Advice for patients

Articles and advice for patients around conditions and their treatment.

  • Advice for patients

    Generic drugs versus branded drugs

    The vast majority of drugs dispensed in pharmacies are generic drugs. In some circumstances, patient request branded products to be dispensed or prescriber decides to write a prescription for branded rather than a generic product. Does it really matter which drugs are used by patients? What is the difference between branded and generic drug? Can patient request branded product to be dispensed on ‘generic prescription’?

  • Advice for patients

    Migraleve Pink alternative

    Migraleve Pink is out of stock! What is the alternative product? Migraleve Pink tables disappeared from UK pharmacies few months ago and currently there is no signs of any come back. A very vague message on migraleve.co.uk suggests it’s a temporary situation and that the producers are ‘working hard to resolve the situation’. We now know that the issues is not temporary as Migraleve Pink has been out of stock since mid 2018. Update June 2019: As of end of June Migraleve Pink, and Migraleve packs containing Pink Tablets and Yellow Tablets are now available.

  • Advice for patients,  Pharmacy insights

    Drugs that keep you awake: modafinil

    Modafinil is the main focus of today’s post. It will be part of posts on prescription drugs that keep you awake and/or affect cognitive performance. I will summarise the mechanism of action of each drug in relation to wakefulness and possible effects on cognitive performance and whether they fall into ‘smart drug’ category. Smart drugs have been attracting a larger audience in recent years among students, bankers and shift workers. It is a known fact that armies around the world use stimulants to improve performance during a long duration missions (Bower, 2003). Movies like Limitless contributed to greater interest in smart drugs, particularly modafinil which received a label of NZT-48…

  • How long does prescription last?
    Advice for patients

    How long does prescription last?

    Prescriptions (NHS, private & vet) need to be dispensed within an appropriate time frame. All prescriptions: NHS, computer-generated, electronic (EPS), or handwritten must be dated. Prescriptions without a date are not legally valid and most likely will not be dispensed. Generally, the most important factor which affects prescription expiry date is the presence of a controlled drug. So, how long does prescription last? Read on. 

  • Advice for patients

    Over the counter: sleeping pills

    In this post I will summarise the main sleeping products available in UK for relief of temporary sleeping problems which are available over the counter without a prescription. Insomnia can be caused by number of factors. Some common include stress and anxiety. Changing you sleeping habits can improve your sleeping. However there are number of things that can be done to relief insomnia. NHS UK and Mind offer some excellent tips on improving your sleep. All products available over the counter ‘for sleeping’ contain sedative antihistamines as main active ingredient. Two antihistamines used in sleeping pills in UK are diphenhydramine and promethazine. Both drugs are sold under different branded names…

  • Prescription cost increased to £9.00 per item dispensed.
    Advice for patients

    How much does Prescription cost?

    From 1st of April 2019, NHS prescription cost is £9.00 for each medicine or appliance dispensed. There is no price increase for Prescription pre-payment certificates (PPCs). Patients who take two or more drugs on regular basis can save money with PPC. FAQ I have two or more different drugs prescribed on one NHS prescription. How many charges do I have to pay? Two or more. Prescription cost equals to number of different drugs dispensed. Patients pay for each drug dispensed on NHS prescription, unless a drug is prescribed in the same form at different strength.

  • Amoxicillin without prescription
    Advice for patients

    Can you get amoxicillin over the counter without prescription?

    Amoxicillin is used to treat a wide range of infections including respiratory infections, middle ear infections, dental abscesses and number of other infections. Amoxicillin is the most commonly prescribed antibiotic in UK with seasonal prescribing patterns. In months of December and January on average about 1 million amoxicillin prescriptions is issued each month (OpenPrescribing.net) Is amoxicillin available over the counter without prescription?

  • Advice for patients,  Pharmacy insights

    Patient’s perspective: pregabalin and gabapentin, new controlled drugs

    From 1st of April 2019 pregabalin and gabapentin will be classified as Schedule 3 Controlled drugs. Why pregabalin and gabapentin became controlled substances? Following Government consultation and recommendations from Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs the decision was made to reclassify pregabalin and gabapentin. The main reason for reclassification was concern about misuse of both drugs. When taken pregabalin and gabapentin can cause feeling of euphoria and relaxation. They can also be used to enhance the effects of opiates such as codeine. This potential for abuse increases their street value. Market for illegal supply of pregabalin and gabapentin is on rise.

  • Private prescriptions cost & legality
    Advice for patients

    Private Prescriptions: Cost, Legality & Important FAQ

    A private prescription is a term used to describe a medication prescription which is not covered under the National Health System (NHS), although it can be written by an NHS doctor or another qualified prescriber. In this post, I will be looking at some common questions surrounding private prescriptions, including: obtaining private prescriptions legality expiry times private prescriptions cost Private prescriptions: how to get one? There are many ways of getting private prescriptions. Private prescriptions from a GP Your GP can issue a private prescription; however, in primary care settings, GP may not issue private prescription as an alternative to NHS FP10 prescription. In practice, this means that only limited items are prescribed by GPs…