnered with the community to teach pharmacy, medical and nursing students how to connect with their patients through affective communication.

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