Advice for patients

Articles and advice for patients around conditions and their treatment.

  • 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.

  • Cranberry juice UTI. What is the evidence for treatment and prevention.
    Advice for patients

    Cranberry juice and UTI

    Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection which can affect the bladder, urethra or kidneys. UTI mostly experienced by women, however, men can also get it. UTI can be uncomfortable but usually goes on its own without any treatment. Depending on the symptoms or in certain situations patients need to see their GP to get appropriate antibiotic treatments. To learn more about UTI and when to see your GP go to the NHS website. This post will focus on the use of cranberry juice in UTI treatment and prevention. Why Cranberry juice in UTI? Use of cranberries in the treatment of bladder infections goes back hundreds of years ago to…

  • Emergency prescription
    Advice for patients

    How to get Emergency Prescription

    In one of my previous posts, I discussed requirements for patients to receive medication on the basis of an emergency supply. An emergency prescription can be obtained from a pharmacy under CPCS service (previously known as NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) scheme). This service was created to reduce the burden on urgent and emergency care services such as walk in and out of hour centres. CPCS service was launched in September 2019, replacing NUMSAS service (pilot scheme) and at the same time extended to all pharmacies in the UK.

  • Medication disposal
    Advice for patients

    How to dispose medication safely

    Drugs are not ordinary items and with this, medication disposal should be done appropriately. In this post, I will summarise how to dispose of your medication safely, regardless of whether medication is expired or just unwanted. Remember: once medication left the pharmacy it cannot be reused as dispensing stock when brought back to the pharmacy, even if you never opened the box.

  • Review of best Skin numbing creams
    Advice for patients

    3 Best Skin Numbing Creams available over the counter

    Skin numbing creams such as Emla is licensed for topical anaesthesia before needle insertions for example before an injection, commonly used before children’s immunisations, or to numb the area before superficial skin procedures. Numbing creams became a popular choice for the off-license use as tattoo numbing creams. In this post, I will discuss over the counter availability of skin numbing creams and a numbing gel from the pharmacy, their age restrictions, and pricing. Always read patient information leaflet for detailed advice on methods of administration, special warnings, and other important information related to each numbing cream. Skin numbing creams: the main active ingredients Numbing creams available from the pharmacy contain…