• Covid-19 lateral flow tests are now available in pharmacies. Image of the box supplied in the pharmacy.
    Pharmacy insights

    COVID-19 lateral flow tests available from pharmacies

    A new pharmacy service was recently launched in England, which allows the public to collect free COVID-19 lateral flow tests (lateral flow devices – LFDs) from community pharmacies. The NHS Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Distribution Service was launched on the 29th of March 2021, but the promotion of this service to the public will not start after Easter. Pharmacies were able to order LFDs from the 29th of March, which means the public can collect LFDs from participating pharmacies.

  • Diltiazem cream for anal fissures reviewed
    Drug reviews: use, side effects, effectiveness

    Diltiazem cream: uses, side effects and availability

    Diltiazem cream (diltiazem hydrochloride cream) is a medicine prescribed in the UK to manage chronic anal fissure. Today I will answer the most common questions surrounding the use, availability and treatment with this cream. Summary: What is diltiazem cream used for? How does diltiazem help with anal fissures? Classification of anal fissures The legal classification of topical diltiazem  Topical diltiazem: legal classification Can you buy diltiazem hydrochloride 2% cream? How often to apply diltiazem cream? Diltiazem hydrochloride 2% cream: common side effects Alterative options to diltiazem cream

  • Amlodipine alternative drugs - review of high blood pressure drugs
    Drug reviews: use, side effects, effectiveness

    8 amlodipine alternative drugs for blood pressure

    Amlodipine is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the UK and the most prescribed high blood pressure (BP) medication. When patients are diagnosed with high blood pressure and a drug is recommended, amlodipine may be the first choice, but not always. Taking any drugs comes with a risk of side effects, with amlodipine associated with few common side effects. Ultimately, patients may be prescribed amlodipine alternative drug. Today, I will discuss amlodipine alternative drugs according to recommended treatment guidelines. Perhaps the most important message to take in is that the choice of amlodipine alternative drug(s) will be driven by the national guidance on blood pressure, which clearly states…

  • Cerelle vs Cerazette: differences as similarities
    Women's health

    Cerelle vs Cerazette: Are they really the same?

    Cerelle and Cerazette are two brands of daily progestogen-only pill (POP), also known as mini-pill. In recent years prescribing of Cerazette in NHS decreased, in place of other brands, including Cerelle. Today I will discuss the reasons for this change and review different aspects of Cerelle vs Cerazette use.  Summary of the post: Cerelle vs Cerazette: are they the same? Cerelle vs Cerazette: How to take them? Cerelle vs Cerazette: common side effects  Which contraceptive is more popular – Cerelle vs Cerazette?  I used to be prescribed Cerazette, but not anymore. Why?  Can I still request a doctor to prescribe Cerazette? Can I ask the pharmacy to dispense Cerazette instead…

  • Review of ibuprofen alternative drugs

    22 ibuprofen alternative drugs you must know

    Ibuprofen is one of the most common drugs purchased over the counter in the UK. Ibuprofen prescribing decreased significantly in recent years due to the NHS strategy to minimise issuing of medicines that are available over the counter. In recent months, ibuprofen’s price went up significantly, with many shops and pharmacies being out of stock of ‘cheap’ ibuprofen. Today I will review ibuprofen alternative drugs. Firstly, I will discuss the availability of branded ibuprofen. I will then review a combination of products containing ibuprofen, which can be used instead of ibuprofen in certain situations and lastly, I will talk about other ibuprofen alternative drugs available on the market.   Summary: What…

  • Lymecycline for acne - review
    Drug reviews: use, side effects, effectiveness

    Lymecycline for ACNE: Questions & Answers

    Lymecycline is one of the most commonly used oral antibiotics in the treatment of acne. I previously reviewed the use of different antibiotics, including lymecycline for acne. In today’s post, I will focus solely on the use of lymecycline in the treatment of acne. Summary of the post: What is Lymecycline? The legal classification of lymecycline Why is lymecycline used in the treatment of acne? How to get lymecycline for acne treatment How to take lymecycline Common side effects Alternative options for acne treatment

  • Tamsulosin vs Finasteride: review of effectiveness, side effect.
    Drug reviews: use, side effects, effectiveness,  Men's health

    Tamsulosin vs Finasteride: use, side effects & effectiveness

    Tamsulosin and finasteride are the two most common drugs licensed and used to manage benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is a condition characterised by an enlarged prostate, which may produce common symptoms such as increased urgency to urinate, poor urinary flow (difficult to start urination), increased urination at night (polyuria) and incomplete bladder emptying (individuals going back to the toilet few times because they feel they need to pee). In today’s post, I will review the most common questions surrounding both drugs. Tamsulosin vs finasteride summary of the post:   Tamsulosin vs finasteride: legal classification What tamsulosin and finasteride are used for? What is the difference between tamsulosin and finasteride? Can…

  • Review of lozenges and sweets for dry mouth symtoms

    7 Best DRY MOUTH lozenges for saliva production

    The definition of dry mouth (medical term: xerostomia) is self-explanatory. Dry mouth may be experienced by anyone as one of the most common causes is dehydration. Many drugs can cause dry mouth. This side effect is sometimes associated with the whole class of medicines rather than a particular drug, making dry mouth management even more critical, as there may be little room for changing the medication. Saliva production is primarily driven by mechanical and gustatory (taste) stimulation (Dodds et al., 2015), making lozenges and sweets an appropriate choice in the management of dry mouth. In today’s post, I will review the best dry mouth lozenges for saliva production. I will…

  • Modafinil alternatives - best cognitive enhancers
    Drug reviews: use, side effects, effectiveness

    Modafinil alternatives: BEST cognitive enhancers

    Modafinil (brand name Provigil) is one of the primary drugs used in the management of narcolepsy in the UK. Narcolepsy is a rare condition that affects sleep control and results in daytime sleepiness, often sudden and uncontrollable. The public’s interest in modafinil comes from the drug’s association with a class of medicines called ‘smart drugs‘, also called nootropics and cognitive enhancers. Many individuals search for cognitive enhancement drugs, and modafinil tends to be one of the main drugs which always gets mentioned. Today I will review modafinil alternatives, drugs that promote awakeness and/or improve cognitive functions. I will not review over the counter modafinil alternatives or modafinil’s natural alternatives simply…

  • Can you get melatonin over the counter in UK?
    Drug reviews: use, side effects, effectiveness

    Can you get melatonin over the counter in the UK?

    Melatonin is a hormone that is released at night by the pineal gland located in the brain. Melatonin controls the sleep-wake cycle (24-hour cycle). In other words, melatonin acts as a biological clock that regulates sleep. Melatonin, therefore, can be used to promote and regulate sleep (Wagner et al., 1998). This post answers the question: Can you get melatonin over the counter in the UK? Additionally, the availability of different areas of melatonin supply in the UK will be discussed.