Tdap, DTaP, Td, DT… What are all these letters?!
Everyone has heard of the Tdap, DTaP, Td, and DT vaccines, but what do they stand for? When do we receive them? Why are they so important to get? Let’s break it down from letter to letter.
T stands for tetanus. Tetanus is, in other words, when your head and neck muscles are almost impossible to move. This can cause difficulty in opening your mouth, swallowing, and sometimes breathing. This infection is caused by Clostridium tetani; this bacteria normally lives in the soil, dust, and manure. It can be transferred into your body from deep wounds from knives and nails.
D stands for diphtheria. Diphtheria, in other words, is when a thick mucus coats the back of your throat, which can make it difficult to swallow and breathe (kind of like tetanus). This infection is caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae; this bacteria lives in the mouths, throats, and noses of people which can end up transferring to another person if the infected person coughs or sneezes.
P stands for pertussis. Pertussis is also known as “whopping cough.” This is when you have cough attacks that can cause vomiting and difficulty breathing, which would result in poor sleep quality. This infection is caused by Bordetella pertussis. A person can be infected by it if they have direct contact with fluids from the nose or mouth of infected people.
Next, what does the “a” stand for and why are certain letters capitalized while others aren’t? The “a” in Tdap and DTaP stands for acellular. Now what is acellular, you may ask. Many vaccines contain the entire virus or bacteria that it is protecting the body from, but in some cases, certain parts of the virus or bacteria are used instead of the whole component– so in Tdap, the pertussis bacteria is being partially used. The capitalized letters in both vaccines mark the bacteria that has a higher level than the lower-case letters—DTaP contains high levels of all 3 bacteria while Tdap contains a higher level of tetanus compared to diphtheria and pertussis. Td contains more tetanus than diphtheria and DT contains high levels of both diphtheria and tetanus. Now that we have explained the vaccines themselves, let’s break down when you should receive them!
• Preteens between 11-12 years of age should receive 1 dose of Tdap to help boost their immunity after receiving DTaP during their childhood. If you or someone you know has not received a Tdap vaccine by 11-12 years of age, it is recommended to get one dose at their next visit to the doctor’s office or a pharmacy.
• Tdap is also recommending for woman during every pregnancy, see more information on this below.
• Do NOT get Tdap if you are younger than 7 years of age
• 10 years after receiving Tdap, every adult should receive a Td vaccine to keep their immunity strong! In case an adult has not received the Tdap vaccine before, they should get the
• Do NOT get Td if you are younger than 7 years of age.
• Given 5 times throughout a child’s initial years at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15-18 months, and 4-6 years of age.
• Do NOT get DTaP if you are 7 years of age or older.
• Given to children who SHOULD NOT receive the whooping cough (pertussis) part of the vaccine such as an allergic reaction to DTaP.
• Do NOT get DT if you are 7 years of age or older.
You may not like needles or even the idea of vaccines (it won’t cause autism—read here: https://www.publichealth.org/public-awareness/understanding-vaccines/vaccine-myths-debunked/), but it will protect you from the previously mentioned diseases that, if left unvaccinated, could eventually lead to death. It won’t just protect you, but if you are around babies or toddlers (who have not yet been fully vaccinated), you will help protect them as well. It is highly recommended that anyone who is in contact with a newborn should receive the Tdap vaccine at least 2 weeks prior to meeting them, if they have not previously received it. Pregnant women should also receive the Tdap vaccine during every pregnancy during weeks 28-40 (third trimester). The part of the vaccine that is the most important for a newborn to be protected against is pertussis; if they catch the bacteria for whooping cough, it will cause life-threatening reactions and potentially lead to death! We always want to ensure that pregnant women are safe against any bacteria or virus, which would also protect the baby.
Because this is an important vaccine that all children and adults should receive, it’s important that this further be discussed with your pharmacist or a doctor. Any questions? Ask your Bremo pharmacist today or visit our website at https://bremorx.com/.
Arzu F. Moosvi
Virginia Commonwealth University PharmD candidate 2020
What you should know about CBD oil? Benefits, side effects, and legality
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is an extract derived from Cannabis sativa (marijuana plant). CBD oil contains only CBD as the active ingredient after excluding tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] or terpenes. It does not have the same psychoactivity but becomes an effective sedative and hallucinogenic substance, an eminent cure for relieving pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs. The oil is made from the CBD extract of the cannabis plant and further diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.
Due to its therapeutic benefit, CBD is gaining momentum in the health sciences in order to ease chronic pain and anxiety.
What are its uses?
- As a pain relief
The human body produces endocannabinoids, a neurotransmitter that binds to cannabinoid receptors in order to regulate vital functions of the nervous system including pain. CBD impacts the endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interaction with neurotransmitters. Henceforth it has been shown effective in reducing pain in diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- As antidepressant
CBD has the ability to act on the brain’s serotonin receptors that regulate neurological activities like mood, anxiety, aggression, and social behavior. Hence it is used as a treatment for insomnia, anxiety, depression, or any post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Reduce cancer-related symptoms
The chemotherapy involved in the cancer treatment induces certain symptoms like nausea, pain, or cognitive issues. A study shows that a one-to-one combination of CBD and THC administered via mouth spray reduces chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting. CBD helps to reduce symptoms related to cancer and even contains cancer-fighting properties.
- Prevents acne
CBD oil prevents sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum and even strives for anti-inflammatory actions by restricting the activation of “pro-acne” agents like inflammatory cytokines.
- Neuroprotective property
Since CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system and other receptors of the neural system, it shows a valued impact in treating neurological disorders like epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
- Heart Health
CBD has powerful antioxidant and stress-reducing properties that help in reducing the inflammation and cell death associated with the heart. Due to such anti-anxiety and stress properties, CBD may help lower blood pressure.
CBD or CBD oil shouldn’t be used without medical prescription or supervision. Verify the proper method and use it with your doctor to ensure your safety and avoid potentially harmful interactions.
- Changes in appetite and weight
- It can certainly interfere with undergoing medications.
Though there is much to be researched about the efficacy and safety of CBD, recent studies prove it as a safe, powerful natural treatment for many health issues. The legality of the CBD depends upon its nature and derivation like Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal for medical use at the central level but still illegal under some state laws. The Marijuana-derived CBD is illegal under the central level but remains legal under some state laws. However, the nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved.