Cataracts, Cholesterol & Prescriptions
Today’s Subject –
Cataracts, Cholesterol & Prescriptions…
…In case you haven’t already guessed – this blog is not for the “younger than 25” folks out there :)
I just saw a commercial for Niaspan!
About a month ago, I went to my eye doctor in the States, just for a yearly checkup. I had been wondering about cataracts because almost everyone we know have had “the” cataract operation, including Dick.
Well, they found the faint appearance of a cataract – not anything to bother with yet. But they also found, after a thorough exam, some small traces of plaque (cholesterol) on the back of my eye. I was told it’s nothing to worry about, but they want to keep an eye on the situation, and that I should see my primary doctor with that information. She, my eye doctor, could actually see the minuscule spots with her little magnifier (She showed me the pictures too) when she was checking for other abnormalities.
After some tests at my primary – docs in the States do love tests – I was given a prescription for Niaspan…my doc said Niaspan actually can help “dispel” plaque… and that would be a good thing – not only for my eye.
So, off to the drug store in the States, where I dropped off my prescription and told them I’d be back the next day to pick it up.
The next day, we headed over to pick my new medication up – Niaspan. When the druggist handed me my order, he asked, “Do you know what the price of this prescription is?” Of course, I said, “no”. And with a hint of embarrassment coming to his face, he replied – $202.87 for a three-month supply – and that was my with my insurance. To which I replied “You have got to be kidding – is there a generic?” “No, not in the States,” he quickly came back with. I handed the sack with the prescription back to him and said that I needed to go home and think about that. “No problem” was his sincere reply.
That evening, I just happened to call my son, and the subject of my trip to the drugstore came up. “Mom, Niaspan is nothing but niacin and you can get it at any store”. So, I started to check that info out, on the computer.
It is true there is no generic for Niaspan – won’t be until 2013. BUT – Niaspan is basically nothing but time-released niacin. And probably now is as good a time as any to type in my disclaimer – you know – I’m not a doctor – I offer no medical information, but, if you’re interested in learning about a B-complex vitamin, I offer this – just my opinion: Niacin is a B-complex vitamin. Niacin is part of a coenzyme needed for energy metabolism and helps maintain healthy functions of the nervous system, digestive system and skin. Niacin is used to reduce the amount of cholesterol and certain fatty substances in your blood. (That’s what I was interested in.)
Now, you can choose to take plain Niacin which is available over the counter, but you will probably have “hot flashes” or sudden “flushing” – gentle hot flashes. But, if you buy your Niacin over the Internet, you can find Time-release Niacin for a whole lot less than I was quoted by the druggist, and most likely you will not experience the hot flashes – and who needs those?
I take my pill in the evening before heading to bed, and have not experienced any problem from the heat sensation. One son took plain niacin and he said he was really plagued by the hot flashes. He then ordered the time-release version and the hot flashes disappeared.
I got my time-released Niacin in Mexico – 100 pills (over three month’s supply) for $24.95. Thank goodness for Mexico – but, for those of you who can’t take advantage of Mexico, there is always the Internet. Good health to all of you.