Advice for patients

Articles and advice for patients around conditions and their treatment.

  • NSAIDs alternative to Naproxen
    Advice for patients

    NSAIDs Alternative to Naproxen – EPIC LIST

    Naproxen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), is commonly prescribed medication in the UK used in the management of conditions associated with pain and inflammation. In this post, I discuss the availability of naproxen alternative drugs in the UK. I will briefly explain what NSAIDs are used for, their mechanism of action, common side effects, and then list over the counter and prescribed alternatives to naproxen.

  • EpiPen shortage UK
    Advice for patients

    EpiPen shortage UK: WHY? How To Get EpiPen

    EpiPen, a device containing adrenaline (ephedrine) used in allergic emergencies, has been subject to shortages since late 2017. Patients who are at risk of an anaphylactic reaction, which can be life-threatening, are advised to keep two pens with them at all times. EpiPen shortage in the UK has been covered widely by mainstream media; therefore, in this post, I will focus on the process of getting an EpiPen device and discuss alternative treatment options and supply issues around them. Recently I was surprised when a patient presented a prescription for EpiPen and traveled 20 miles as their local pharmacy could not supply EpiPen as ‘items is out of stock.’ In…

  • Treatment of Conjunctivitis in Babies
    Advice for patients

    Treatment of Conjunctivitis in Babies

    Conjunctivitis (also known as pink eye) is a common childhood eye condition characterised by redness of an eye due to inflammation of the conjunctiva, an outer membrane that covers the surface of the eye. It is very common for parents to seek treatment for conjunctivitis from the pharmacy, although in many cases, conjunctivitis is a self-limiting condition. In this post, I will discuss the treatment of conjunctivitis in babies.

  • Chilblains treatment
    Advice for patients

    Chilblains treatment at home? No problem.

    Chilblains is a condition characterised by painful, itchy and red swellings of the skin, affecting mainly toes, fingers and ear, caused by exposure to cold, which causes narrowing of the blood vessels and consequently poor circulation. Chilblains is self-limiting condition meaning, it resolves itself without any treatment. Prolonged chilblains may require a GP intervention. Chilblains treatment may involve symptomatic management of pain and avoidance of cold and damp conditions to prevent further events of chilblains.

  • Advice for patients

    Most common High Blood Pressure medication treatment

    High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition affecting one third of the UK population. It is estimated that more than 5.5 mln people in the UK live with undiagnosed blood pressure (GOV.UK, 2017). When left untreated, high blood pressure increases the risk of getting a heart attack or stroke and/or other long term health conditions. This post focuses on high blood pressure medication treatment. The main drugs used in the treatment will be reviewed according to NICE guideline and prescribing popularity in the UK. 

  • Ranitidine cancer risk.
    Advice for patients,  Pharmacy insights

    Ranitidine and cancer: what is the risk?

    Ranitidine and cancer risk: a scary though for many patients. Global market for ranitidine has been in turmoil last month, when firstly The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled number of products containing ranitidine (including branded Zantac) and shortly afterward, in UK, The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recalled number of products due to possible contamination with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which has genotoxic and carcinogenic potential (a substance that could possibly cause cancer). Ranitidine – cancer scare was born. Ranitidine is a commonly prescribed medication used mainly for the treatment of acid reflux and stomach ulcers. At a lower dose of 75mg per tablet, ranitidine can be purchased…

  • Can you take paracetamol with ...
    Advice for patients

    Can you take paracetamol with … ?

    Paracetamol is one of the most commonly purchased over the counter medication. It is still one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the UK with more than 17mln items prescribed in the last 12 months (Sep ’18—Aug ’19), costing NHS over £46 mln (, 2019). I previously wrote a couple of posts on use of paracetamol and naproxen and paracetamol and ibuprofen. Can you take paracetamol with … covers concomitant use of paracetamol with other common drugs, purchased from the pharmacy or prescribed.

  • Advice for patients

    Creams to reduce bruising

    Bruises are mostly formed as a result of the injury, causing local skin discoloration. Generally, bruises do not require medical treatment and go on their own within a couple of weeks. A couple of creams to reduce bruising can be purchased over the counter and/or from the pharmacy. Nelsons Arnicare Arnica cream and Hirudoid cream can be used to help with bruising.