Your Truth Revealed podcast
Jan. 17, 2021

28) Know Your Pharmacist (part 2)

Meet pharmacist Dong Kim, PharmD in the 2nd part of his interview. We talk about the COVID-19 vaccine, biochemistry, and psychotropic medications to help you make better decisions about your overall healthcare.

Dong is a patient-focused pharmacist with more than 15 years of experience. He has a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of the Pacific. He also has a bachelor of science in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California at San Diego.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Free Worksheet:


How can we put the COVID-19 vaccine in historical context?

* We can compare it to the polio vaccine.

* Polio is highly contagious with flu like symptoms, paralysis, and even death. It once seemed impossible to stop.

* However, polio was eliminated in the U.S. in 1994 because people received the polio vaccine.

* This is hopeful news for the possible elimination of COVID-19.

What is biochemistry and how does it contribute to health?

* Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms.

* A sub-discipline of both biology and chemistry, biochemistry can be divided in three fields . . .

* Molecular genetics, protein science, and metabolism

* Over the last decades, biochemistry has become successful at explaining living processes.

* Proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids(fat) provide the structure of cells and perform many of the functions associated with life.


What is a concern that you have about some customers you see every day?

* A big concern is apathy. Apathy is defined as the lack of motivation or concern.

* It comes from the Greek word “pathos,” which means passion or emotion.

* Apathy is a lack of those feelings and could be a factor in having an unhealthy lifestyle.

* Some tips are: Get plenty of sleep each night and try to exercise every day. Spend time with friends, do things you love, break  big tasks into smaller ones so that you feel accomplished, and reward yourself whenever you finish an activity.


Psychotropic drugs are any drug capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior. Can you please explain how psychotropic medications work?

* People need to know that these medications can open the door to change your life!

* There are 5 main groups of psychotropic medications: antidepressants (SSRIs and SNRIs), antipsychotics, antianxiety, mood stabilizers, and stimulants.

* SSRIs - selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

* SNRI - serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors

* The downregulation and upregulation of receptors. All living cells have the ability to receive and process signals that originate outside their membranes, which they do by means of proteins called receptors.

* Signals interact with a receptor and direct the cell to allow substances to enter or exit the cell. Receptors can be increased (or upregulated) when the signal is weak, or decreased (downregulated) when it is strong.

* Serotonin and norepinephrine are released, then stimulate the receptors, and then reuptake occurs.

* SSRIs inhibit reuptake of serotonin. This results in increased levels of serotonin in the synapse.

* SNRis inhibit reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. This results in increased levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the synapse.

* Information from one neuron flows to another neuron across a synapse. The synapse contains a small gap separating neurons.


What is the most dangerous combination of drugs that some

doctors prescribe?

* The most dangerous is a 3-drug cocktail for pain. This cocktail includes an opioid, with

a benzodiazepine, plus a muscle relaxer.

* Some states have made it a schedule 2. Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. 

* It's a controlled substance and the number of tablets are heavily regulated.