Wellness Solutions Blog

thoughts from our expert team

About Justin Ceravolo

Justin Ceravolo, also known as J.T., earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Florida A&M University’s College of Pharmacy in 2012. That same year, J.T. began working in Florida’s Panhandle before becoming a new member of the Cypress Pharmacy family in October of 2012. Cypress Pharmacy believes that each patient, whether he or she is a human or pet, should be given their own special attention and service. J.T. strives to continue advancing Cypress Pharmacy’s already phenomenal reputation. J.T. hopes to continue building strong relationships with all his patients and will continue to do all that is necessary to promote their well-being. Whether you need your medication in another compounded form or you simply need advice, J.T. will ensure fast and efficient service that goes above and beyond your average pharmacy.

How to Stay Protected During Allergy Season

allergy season

It’s that time of year again – the sniffling, sneezing and suffering of allergy season caused by the telltale yellow dust that blankets Southwest Florida for months.

With longer and warmer seasons each year, the spring and fall pollen is literally and figuratively growing worse. Right now, the biggest offenders like tree pollen, grass pollen and ragweed pollen are blowing through our breezy coastal region.

These tiny airborne allergens easily get inside your body, and when they do, your immune system goes into defense mode. To combat these intruding allergens, your body releases a chemical, called histamine, which triggers a familiar response you might recognize: sneezing, itchy throat, runny nose or teary eyes.

If you are an allergy sufferer, you are not alone. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundations of America, more than 50 million people struggle with it every year.

In its latest 2021 Allergy Capitals report, AAFA placed a Southwest Florida region on its top 50 list of most challenging places to live with seasonal allergies. Cape Coral was ranked No. 33 for allergies during spring season and No. 35 for the months during fall.

So, what can you do if you struggle with seasonal allergies and Southwest Florida is your home? A few proactive steps to recognize, prevent and manage symptoms will bring hope to those with the seasonal stuffy blues.

Reduce Your Exposure

  • Before planning your day, check local news or the Internet for the area’s pollen count forecast.
  • Keep doors and windows shut to avoid pollen from coming indoors.
  • Delegate outdoor chores, such as mowing the lawn and gardening.
  • Keep floors cleaned and maintain air filters inside the home.
  • Avoid air-drying clothes and bedding outside where pollen can stick to it.

Prevent Spread & Symptoms

  • If high pollen counts are forecasted, take allergy medication before symptoms start.
  • After outdoor activities, change into clean clothes and shower to rinse pollen from skin and hair.
  • Remove shoes, jackets and hats at the front door.
  • Wipe pets down with a towel after playing outdoors.
  • Wear a pollen or dust mask for outdoor activities.

Nonprescription Medication & Remedies

  • Oral antihistamines can help relieve sneezing, itching and runny noses.
  • Antihistamine eye drops can reduce itching and redness.
  • Specially formulated supplements may support healthy respiratory and immune systems.
  • Nasal rinse devices, such as a Neti pot, can flush out inhaled pollen and alleviate congestion.
  • Oral and nasal decongestants can offer temporary relief to help with nasal stuffiness.
  • Cromolyn sodium nasal sprays can help treat and prevent allergy symptoms.

Read more: Do Natural Solutions for Allergies Work?

When stubborn symptoms persist, your pharmacist or physician can identify which over-the-counter medicines are best suited to alleviate your symptoms. They can also help you navigate your options when more severe conditions must be addressed.

Treatment options to manage allergies can range from immunotherapy, such as shots, to prescription-strength antihistamines, decongestants and combination allergy drugs.

In addition, rescue inhalers and other medications can be prescribed for people diagnosed with allergy-induced asthma.

Amid the pandemic, a case of the sniffles, or hay fever, is the last thing you want to stress over. While allergies can’t be cured, they can certainly be managed. Having a seasonal action plan that attacks allergies first is a good place to start, and will keep you from playing catch-up once symptoms arise.

Tips for Staying Healthy During Flu Season


Flu season arrives during the Fall just in time for the holidays, and it lasts until Spring. It is no coincidence that the number of illnesses such as colds, pneumonia, and the flu drastically increase during the fall months when family and friends all come together.  During the recent flu season, over 40 million people in the United States got sick and over 60 thousand people died. Numbers have not significantly improved from previous years before which means that too many people are still risking their lives every year by not properly protecting themselves from contracting these illnesses. Contracting a cold or any other respiratory-related illness increases our chance of also contracting the much more serious influenza virus. Furthermore, getting older, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, and other medical conditions cause our immune system to become weaker. So, what can you do to protect yourself during the flu season?

Many of us may know that eating healthy, exercising, drinking plenty of water and taking Vitamin C and Zinc will help our immune system and allow us to recover faster when we are sick. There is another key player that most people do not know about, and it is called a probiotic. A probiotic is a supplement that consists of healthy microorganisms or healthy bacteria that supply our intestines with health-promoting microbes. These microbes find their home in the mucous membranes of our respiratory system and help support our immune system in the fight against the foreign invaders that lead to infections. Studies have shown that patients taking a probiotic blend had a 75% reduction in flu and flu-like illnesses and a nearly 40% reduction in colds compared to patients that took a placebo (pills with no active ingredients).  The studies also showed that patients with an active respiratory illness who took a probiotic supplement experienced a reduction in duration and severity. When selecting a good probiotic, it is highly recommended to choose a product that also contains a prebiotic blend. Prebiotics serve as fuel for probiotics, supplying the probiotics with nutrients that the healthy bacteria need in order to survive and flourish.

Experts from Fullscript, an online dispensary for over-the-counter supplements, also stress the importance of taking supplements containing Beta-glucans and Colostrum. Beta-glucans can be mainly found in fungi and oats and play an important role in lymphocyte function. Colostrum is found in the milk of mammals during the first 72 hours of their baby’s life and is high in antibodies. These two supplements, along with the other supplements mentioned, will result in a decreased chance of getting respiratory infections and reduce the duration of current respiratory infections.

Another very important precaution we can take in order to protect ourselves during the flu season is to get a flu vaccination! There are many misconceptions about the flu shot, which have caused many people to avoid getting their yearly vaccination. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has investigated these misconceptions and posted their results on their website. Let’s review some common misconceptions:

Can the flu shot give me the flu? 

Flu vaccinations are only made in two ways, either with inactivated(dead) forms of the virus or with a single partial live gene, which causes an immune response but cannot cause an active infection, because only a full virus can cause influenza.

Do I really need to get a flu shot every year?

YES. The CDC recommends annual vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older due to the possibility of change in the previous year’s influenza strain and the fact that our immune systems change and can be compromised at any point each year.

The flu shot causes me to get sick.

It is possible to get a slight fever, headache, and muscle aches for just a couple days after getting the flu shot. However, the most common reactions to the flu shot include redness and soreness only at the injection site. For anyone with a phobia of needles, just remember that influenza immunization has been approved for everyone 6 months of age and older. The needles used for influenza immunizations are so small that patients may not even know when their doctor or pharmacist is giving them the shot if the patient is looking the other way, and it only takes seconds to receive.

I got the flu shot and still got the flu.

The flu is often confused with flu-like illnesses, such as a cold or other respiratory infection; therefore, see a doctor before drawing any conclusions. Since full immunity does take two weeks after getting vaccinated, it is possible that someone can contract the flu either right before getting immunized or during the two-week gap period. Again, this is why it is very important to take the correct supplements in order to protect yourself from contracting the flu and other respiratory illnesses.

I never get sick; therefore, I do not need to get vaccinated.

Think of vaccination like insurance. No one wants to get sick, but in the rare case that you come into contact with the influenza virus, wouldn’t you like to be covered? Our immune system is constantly changing and unfortunately gets weaker as we get older. Most insurance companies pay for the full cost of the vaccination, and it only takes seconds to receive. Furthermore, a healthy unvaccinated person can contract the virus and never get a full-on infection, but they can transmit the virus to another person. Therefore, vaccination not only protects you but also anyone else you come into contact with.

To do a quick recap, here are the quick recommendations to keep you healthy, especially during the flu season.

  1. Eat healthy and drink plenty of water
  2. Take a daily Vitamin C supplement
  3. Take a daily Zinc supplement
  4. Take a daily Probiotic containing a prebiotic blend
  5. Get Vaccinated every year

Following these recommendations can help ensure a healthy flu season for you and for anyone around you.

Independent Pharmacy Offers Unparalleled Services

independent pharmacy

Selecting a pharmacy for your family’s needs can seem challenging, especially when there seems to be a drugstore on every corner. Although corporate pharmacies have several benefits, it is important to know that local independent pharmacies offer a distinct set of benefits – a focus on providing individualized attention and unique custom-made services.

For more than 40 years, Cypress Pharmacy has served the Fort Myers community as a health and wellness partner, providing an unparalleled pharmacy experience. The remarkable Cypress Pharmacy staff interacts with each patient to truly understand their individual needs, resulting in customizable health regimens.

Cypress Pharmacy offers several unique custom-made services including:

· clinical services – immunizations and in-store flu, strep, cholesterol and glucose testing to to improve convenience and access to important health services

· personalized wellness consultations and supplement plans – to ensure patients are properly supported in reaching for their unique performance and wellness goals once they step outside the pharmacy

· medication packaging – designed to increase medication compliance and reduce the risk of misuse for patients with even the most complex regimens

· medication therapy management -to optimize the benefits of prescribed medications, including increasing patient adherence and reducing the risk of adverse drug interactions

· medication disposal – to help patients safely dispose of unused and expired medication

· medication synchronization – designed to streamline and simplify medication management for patients by synchronizing all of a patient’s prescriptions to be filled on the same day each month

· free monthly vitamins for children and adults aged 50+ – to help patients acquire all the nutrients needed to achieve healthy living

· custom medication compounding for patients and pets – to ensure medication can be taken easily in a patient-preferred form

· free local delivery – especially useful for older, less mobile customers who may live alone

One unique service provided by Cypress Pharmacy that truly sets it apart is custom medication compounding. This practice is both an art and a science, which involves preparing personal, customized medications. While many pharmacies do not offer compounding services, and much more are unfamiliar with the art, Cypress Pharmacy is happy to serve the Fort Myers community by customizing medications for the whole family. Compounding is a great solution for patients who are:

· allergic to preservatives or dyes

· sensitive to standard drug strengths

· unable to easily swallow a capsule and require medication in a liquid form

The highly skilled staff at Cypress Pharmacy can also change the strength of a prescribed medication, alter its form making it easier to ingest and add flavor to make a medication more appealing – especially great for kids. Going a step further, the staff at Cypress Pharmacy can prepare medication using several different delivery methods, such as a cream, ointment, troche, suppository or capsule.

In addition to providing compounding services for dental, dermatological, pain management, pediatric and adult medications, Cypress Pharmacy also offers compounding for pets! Animals are notorious for refusing to swallow pills, or eating right around those disguised in their food. Cypress Pharmacy pharmacists can help your animal family members feel better fast, by preparing pet medications in easy-to-give dosage forms. No matter if your pet is a cat, dog, ferret, bird or snake, Cypress Pharmacy’s pet flavor options will make medication irresistible to any pet!

The greatest benefit patients enjoy when using a local independent pharmacy is an unparalleled personalized experience. We look forward to getting to know you and servicing your unique health and wellness needs!

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