Advice for patients

Articles and advice for patients around conditions and their treatment.

  • Best over the counter antifungal creams in the UK
    Advice for patients

    Over The Counter Antifungal Creams

    Over the counter antifungal creams are used in the treatment of various conditions including ringworm, nappy rash, athlete’s foot, thrush and other infections caused by yeast (Candida species), mould and other fungi (for example Trichophyton species). In this post, I will summarise the use and availability of over the counter antifungal creams in the UK.

  • Summary of best carbomer eye gel drops available in the UK
    Advice for patients

    5 Carbomer Eye Gel Drops You Need to know

    Carbomer eye gel (also known as carbomer eye drops) is one of the most commonly used eye drops for the treatment of dry eyes. Carbomer is a gel-based eye lubricant, which has thicker consistency (viscosity) as compared to eye drops. In this post, I will discuss the availability of different brands of carbomer eye gels, their side effects, and the essential information about specific brands of carbomer eye gel products. Where can I buy carbomer eye drops? Carbomer eye gel is a pharmacy-only medication, which means it is available to buy only from pharmacies, including online chemists. Pharmacy-only medicines are kept away from the public and not available for self-selection.…

  • Best ear drops for wax removal
    Advice for patients

    6 Best Ear Drops for Wax Removal

    Ear wax build-up is a common problem, which can be characterised by having earache, reduced hearing, dizziness, itchiness, and tinnitus (a sensation of noise in the ear). Thankfully there are several ear drops for wax removal, available over the counter in pharmacies and supermarkets. This post summarises options for ear wax removal with popular ear drop products available in the UK, focusing on the use and age restrictions for each product.

  • Use of beta=blockers for anxiety, summary.
    Advice for patients

    Beta-blockers for anxiety: WHICH beta-blocker to use?

    World Health Organisation (WHO) defines anxiety disorders as a group of mental conditions characterised by a feeling of fear and anxiety (WHO, 2017). Some common forms of anxiety include generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Pharmacological management of anxiety disorders involves the use of antidepressants, such as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or a serotonin–noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). NICE guidelines on the management of generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder in adults does not mention the use of beta-blockers, although it is known that beta-blockers may elevate the symptoms of anxiety. In this post, I will discuss the use of beta-blockers for anxiety,…

  • Options for liquid antihistamines for children and toddlers
    Advice for patients

    Liquid antihistamines for children and toddlers

    There are plenty of choices when it comes to the management of hayfever symptoms and allergic skin reactions in children and toddlers. Most antihistamines available for an adult population exist in liquid form. In this post, I will review liquid antihistamines for kids, which are available in the UK, focusing on: Restrictions on the availability of liquid antihistamines (pharmacy-only products vs. general sale products) Age restrictions for each liquid antihistamine Dosage for treatment of hayfever Common-side effects, particularly review of drowsiness

  • Sodium Cromoglicate Eye Drops for itchy and red eyes due to hayfever
    Advice for patients

    Sodium Cromoglicate Eye Drops for itchy & red eyes

    Symptomatic management of hayfever involves the use of antihistamine drugs alone or in combination with steroid nasal sprays and eye drops such as sodium cromoglicate eye drops. In this post, I will describe the use of sodium cromoglicate for the management of hayfever symptoms such as itchy and watery eyes. I will discuss: How sodium cromoglicate works Licensing restrictions (age restrictions) Availability of different brands of sodium cromoglicate eye drops

  • 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…