Advice for patients

Articles and advice for patients around conditions and their treatment.

  • Paracetamol shortage during COVID-19 supply options
    Advice for patients

    How to get paracetamol during COVID-19 pandemic?

    Paracetamol, one of the most prescribed drugs in the UK, and probably the most popular over the counter medicine has been recently subject to shortages due to increased demand during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In the last 1-2 years, surgeries across the countries advised many patients to purchase paracetamol over the counter to reduce the cost of drugs prescribed on the NHS. Paracetamol shortage in the UK has been problematic for many patients who rely on this essential drug to manage their long-term conditions, such as osteoarthritis. Similarly, paracetamol shortage is seen for the liquid preparations such as paracetamol 3 months+ (brand: Calpol Infant) and paracetamol 6 years+ (brand name: Calpol…

  • NHS prescriptions delivered: guide for patients
    Advice for patients

    How to get NHS prescriptions delivered?

    Choosing NHS prescriptions delivered in the current climate is something patients should consider, however as you will learn from the post, some distance-selling pharmacies, which deliver NHS prescriptions via Royal Mail, are struggling with the demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Delivery of NHS prescriptions will not only support the social distancing measures to reduce the interaction with other people and vulnerable patients, but also reduce the workload of pharmacy teams, as many NHS prescriptions are dispensed ‘centrally’ and delivered directly to patient’s homes. In this post, I will discuss how the biggest pharmacies deliver NHS prescriptions in the UK. I will also talk about two main options for delivery…

  • Ibuprofen and coronavirus: NHS, WHO advice
    Advice for patients

    Ibuprofen & coronavirus: NHS, WHO advice

    The last few days proved to be a manic time not only in all supermarkets but also pharmacies. The situation is surreal. Pharmacy teams have been under enormous pressure from the workload. People also buy an excessive amount of over the counter medications due to coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic. A few days ago, a French Health Minister Olivier Véran and a qualified doctor Tweeted: “Taking anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, cortisone) could be an aggravating factor for the infection. If you have a fever, take paracetamol”. With paracetamol going in and out of stock, many patients are left in ‘limbo’. Every day, I am asked several times, ‘Can I take ibuprofen for management…

  • Nasal sprays for hayfever
    Advice for patients

    Nasal sprays for hayfever: treatment choice

    Symptomatic management of hayfever involves the use of different over the counter antihistamines and nasal sprays. There is plenty of option when it comes to nasal sprays. In this post, I will list common nasal sprays for hayfever available over the counter from pharmacies and larger shops. I will briefly divide nasal sprays into two categories: steroids nasal sprays and non-steroid nasal sprays. I will also summarise: Possible side effects associated with their use Any important, relevant information Use of nasal sprays in pregnancy

  • Antibiotics for UTI when pregnant
    Advice for patients

    Antibiotics for UTI when pregnant: recommendations

    Urinary-tract infection (UTI) is a common condition experienced in pregnancy. Physiological changes to the urinary tract during the pregnancy, such as dilation of the urethra and decreased bladder capacity, increase the risk of urinary infections (Hebak, 2019). UTI is an umbrella term which defines infection of the bladder (cystitis), kidneys, or urethra. In this post, I am looking at recommended antibiotics in UTI when a pregnant patient is affected by this condition. 

  • Type 2 diabetes medications
    Advice for patients

    Type 2 Diabetes Medications Guide

    Type 2 diabetes is a common condition affecting around 3.5 mln people in the UK (Diabetes UK, 2019). In this post, I will discuss the most common type 2 diabetes medications used in the UK, reflecting current guidelines in the management of this condition. In relation to each drug, I will focus mainly on: Mechanism of action Common side effects Any essential and relevant information about the drug The following type 2 diabetes medications will be discussed: Metformin Sulphonylurea Gliptins (DPP-4 inhibitors) SGLT2 inhibitors GLP-1 mimetics (Incretin mimetics) Pioglitazone GLP-1 mimetics In the final part of this post, I listed the most common type 2 diabetes drugs prescribed in the…

  • How to change a nominated pharmacy?
    Advice for patients

    How to change a nominated pharmacy?

    Have you recently moved and want to change your pharmacy? Or perhaps you are not happy with the service you have been receiving from your current pharmacy, whatever the reason changing nominated pharmacy is easy and can be done in several ways. How to change a nominated pharmacy? In this post, I will discuss 7 easy ways of changing your nominated pharmacy.

  • Tesco sildenafil: a cheap erectile dysfunction service
    Advice for patients

    Tesco sildenafil: how to get a cheap “Viagra”?

    Update: on 01/04/2020 Tesco dysfunction service was discontinued.  There are many ways of getting sildenafil. Sildenafil can be prescribed on NHS or private prescription, it can be purchased from a pharmacy or online pharmacies, or patients can use different private erectile dysfunction services widely provided by online pharmacies / online doctors. Since 2018 sildenafil became available over the counter from pharmacies without a prescription, under a branded name as Viagra Connect. In 2020, we saw a launch of Aronix, another brand of sildenafil available over the counter without a prescription and priced much more competitively. Today I am going to write about one of the cheapest ways of getting sildenafil…

  • Over the counter laxatives UK: the best list
    Advice for patients

    The Best Over the Counter Laxatives UK

    Most over the counter laxatives in the UK are available without a prescription. There are four main classes of laxatives which patients can use to manage constipation effectively and fast. Over the counter laxatives (UK) are licensed as General Sale List Products (GSL), available in any retail outlet including pharmacies, and Pharmacy Only medicines (P), which can only be purchased from registered pharmacies, including online pharmacies under a supervision of a pharmacist. Within each class, over the counter laxatives have specific licensed age restrictions with some available for children only on prescription.   In this post, I will discuss over the counter laxatives commonly used in the UK. I relation to…