Rheumatoid Arthritis: What NOT to say to someone who lives with it

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness

If you know someone who has Rheumatoid Arthritis, you may try to offer help or sympathize.  However, before making a comment or saying something about their condition, you better avoid these phrases as they may sound offensive or judgemental to them. 

“You are too young to have Rheumatoid Arthritis”

Theoretically, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakes healthy tissues and attacks them. Many people may think RA is similar to Osteoarthritis. However, Osteoarthritis is not caused by the same factor and more about the “wear and tear” of the joint by time, commonly found in elder people. 

RA can be found in women, men, and children of all ages, affecting hands, shoulders, knees, and/or feet with severe joint pain and stiffness. In short, RA is not a discriminatory disease. 

“You don’t look sick”

Rheumatoid Arthritis is usually described as an “invisible” illness. This chronic illness is, unfortunately, not curable. Patients can experience periods of remission with little pain or RA can flare up with no warning or reason. Many times it can be super painful to simply get out of bed or tie the shoes. Many times, people living with arthritis can be mistaken for being “better” although, in fact, they only feel less miserable or painful in their joints. 

“I think you will get better”

As explained above, Rheumatoid Arthritis is an ongoing condition, there are just days with either severe or less pain. Although this phrase has good intentions and people tend to use it when someone feels unwell or in pain, the other person may find it unsympathetic. Try offering some help if they need it.

“Be on a diet and lose weight, it will help”

Let’s be straightforward, losing weight does not eventually help to cure Rheumatoid Arthritis. If someone having RA is overweight or obese, losing weight might only reduce some stressed weight on the joint or make them feel a bit better generally. However, it does not cure this autoimmune disease. 

“Oh, my knee is hurting too”

RA patients often deal with joint pain and fatigue and do not mention much about it unless it is so bad or beginning to disable them. If they tell you they are in pain, they are not exaggerating. However, assuming that you are going through the same even though you are not diagnosed with RA is indirectly dismissing their pain. In other words, you make them feel weak or foolish when they mention their struggle. 

In order to show that you acknowledge the other person’s pain, ask if you can help them with anything. By doing that, you also show how much you care and are willing to help if you can. 

“You can’t do this, you will be in pain”

Having arthritis does make it difficult for patients to perform many activities. However, it may upset them if people try to completely prevent them from doing even simple things. They are in pain, but their body still can function and no one wants to be left out just because of their illness. 

In this case, ask them: “Do you feel up to doing ___ today?” instead of assuming that they cannot do it. 

“Have you tried yoga?”

One of the most common misconceptions is that yoga is good for everyone with RA because it includes stretching. It may work for some, but not everyone. They don’t have weak joints, the root of the problem is in their blood and it attacks the joints. Therefore, putting lots of weight on inflamed joints, whether it is in the wrist, knee, or shoulder, etc., is not helping at all. 


So, how can you offer help?

Due to Rheumatoid Arthritis, your close ones will experience physical pain and it will impact their lifestyle, mental health a lot. However, there are several ways that you can do to help them reduce inflammation, for example, planning suitable exercises together (such as yoga, light stretches, aerobic, etc.), stress-reduction activities (eg. meditation), reminding them to take medication on time or suggest them to use smart pill reminder to always remember their meds and reduce inflammation. 


Popit collaborates with Pfizer to improve the adherence of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. After studying rheumatoid arthritis patients’ treatment journey, Pfizer discovered that they do not receive sufficient support in order to cope with the condition. Therefore, this collaboration targets encouraging the patient’s medication treatment and gives them less stress about forgetting their pill. Popit Smart Pill Reminder can be purchased here; Popit App, delivery fee are all included.


Resource: Healthline, Creakyjoint 

Hypothyroidism: How To Best Take Thyroid Medication

Avoid these mistakes to make thyroid medication work best for you. We also list 5 best practices for how to take thyroid medication.

When starting hypothyroid treatment, your doctor should talk with you about how to take thyroid medication. Sticking with the following dos and don’ts will put you on the fast track to feeling better.

How to Take Thyroid Medication: 5 Best Practices

1. Double Check the Pharmacist

Although pharmacies must adhere to high standards, pharmacists still sometimes make mistakes. Thyroid medications work with precision; even the slightest changes or inconsistencies will impact your treatment. When you receive your prescription, make sure you receive the correct:

  • Brand and type of medication (even seemingly insignificant differences between a generic and name brand will affect your treatment)
  • Number of pills and dosage

You should also make sure the pills you receive will not expire before they have been taken.

2. Ask about Drug Interactions

Several hundreds of prescription drugs, over the counter medications, vitamins and supplements react with thyroid medications.

Bring a detailed list of everything you take with you to your doctor appointment and to the pharmacy to be certain you are not taking other medications or supplements which will affect your thyroid treatment plan or which will be unsafe to take in conjunction with thyroid medication.

3. Store Medications Properly

Medications should be stored in a dry, relatively cool location. Exposure to heat and moisture breaks down the active ingredients in your medications, making them less effective. In other words, the medicine cabinet in your bathroom is not a suitable storage location for your thyroid medication.

4. Stick with Your Medication Schedule

Keeping the levels of medication and thyroid stimulating hormone in your body as consistent as possible is paramount to effective treatment. Most doctors recommend taking medications first thing in the morning for the best absorption. Others recommend taking pills before bed at night.

For the best treatment outcome, be sure to remember to take your medication every single day and try to take it at about the same time each day, too.

5. Take Medications on an Empty Stomach

Your body will better absorb thyroid medication when taken on an empty stomach. After taking your medication, wait at least an hour before eating or drinking anything, other than water. If taking medications at bedtime, wait for at least three to four hours after your last meal before taking your pill.

Avoid These 4 Mistakes When Taking Thyroid Medication

1. Starting or Stopping Other Medications without Asking Your Doctor

Consistency is the key to effective hypothyroid treatment. It is advisable to use a solution to track and – if needed – remind of pills.

Always ask your doctor before starting or stopping any medication or supplement.

2. Consuming Inconsistent Amounts of Fiber

Fiber intake affects the body’s ability to absorb thyroid medication. Sudden changes in the amount of fiber in your diet can adversely affect hypothyroid treatment.

3. Taking Medication with Coffee, Calcium, Iron and/or Iodine

All of these substances block the body’s ability to absorb thyroid medication. While it’s obvious to avoid supplements and foods containing these ingredients, also be wary of foods fortified with calcium and iron and calcium-rich antacid tablets.

4. Changing Brands without Your Doctor’s Consent

Sometimes insurance companies pay more on generic prescriptions, but there is actually a big difference between different brands of thyroid medication. Always speak with your doctor before switching medication brands and take all thyroid medications exactly as prescribed.

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Open position: Digital Operations Market Manager

UPDATE: This position has been filled. To hear first about our new positions, follow us on LinkedIn.


Are you a self-driven professional with a strong track record in getting things done? Do you have a flair for content creation and analytics? Would you be interested in launching a unique digital health solution on new markets? Well look no further and get in touch!

Popit is a pioneering Finnish startup and we make medication digital. By doing so we improve medication adherence and help patients get the best possible medical treatment outcome. We’re big on making things happen and small on hierarchy. Popit works with the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies in Europe and Japan and our goal is to make a positive impact on the treatment of as many patients as possible. We support the United Nations Development Goal number 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing.

We are looking for a creative and analytical Digital Operations Market Manager (DOMM) to work with our pharma customers in introducing Popit to patients on new markets. The person we have in mind is a great communicator who can coordinate a project efficiently. S/he also knows how to create content, interpret data and draw conclusions from it and be a creative problem solver at heart.

What you would be doing:

  • Influence and create patient and healthcare professional (HCP) facing materials for new markets (such as onboarding materials, ads, flyers, video tutorials, webinars, blog posts, etc.).
  • Coordinate with PMs of respective markets to provide sales and onboarding materials, localize content and gather feedback on the content effectiveness.
  • Provide product training and onboarding support to local pharma customer reps and
  • Analyze and report the performance and success of rolled out campaigns and materials.
  • Data points to use: pharma customer feedback, patient feedback, Popit Solution data, Anonymous app data analytics.
  • Identify new marketing strategies and channels to enable growth.

Ideally, you have

  • 4+ years experience in project management/coordination
  • Hands on experience with Excel and analytics tools
  • Hands on experience with graphics tools, such as InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop (or similar).
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with a knack for understanding communication in different cultures
  • Creative and persistent problem-solving approach and customer-centric thinking
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Desire to learn new things and not be afraid to go outside your comfort zone.
  • Professional fluency in English. Other languages – especially Japanese – considered a plus
  • Experience from pharma or health tech industry considered a plus

We offer

  • A challenging key role in a truly international company.
  • An opportunity to make a real impact on the lives of patients.
  • A possibility to grow with the company and build this into a team lead role. You get to influence the direction.
  • Competitive salary.
  • Work flexibility – We expect to see you at our office frequently (when things normalize, of course), but you can also work from home.
  • We’re still a company that’s growing up, so don’t expect a La Pavoni espresso machine or weekly fruit basket deliveries. They’re coming somewhere down the line, but right now we’re focusing on doing the right things for the business. We have two excellent restaurants in the building though and you do get lunch benefits. Oh and a free gym too, so you don’t have to spend time commuting to get those rock-hard abs :)

Employment Type


How to apply

Apply through LinkedIn.


Popit and Ashfield Engage Partner To Improve Patient Adherence

Ashfield Engage and Popit partner to improve patient adherence through supplemental real-time personalized support.

Ashfield Engage, part of UDG Healthcare plc, today announces it has partnered with Popit, a digital health company, to improve patient adherence in oral solid dosage (OSD) treatments and advance supplemental personalized patient support.

The collaboration brings together Popit’s novel monitoring technology, and Ashfield Engage’s patient support programs, to proactively respond to patients’ needs and tailor their reminders accordingly.

The Popit Sense™ device is attached to a pill sheet and uses patented technology to monitor missed doses and send alerts to patients via a smartphone app. The data is also transmitted to healthcare providers and support partners such as Ashfield Engage. Now enriched with this real-time data, Ashfield Engage can easily identify which patients require extra support.

As well as providing support through the app, Ashfield Engage will leverage its expert call center teams to reach out to patients to discuss any challenges with their medication.

We can engage with patients in a way that was previously not possible.

Ian Riches, Global Vice President, Patient Solutions at Ashfield Engage, explained:

“Prior to Popit’s technology, a large group of OSD patients were not getting the support they needed. While the majority of patients are adherent, those with a need for support can now be quickly identified and we can engage with them in a way that was previously not possible, which is really exciting.

“While typically patient data is only collected up to the point of prescription, we can now support patients throughout their treatment in real-time. By partnering with Popit we have a digital solution that enables rapid, personalized support to increase patient adherence and significantly improve patients’ health and wellbeing in the long term.”

Popit Sense technology is already being leveraged by many large pharmaceutical organizations, including Pfizer, Almirall and Novartis.

We see this as a really important step towards building better, more connected healthcare solutions that truly benefit patients’ health.

Timo Heikkilä, COO and Co-Founder of Popit, added: “Our solution provides a wealth of invaluable data for healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical organizations and we have seen excellent results following its adoption.

“By partnering with Ashfield Engage, we can now advance that service, and provide not only the data, but the direct follow up support to those patients in need. We are thrilled about this collaboration and look forward to supporting the large patient population reliant on OSD treatments. We see this as a really important step towards building better, more connected healthcare solutions that truly benefit patients’ health.”

To find out more about how Ashfield Engage and Popit Sense can benefit your organization, your product and your patients, visit: https://ashfieldengage.com/

To learn more about Popit, visit: https://popit.io/.

Contact Information

Lara Lovenbury, ramarketing | lara@ramarketingpr.com | +44 773 268 1275

About Popit

Popit is a pioneer in improving patient adherence through smart consumer devices. The Company is dedicated to improving adherence by digitalizing medication, a major opportunity that benefits patients, patient support programs, healthcare payors and the pharmaceutical industry. Popit works with the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies in executing against this vision.

For more information, go to https://popit.io/

Popit Media contact: 

Timo Heikkilä
Co-founder & COO
Phone: +358 50 487 3728

About Ashfield

Ashfield, part of UDG, is an integrated healthcare services partner, offering a breadth of services across strategic consulting, benchmarking, commercialization, customer engagement, events, marketing and communications.

Ashfield comprises of three clearly defined, integrated business units: Ashfield Advisory, Ashfield Engage and Ashfield Health. Together, the Ashfield team uses imagination, strategy and action to redefine and deepen client partnerships, reimagine health and improve lives.

Ashfield   has   carefully   curated   its   business   through   the   acquisition   of   22 companies and is committed to offering streamlined services to best meet its clients’ needs. With a presence in more than 50 countries, over 7,000 employees strive to provide best-in-class service for more than 300 clients, including the top 30 global pharmaceutical companies.

For more information, go to www.oneashfield.com

About Ashfield Engage

Ashfield Engage, part of UDG Healthcare plc, is an expert, global partner in customer strategy and execution. Ashfield Engage helps clients connect with all healthcare audiences to ensure people get knowledge, support and medicines when and where they need them. As experts in strategic engagement, Ashfield Engage creates personalized, impactful experiences, across all channels. Every program is underpinned by human connections, omnichannel engagement and adaptive analytics.

Ashfield Engage has over 20 years’ experience with a team of over 5,000 employees, delivering services in more than 50 countries. Offering services across Medical Affairs, Market Access, Commercial, Patient Solutions and Event Experiences, Ashfield Engage helps its clients to engage with their stakeholders across the whole commercialization journey. Under the Ashfield umbrella, Ashfield Engage sits alongside Ashfield Advisory and Ashfield Health.

For more information, go to https://ashfieldengage.com/

Pill reminders – Can they help you take your pills on time?

5 Signs You’re On the Wrong Birth Control Pill

If you are taking the birth control pills because of PCOS, cramps, fibroids or as a contraceptive, it’s important to know you’re taking the right birth kind of control pill. We listed some symptoms that might indicate your current birth control pill is not the best one for you.

Frequent Headaches or Migraines

If you are experiencing regular headaches or worse migraines after starting to take your birth control pill, your sensitivity to estrogen might be higher than normal. The pill increases levels of estrogen in the body. Look for pills that do not contain hormones.

Lost Your Mojo

The birth control pill can lower your libido since it replaces hormones. The body is responsible for creating 50% of the testosterone when a natural ovulation occurs and testosterone actually plays a huge part in sex drive. The pill can prevent a person from ovulating, which in turn will result in zero production of testosterone hormones, necessary to keep the libido up and running. Testosterone is also responsible for increasing the blood flow to sexual organs – crucial for their sensitivity.

Low Energy

There is a proven connection between taking birth control pills and depletion of vitamin B. If you are not taking a vitamin B6 supplement, chances are that you might feel low on energy. Other symptoms can be moodiness, tiredness and nausea. If experiencing any of these symptoms look into supplementing your vitamin intake or switching the contraceptive method altogether.

If you are not taking a vitamin B6 supplement, chances are that you might feel low on energy.

Feeling Depressed

The birth control pill contains progesterone & estrogen and these can affect the brain. It is very important to find a well-balanced pill which will not put you in bouts of depression or low moods. Each pill has a different dose of these hormones so it might be a good idea to try a different pill or other birth control methods.

Not Being Yourself

If your mood and behavior have changed after taking the pill, you feel miserable and moody and most of all you don’t feel quite yourself, it might be best to look into other options. Your body knows best when something is not right and it may be that birth control pills are not the best contraceptive method for you.

Your body knows best when something is not right and it may be that birth control pills are not the best contraceptive method for you.

If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it’s probably a good idea to schedule a visit with your doctor to discuss options and clarify the root cause.

Related articles

Birth control pill is 99% effective in the perfect use BUT only 91% in a typical use. Read this article to understand why sometimes pills fail
The birth control pill is very efficient with perfect use. But how to maximize birth control pill effectiveness.
Birth Control Pill: 6 Most Common Side Effects And Symptoms

Popit And Almirall Start Offering New Support Tool To Help Psoriasis Patients

The Finnish digital health startup launches together with the biopharmaceutical company focused on skin health, first in The Netherlands.


Finnish digital health startup Popit and Almirall, a global biopharmaceutical company focused on skin health have started a collaboration to provide a novel support solution for patients with psoriasis. Popit’s innovative solution is available for patients using the Skilarence® (Dimethyl fumarate) medication, used for treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. The solution improves medication adherence and offers support for the patient. The partnership has started with the first patients already using Popit in The Netherlands.

Psoriasis is a chronic, non-contagious skin disease with symptoms that include clearly defined red patches (“plaques”), scaly skin and often itching. It is estimated that 125 million people worldwide – or 2 to 3 % of the population – have psoriasis1. The condition has a profound impact on patients: nearly 60 % of people with psoriasis reported their disease to be a large problem in their everyday life2.

Skilarence® (Dimethyl fumarate) is a systemic treatment taken orally for psoriasis3. As with all medications, if patients are not taking it according to guidance, they also do not receive the best possible treatment outcomes. Popit helps patients stay on track with the treatment and gain access to tailor-made content on their therapy.

The innovative solution consists of a unique device that automatically tracks when a medication is taken, as well as an accompanying app that reminds only if a dose has been missed. The patient also receives useful support messages and psoriasis content tailored specifically for them. Popit has been clinically validated to significantly reduce missed doses4 and is already used by some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world with great results.

In the words of Francesca Wuttke, Chief Digital Officer of Almirall:

We are pleased to be collaborating with Popit to bring novel adherence and engagement solutions to patients with psoriasis. As a result of this partnership we are able to provide a new patient experience through digital psoriasis treatment to inform, educate, manage expectations, and motivate our patients. Making our medicines connected is a huge leap for patients and the industry and we’re excited to be doing it with Popit”.

Teemu Piirainen, Popit’s CEO weighs in:

There is a great need to improve medication adherence and patient support in psoriasis care. Popit can really help in this by tackling some of the most common causes for why doses are missed, which include forgetting the daily doses and insufficient awareness of how missed doses impact treatment outcomes. Additionally, the patient might face quite practical challenges with their treatment, like up-titration or predetermined changes in product strength, which may not always be easy to master. Popit supports the patient with these challenges.


About Popit:

Popit is a pioneer in improving patient adherence through smart consumer devices. The Company is dedicated to improving adherence by digitizing medication, a major opportunity that offers benefits for patients, healthcare payors and pharmaceutical companies. Popit works with the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

For more information, please visit popit.io


About Almirall

Almirall is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on skin health. We collaborate with scientists and healthcare professionals to address patient’s needs through science to improve their lives. Our Noble Purpose is at the core of our work: “Transform the patients’ world by helping them realize their hopes and dreams for a healthy life”. We invest in differentiated and groundbreaking medical dermatology products to bring our innovative solutions to patients in need.

The company, founded in 1943 and headquartered in Barcelona, is publically traded on the Spanish Stock Exchange and is a member of the IBEX 35 (BME: ALM). Throughout its 77-year history, Almirall has retained a strong focus on the needs of patients. Currently, Almirall has a direct presence in 21 countries and strategic agreements in over 70, through 13 subsidiaries, with about 1,800 employees. Total revenues in 2019 were 908.4 million euros.

For more information, please visit almirall.com


Almirall media contact:

Communications Agency: Tinkle
Pilar Colomer
Phone: (+34) 93 93 545 0861

Almirall Communications contact:
Francesca Wuttke

Popit Media contact: 

Timo Heikkilä
Co-founder & COO
Phone: +358 50 487 3728


  1. Psoriasis.org (https://www.psoriasis.org/psoriasis-statistics/)
  2. Stern RS, Nijsten T, Feldman SR, Margolis DJ, Rolstad T. Psoriasis is common, carries a substantial burden even when not extensive, and is associated with widespread treatment dissatisfaction. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2004;9(2):136-139.
  3. European Medicines Agency (https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/overview/skilarence-epar-summary-public_en.pdf)
  4. DOI: 10.15761/COGRM.1000217

How To Make Sure Allergy Medication Works As Intended

If you suffer from allergies – seasonal or year-round – then you understand how much of an impact allergy symptoms have on everyday life. With several allergy medications available, however, there is no need to suffer through allergy season with the misery of congestion, a runny nose, itchy eyes and burning throat. Read on to learn more about how to take allergy medicine to get the results you want.

4 Anti-Allergy Best-Practices: How to Take Allergy Medicine


1. Know Your Allergy Season

All types of allergy medications work best when used to prevent symptoms. If you have seasonal allergies and know when your allergy season begins, you should start taking allergy medicine a week or two before your particular allergens start to rise in the environment.

If you are allergic to pollen or mold, you will experience the best results if you start taking allergy medication before the pollen count rises or the rain begins.

2. Work with Your Body’s Natural Rhythm

The body operates on a natural cycle called the circadian rhythm. As a result, different processes take place in the body at different times of the day, and different medications will work better or worse when administered at different times of the day.

Most pill-form allergy medications reach their peak effectiveness about 12 hours after taken, with the most severe allergy symptoms commonly occurring in the morning. As a result, these allergy medicines are most effective when taken in the evening. All types of allergy medicines (including pills, drops and sprays) work the best to prevent symptoms, so they should be administered before symptom onset.

3. Start with Regular Strength

Since many allergy medications are available without a prescription and without first talking to a doctor, it is easy to end up taking more than you need. You should always take the least amount of a medication that you still find to be effective. Try a regular strength formula first.

If you still experience symptoms, then consider switching over to an extra strength allergy medicine.

4. Read Medication Ingredients

Since taken as a preventative measure, most antihistamine allergy medications are designed to be taken regularly throughout an individual’s allergy season. In case you need support with being consistent with pill-taking every day, there are several options from the humble smartphone alarm clock to the sophisticated smart pill tracker.

It is worth noting that if your preferred allergy medicine, however, contains a decongestant, you should refrain from using it more than three or four days in a row. When decongestants are used regularly, individuals sometimes experience rebound symptoms when they stop using the medication.

An allergy medication with decongestant and antihistamine can actually make symptoms worse, if used too many days in a row.

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Ask an Allergist

With many over the counter allergy medications available, many individuals with allergies do not get the best treatment or the help they really need. If you find that your eyes itch, your nose runs and your throat burns even with over the counter medications, you should consider speaking with your doctor or scheduling an appointment with an allergy specialist. A professional can help you definitively determine to which allergens you are sensitive and prescribe the best treatment plan possible.

It is also a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting any new medication (even those available without a prescription) to ensure you avoid any potential reactions or interactions with your current medications. Your doctor can also tell you more about how to take allergy medicine.

9 Things Thаt Саn Mаkе Birth Соntrоl Pills Fail

Amоng all the mаnу forms оf соntrасерtіvеs available today, the birth соntrоl ріll is one of the most predominant but many things can make birth control pills effectiveness to fail. Birth соntrоl, оffісіаllу knоwn as thе combined oral contraceptive ріll, wоrkѕ by rеgulаtіng hormones іn thе uѕеr, рrеvеntіng оvulаtіоn аnd thеrеbу аvоіdіng соnсерtіоn.

The Pіll іѕ nоt mаgіс, so if іt’ѕ not taken аѕ directed, it’s nоt gоіng to dо its job wеll. Many things can interfere with thе Pill’s level оf effectiveness, causing it to fail оr lеаd tо unрlаnnеd рrеgnаnсу. The following list provides some of the most common causes for why birth control pills fail.

1. Forgetting can make birth control pills fail


Forgetting is the most common reason why birth control pills fail. The Pill in perfect use can be almost 100% effective. However, when life gets in the way and you miss an occasional pill, the efficiency drops by 9% to about 91%.

The fact is that 1 in 10 women experience an unintended pregnancy every year due to forgetting the Pill (read more about how to make sure pills work as intended). In fact, our study in the US with 500 women yielded similar results.

2. Bаd Timing

Timing mаttеrѕ! Aim to tаkе your ріll аrоund thе same time dаіlу because thіѕ helps thе hоrmоnеѕ tо hаvе thе mоѕt соnѕіѕtеnt effect оn your body аnd cycle.

Tаkіng thе ріll within a fеw hours of the same tіmе еасh dау will provide the best protection. This applies especially to the minipill, which contains only one hormone, progestin. For this reason, it is also known as a progestin-only pill, or POP. The minipill should be taken within a 3-hour window every day.

3. Inflammatory bоwеl dіѕеаѕе or оthеr dіgеѕtіvе disorders

Bowel соndіtіоnѕ lіkе Crohn’s dіѕеаѕе and IBD mау prevent thе bоdу frоm аbѕоrbіng аnу oral medication соrrесtlу, іnсludіng the Pіll. Anуthіng thаt interferes wіth thе body’s ability to absorb thе hоrmоnеѕ or іnсrеаѕеѕ the rate аt which thеу metabolize, can dесrеаѕе thе effectiveness of birth соntrоl ріllѕ. Chrоnіс diarrhea can аlѕо impede absorption. In fасt, іf уоu’vе hаd ѕеrіоuѕ dіаrrhеа оr vomiting for two оr mоrе days, уоu ѕhоuld act as thоugh you’ve mіѕѕеd a pill. It is also advisable for women wіth сhrоnіс bоwеl іѕѕuеѕ to сhооѕе a nоn-оrаl method of contraception.

4. Stоrаgе Tеmреrаturе Changes


Stоrіng bіrth control ріllѕ іn a bag that can overheat іn thе car оr іn уоur bаthrооm can mаkе thе pills іnасtіvе or lead to reduced efficacy. It’s best to stоrе your bіrth соntrоl ріllѕ іn a сооl place, іdеаllу undеr 75F/25C to maintain high product quality.

You should also keep the medication in its original packaging, which is the blister. Using a pill dispenser or a box with compartments might be convenient, but it will also expose the medication more easily to moisture, oxygen, light and heat/cold. All of these are known to reduce medication efficacy and the blister packaging has been designed to function as a first barrier.

5. Mеdісаtіоns

Certain mеdісаtіоnѕ hаvе аlѕо bееn fоund to have an impact оn thе effectiveness оf ѕоmе соntrасерtіvеѕ. Before prescribing new birth control pills your doctor will ask about whether you are currently on any medication. This is not because he would be nosy, but because some medications just don’t work well together.

Antіdерrеѕѕаntѕ ѕuсh аѕ Prоzас (also known as Sarafem, Rapiflux & many more) and Zoloft, аѕ well аѕ dіаbеtіс mеdісаtіоnѕ like Avandia have bееn lіѕtеd аmоng thоѕе that limit thе еffесtіvеnеѕѕ of mоѕt contraceptives.

If уоu’rе tаkіng anti-HIV mеdісаtіоn, the effectiveness of hоrmоnаl birth control pills mау be compromised. At least the following HIV treatments may interfere with the Pill:

  • Lopinavir/ritonavir (trade name Kaletra)
  • Nevirapine (Viramune)
  • Darunavir (Prezista)
  • Efavirenz (Sustiva)

Also, some anti-fungal medications may have issues with birth control pills and vice versa. According to some researchers, the risk is low, but best to still watch out for at least medications containing griseofulvin and ketoconazole.

With anti-seizure meds, it’s a one-way street. They increase the breakdown of hormones in the pills (possibly making them less effective), but the birth control pills do not have an impact on the seizure medication. Look out for at least these substances if you are on the Pill.

  • Carbamazepine (trade names e.g. Carbatrol, Epitol)
  • Phenobarbital (Luminal)
  • Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
  • Felbamate (Felbatol)

Sleep treatment medication, more specifically drugs containing modafinil (like Provigil). If your doctor prescribes you with this drug, it may be advisable to seek an alternative contraceptive method for the duration of the treatment and also sometime after it.

For all of the above, do check with your doctor if you are unsure of the compatibility of your current oral contraceptives and any new medication you are about to take. Any time you start or stop a medication you should also have your pharmacist run a drug interaction screen.

6. Antibiotics

Should you use a backup contraceptive method while taking antibiotics? At least the latest research points to a negative correlation between antibiotics and birth control pill efficiency, meaning that antibiotics do not reduce the Pill’s efficiency.

There is one important exception: anti-tuberculosis drug rifampin. Rifampin lowers birth control pill effectiveness by decreasing the hormone levels in women who are on the Pill. If you need to undergo rifampin treatment, use of diaphragm, copper IUD or condom is recommended.


7. Fооdѕ

Some hormone-affecting fооdѕ prevent оrаl contraceptives from functioning рrореrlу and can make birth control pills fail. Sеvеrаl соmmоn foods, іnсludіng lісоrісе, уаm, soy, and dаіrу products, саn іmраіr thе еffесtіvеnеѕѕ of оrаl contraceptives. But whеn уоu eat nоrmаl аnd mоdеrаtе amounts оf fооdѕ, thеу аrе unlіkеlу to іntеrасt wіth рrеѕсrірtіоn birth control ріllѕ. Like with many other things in life, moderation is key.

8. Cіgаrеttеѕ

Whеn уоu соmbіnе thе еffесtѕ оf nісоtіnе wіth those of birth control pills, уоu have аn іnсrеаѕеd сhаnсе оf ѕtrоkе and hеаrt аttасk. Thаt’ѕ bесаuѕе nісоtіnе саuѕеѕ the blood рrеѕѕurе to rіѕе and hеаrt rаtе tо ассеlеrаtе. Thе ріll adds mоrе ѕtrеѕѕ tо the blооd vеѕѕеlѕ because of the еxtrа еѕtrоgеn.

Smоkіng, while taking bіrth соntrоl ріllѕ, саn increase уоur risk оf a hеаrt attack аnd іt can also lead to соntrасерtіvе ріll failure. Latest generation birth control pills have however been shown to possibly be safer for smokers.

9. Herbal Remedies Or Supplements


Many herbal remedies or supplements are surprisingly strong and may have unexpected consequences. These are some of the herbal remedies that can cause birth control pills to have a reduced effect:

  • St. John’s wort – Taken for sleep disorders and depression.
  • Garlic pills – For CVD, high cholesterol and to boost the immune system
  • Alfalfa – For prostate, kidney, bladder problems
  • Flaxseed – For constipation and IBS
  • Saw palmetto – For hair loss
  • Soy isoflavones – For menopause and stronger bones

Luсkіlу, nоt аll factors thаt affect bіrth соntrоl ріllѕ rеndеr іt tоtаllу ineffective, but іt’ѕ good tо know which things can make birth control pills fail.

(A clinical pilot – DOI: 10.15761/COGRM.1000217, was conducted by a team of doctor’s including Henna Kärkkäinen, MD, Ph.D, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Heikki Matero Ph.M, Janne Sahlman MD, Ph.D at the Kuopio University Hospital.  The study concludes that an on-demand reminder system increases adherence of birth control pill users. More details regarding this study can be found here. )

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Popit Develops Research Tool for COVID-19 Treatment

The telehealth startup’s platform streamlines the global effort of finding a treatment for COVID-19.


Finnish MedTech and telehealth startup Popit has released a research extension that makes its platform an efficient tool for finding a treatment for COVID-19. The new enhancement called POPIT INSIGHTS™ provides unprecedented real-time data on how the medications being researched are taken. At the same time data quality is improved, since patients in the study take their medications more consistently thanks to Popit’s clinically validated adherence improvement impact. The new tool basically reduces missed pills and makes studies faster. Popit already has partners for the new product and is kicking off with first studies.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, the world’s scientific community has come together in an exceptional way. New studies to chart out possible treatments are constantly starting. Today, on May 7th, there are nearly 800 listed COVID-19 studies either starting or already active around the globe.1

Getting patients to take the study medications in a timely manner is highly important for research success.

On average each study has over 500 patients, biggest ones having over 40 000 participants. Getting all these patients to take the study medications in a timely manner is highly important for research success – and also for the patients themselves to benefit from the treatment. Considering the gravity of the matter it is surprising that only 43% of study patients may be adherent.2 Reminding the rest of the patients to take their medications and simply having data on if those medications were actually taken or missed have not been a part of the researchers’ toolbox.

Popit is now changing that with POPIT INSIGHTS™, an extension to the company’s existing medication adherence platform already used by the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, such as Novartis and Pfizer. The new solution offers a way to monitor how medication is being consumed, remind the patient if necessary, and gather study data remotely and in real time. On top of that the deployment is easy and quick.

The researchers were struggling with the same problems we already had a tool for.

Teemu Piirainen, Popit’s CEO explains further: “The company and our initial product were created on the foundation that we want to make medication connected. When the COVID situation escalated, we started to think of ways to refine our existing solution already used by pharma to serve the research community as well. The researchers were struggling with the same problems we already had a tool for: how to get the patient to take medications better and a sophisticated way to remotely and securely get data on if the medication was taken or not.”

First partners who sign up get the tools at a zero cost.

“It just seemed like something we had to build. And now it’s available. Anyone who is starting a medication study right now should get in touch with us. We want to contribute and the first partners who sign up get the tools at a zero cost. This is our way of pitching in and we’re already starting on different continents”, continues Piirainen.

Important request

While in some parts of the world the pandemic is starting to be more controllable, Popit requests to take extra care not to miss personal medications at this time, as up to 10% of hospitalizations are due to missing regular doses3. The admissions resulting from this poor adherence cause needless burden on the already heavily strained healthcare system. Medication can only work if it’s taken.


About Popit:

Popit is a pioneer in improving patient adherence through smart consumer devices. The Company is dedicated to improving adherence by digitizing medication, a major opportunity that offers benefits for patients, healthcare payors and pharmaceutical companies. Popit works with the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

Media contact: Timo Heikkilä, Co-founder

Email: timo popit io

Web: https://popit.io/popit-adherence-kit-for-medication-research/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/popitmed

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/popitmed

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/popit-ltd/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/popitmed



1. https://covid-trials.com/
2. Osterberg L, Blaschke T. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:487–97
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29666309