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Prescribing of over the counter medication

Over-the-counter medication

NHS England published new prescribing guidance (29 March 2018) which covers 35 minor, short-term health conditions, which are either ‘self-limiting’ or suitable for ‘self-care’.
Self-care can be described as:

• a self-limiting condition does not require any medical advice or treatment as it will clear up on its own, such as sore throats, coughs, colds and viruses
• a minor illness that is suitable for self-care can be treated with items that can be purchased over the counter from a pharmacy. These conditions include, for example, indigestion, mouth ulcers and warts and verrucae.

Be Prepared – Your medicines cabinet

Check your medicine cabinet and make sure you have the following basics to hand when you need them. Any out-of-date medicines should be returned to your pharmacy.

• Painkillers (tablets and liquids), such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
• Antihistamines for allergies
• Rub-on painkilling gel
• Oral rehydration sachets
• Indigestion remedies
• Laxatives
• Anti-diarrhoea medicine
• Cream or spray to treat insect bites, stings, cuts and grazes
• Plasters and dressings

By keeping a selection of essential medications at home you can treat common conditions in a timely manner, avoid unnecessary trips to see your doctor or visits to A&E. For more information visit the NHS website

Self-Care of Common Illnesses

The team of qualified healthcare professionals at your local pharmacy can offer clinical advice to safely and effectively manage minor health concerns. This includes:

• Athletes foot
• Acute sore throat
• Antihistamines
• Conjunctivitis
• Coughs, colds and nasal congestion
• Cradle cap
• Dandruff
• Diarrhoea (adults)
• Dry eyes / sore tired eyes
• Earwax
• Excessive sweating
• Haemorrhoids
• Head lice
• Indigestion and heartburn
• Infant colic
• Infrequent cold sores of the lip
• Infrequent constipation
• Infrequent migraine
• Insect bites and stings
• Mild acne • Minor burns and scalds
• Mild cystitis
• Mild dry skin
• Mild irritant dermatitis
• Mild to moderate hay fever
• Minor pain, discomfort and fever (e.g. aches and sprains, headache, period pain, back pain)
• Mouth ulcers
• Nappy rash
• Oral thrush
• Prevention of tooth decay
• Ringworm
• Sunburn
• Sun protection
• Teething and mild toothache
• Threadworms
• Travel sickness
• Warts and verrucae

We encourage patients to self-care, when treatments are available to purchase over the counter (OTC) and/or considered to be medicines of limited clinical value. The practice will not routinely prescribe items to treat these conditions unless it is deemed to be appropriate by the prescriber.

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