Food Allergies and the Pharmacy

My first post on my first (and only) blog

9 Comments

The past few months have really opened my eyes to the unique position I have in regards to food allergies (FA) and medication. Since my son was diagnosed with SEVERE allergies to egg, soy, peanuts (PN) and tree nuts (TN), I have become an enthusiastic food allergy education advocate (especially in regards to educating pharmacists and pharmacy techs as well as helping the newly diagnosed navigate some of the immediate necessities of dealing with food allergies). I grew up used to food allergies–my sister has a milk protein allergy.  But, until I really had to contend with multiple severe food allergies as a mom, I didn’t have the true understanding of what it meant to live with FA.

This blog is not meant to replace the relationship that you have with your pharmacist. As a matter of fact, my hope is that this blog will enhance the relationship you have with your pharmacist. It is my belief that the pharmacist (and pharmacy tech) is the BEST and LAST line of defense when it comes to food allergies and medicine. That being said, most pharmacists and pharmacy techs are unaware of the food allergies that are hidden in the medications they dispense. It’s not that they don’t care, it is honestly that they just DON’T KNOW.  Pharmacists are not formally educated about food allergies; at this point, unless they have been personally affected by food allergies, it’s not even on their radar. One of my goals is to make food allergy questioning a staple at every pharmacy.

I have been working in various pharmacy settings as an intern and ultimately as a pharmacist (with a Doctorate of Pharmacy) for close to 14 years. These experiences have allowed me to educate thousands of people about medication “adverse reactions” (aka side effects), use and storage, as well as insurance issues and food allergies. I will always strive to give up-to-date, factual information.  I will also cite and, when possible, link sources so that everyone may read the data and become empowered to ask questions!  That being said, please keep in mind that the art and science of medicine is always changing.  Just like we read ingredient labels before each purchase because recipes change, inactive ingredients in medications change and studies discover new links and interactions. We must be vigilant with medications just as we would with food.  Any information discussed should be verified with your healthcare provider as you and your provider decide what is best for your particular situation. Ultimately, I want everyone to use this information as a jumping off point to speak with your pharmacist, allergist, etc., to open lines of communication, and to ask the questions that need to be addressed with regards to food allergies and medications. You are your best advocate. Education is the key.

Finally, I would like to thank Homa Woodrum of http://ohmahdeehness.wordpress.com/ for encouraging me to start this blog.

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Tiffany PharmD Food Allergy Pharmacist

I am the sister of a milk protein allergy individual and the mother of a son who has multiple food allergies. E is ANA with eggs but also severely allergic to soy, peanuts, and tree nuts. I also happen to have a Doctorate in Pharmacy with experience in various pharmacy settings. I have informally advocated and educated pharmacists/pharmacy techs about food allergies and how those allergies come into play in a pharmacy setting for years. I finally decided to make that advocacy formal.

9 thoughts on “My first post on my first (and only) blog

  1. So excited to see your blog! I just shared it on twitter, I think it is a great niche and so important as well. Looking forward to reading more!

  2. Oh, how we need you in the blogosphere! Pharmacies’ awareness of food allergy issues is sorely lacking, and as you said, it just isn’t on their radar and I hope you can put it there, for them! Thank you for taking up the cause!

  3. Congratulations! Thank you, looking forward to more posts from you!

  4. WELCOME. When I started blogging there was so little info on the web about FA in 2006. I am so excited that you are doing this. Welcome to the web! My son is allergic to milk, egg, peanut, beef, and pork. It was so scary to have a kid with so many allergies and in those days I felt oh so alone for a long time. Glad you are doing this!

    • My son was diagnosed a in the late fall of 2008. I spent 4 hours grocery shopping the first time after that and I thought “oh my gosh, what can this kid eat?!”. It was scary. Thanks for the welcome!

  5. Pingback: Ingredient Disclosures for Prescription Medications (or: A Worthy Cause) | Oh Mah Deehness!

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