Sarah Lewis, PharmD Healthgrades Medical Writer

Sarah Lewis, PharmD

Medical Writer

Sarah Lewis is a pharmacist and a medical writer. She believes a pharmacist’s role as a patient advocate marries well with medical writing to provide patients and consumers with accurate, understandable information. Sarah joined Healthgrades as a medical writer in 2011.

Sarah has over 25 years of experience in various areas of pharmacy practice. These areas include retail pharmacy, mail-order pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, and pharmacy administration. Sarah also spent two years interning at a generic drug manufacturer in the Regulatory Affairs department. This variety of practice settings allows Sarah to draw from many different experiences to develop communication pieces that meet patient and consumer needs. 

In addition to her role at Healthgrades, Sarah works with a medical device company to perform medical literature searches, compilations and summaries. She has provided these research services since 2008. In the past, Sarah has assisted medical marketing companies in compiling market research summaries and developing sales force training materials. Prior to joining Healthgrades, Sarah spent a year answering consumer questions online for Everyday Health.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree from West Virginia University and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. She completed Pharmacy Practice Residency training at the University of Pittsburgh/VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. 

Latest Stories
  • Toradol (ketorolac) is an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Doctors use it to treat moderately severe pain, sometimes in combination with a narcotic pain reliever. It can reduce the amount of narcotic you need. However, you can’t take Toradol for more than five days due to the risk of very serious side effects.
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) has a good safety profile for short-term use. Long-term ibuprofen use can lead to serious problems, such as heart attack, stomach bleeding, and kidney damage. So, many doctors discourage it.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) ibuprofen comes as 200 mg tablets or capsules. The usual dose for a healthy adult is 200-400 mg every 4 to 6 hours. For children, the dose is determined by the child’s weight.
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is pregnancy category B for the first two trimesters and D for the third trimester. This means you should avoid it during the last three months of pregnancy.
  • Hydrocodone and oxycodone are schedule II narcotic analgesics. Oxycodone comes from an opium alkaloid. Hydrocodone comes from codeine. This gives it cough-relieving properties that oxycodone doesn’t have.
  • The ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor, lisinopril, is the most common blood pressure medicine doctors prescribe.
  • Doctors may combine Mucinex and benzonatate because they treat coughs in different ways. Mucinex is a brand name for guaifenesin, which is an expectorant. It thins mucus, making it easier to cough up. Benzonatate is an antitussive that suppresses or quiets a cough. Brand names include Tessalon.
  • Famotidine is a histamine-2 receptor blocker, or H2 blocker. Like other members of the class, it is available over-the-counter to treat acid reflux and heartburn.
  • In February 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved diclofenac sodium gel 1% for nonprescription use.
  • Soma is a muscle relaxant. Doctors may prescribe it to treat sprains, strains, and other injuries. Carisoprodol is the generic name.