Advice for patients

Articles and advice for patients around conditions and their treatment.

  • Creams to reduce bruising
    Advice for patients

    Creams to reduce bruising: what is the best cream?

    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, which possibly helps with bruising. In this post, I will review creams which contain Arnica, a popular herbal choice for bruises, and a Hirudoid cream, a pharmacy medication licensed for superficial 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

    5 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. 4 Best Skin Numbing Creams available over the counter includes the list of the…

  • Sumatriptan over the counter can be used for treatment of acute migraines
    Advice for patients

    How to get Sumatriptan Over The Counter

    When a migraine happens,  many patients reach for common analgesics such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, or combination products containing codeine such as co-codamol or Migraleve. Sumatriptan is a medication that can be used to relieve an acute migraine attack. Sumatriptan works differently to analgesics. In this post, I will discuss the mechanism of action, suitability & requirements for the supply and possible side effects of sumatriptan over the counter.

  • Where to get the morning after pill for free
    Advice for patients

    How to get Morning After Pill for free

    The morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception which can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or when other forms of contraception has failed, for example, a split condom. There are different routes of getting the morning after pill. In this post, I will cover  describe how to get the morning after pill for free.

  • Metronidazole alcohol advice
    Advice for patients

    Can you mix Metronidazole & Alcohol

    Metronidazole is a commonly used antibiotic for the treatment of variety infections, where anaerobic bacteria are suspected to be a causative organism. Some common infections treated with metronidazole are acute dental infections, rosacea, and bacterial vaginosis. One of the warnings on the dispensing label for this antibiotic include interaction between metronidazole and alcohol. This warning states: Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication. What is the reason for metronidazole & alcohol warning?

  • Baby aspirin 75mg
    Advice for patients

    What is baby aspirin? Use, dose, possible side effects

    Aspirin is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world (Jones, 2005) and the UK. Despite its wide availability and low price, last year in the UK, aspirin was prescribed more than 23 mln times (, 2019). Aspirin belongs to a group of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). NSAIDs can be taken to reduce pain, inflammation or help with fever symptoms, however, in this post, I will be talking about a different use of low dose aspirin also known as baby aspirin. The following will be covered in this post: definition and indicated use of baby aspirin dose different forms of a low dose aspirin possible side effects

  • FreeStyle Libre on NHS: criteria
    Advice for patients

    FreeStyle Libre on NHS? Check criteria

    FreeStyle Libre is an innovative device designed for diabetic patients to monitor their glucose continuously. So far, all diabetic patients who wanted to use FreeStyle Libre had to self-fund the device. From April 2019, a new agreement came into place, allowing some diabetic patients to be prescribed FreeStyle Libre on NHS. In this post, I summarise Freestyle Libre and NHS criteria that need to be fulfilled in order to get the sensor prescribed by a GP.