Cooper Drug Store Blog

Can Local Honey Help With Seasonal Allergies?

Thursday, February 9 2012 3:17 PM - by Brett Kappelmann

As the winter wraps up and we head into the spring, we know that the sniffles and sneezing for many people are on their way as well.  What I’m speaking about is seasonal allergies, commonly caused by the release of pollen spores by blossoming flowers in the spring.  There is a theory that honey, especially honey produced locally, can actually reduce the severity of allergies from those allergic to pollen.  But how does that work?

The answer is actually quite interesting.  At this point it is just theory, but the idea behind eating honey is kind of like gradually vaccinating the body against allergens, a process called immunotherapy. Honey contains a variety of the same pollen spores that give allergy sufferers so much trouble when flowers and grasses are in bloom. Introducing these spores into the body in small amounts by eating honey should make the body accustomed to their presence and decrease the chance an immune system response like the release of histamine will occur. Since the concentration of pollen spores found in honey is low -- compared to, say, sniffing a flower directly -- then the production of antibodies shouldn't trigger symptoms similar to an allergic reaction.  Ideally, the honey-eater won't have any reaction at all.

Local honey is supposed to pack more of a punch against allergies.  This proximity increases the chances that the varieties of flowering plants and grasses giving the allergy sufferer trouble are the same kinds the bees are including in the honey they produce. After all, it wouldn't help much if you ate honey with spores from a type of grass that grows in Augusta, Georgia if you suffer from allergies in Augusta, Kansas.

So support your local beekeepers before picking up honey from the grocery store produced by bees miles and miles away.  That decision may just be beneficial to your health!  I am happy to announce that we sell honey produced locally by beekeeper Richard Harvey at Cooper Drug Store.  Stop by and see us!

Vaccinations now being offered at Cooper Drug Store

Wednesday, February 1 2012 3:19 PM - by Brett Kappelmann

I am pleased to announce that you can now receive the shingles vaccination at your hometown pharmacy, Cooper Drug Store.  We also plan on rolling out flu shots starting the fall of 2012.  We have been dispensing the shingles vaccine over the last several years, but only until late last fall were we able to actually administer the vaccine.  The vaccine is generally covered by most Medicare Part D plans, although copays differ from one plan to the next.  There is a nominal vaccination fee that is normally covered by most Medicare Part D plans.  Please give us a call at 775-2289 and ask for Rachel to set up an appointment.

Almost 1 out of 3 people in the United States will develop shingles during their lifetime. And, older people are at a greater risk for developing shingles.  The only way to reduce the risk of developing shingles is to get vaccinated.  The shingles vaccine (Zostavax®) was recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in 2006 to reduce the risk of shingles and its associated pain in people age 60 years and older.

Your risk for developing shingles increases as you age. The Shingles Prevention Study involved individuals age 60 years and older and found the shingles vaccine significantly reduced disease in this age group. The vaccine is currently recommended for persons 60 years of age and older. Even people who have had shingles can receive the vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease.

At this time, CDC does not have a recommendation for routine use of shingles vaccine in persons 50 through 59 years old. However, the vaccine is approved by FDA for people 50 and older. It is available by prescription from a healthcare professional. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about the shingles vaccine.  We hope to see you soon!