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Ask Your Pharmacist Week (4th-11th November)

ask your pharmacistWhat is ‘Ask Your Pharmacist Week’?

From 4th – 11th November 2013, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) will launch Ask Your Pharmacist Week.

The initiative will focus on the advice and treatment for common ailments and a host of other community pharmacy-based support – all with the aim of helping people to stay healthy during winter.

Community pharmacies are a fantastic and convenient way to get help and remedies for the coughs, sneezes and other health problems that are inevitable part of the colder season, but don’t need a GP or hospital appointment.

Protect yourself from flu by getting a jab if you’re:

  • 65 or over
  • Pregnant
  • Have a medical condition, such as asthma
  • Living in a residential, nursing or care home or receive Carer’s Allowance
  • A carer for a disabled or elderly person
  • You’re a healthcare or social worker

If you want a flu jab but aren’t in any of the above groups, some pharmacies can arrange it for a small cost.

What else can I do to protect myself this winter?

  • Ease congestion in babies and young children by asking your pharmacist for vapour rubs, nasal saline drops and sprays
  • Most over-the-counter medicines are not suitable for children under six, so ask your pharmacist for the best treatment or medicine if your child is poorly
  • Ibuprofen, Aspirin and Paracetamol are effective at reducing fever and relieving pain, but they’re not suitable for everyone – so ask your pharmacist for guidance
  • Always read the information leaflets that accompany your medicine, or ask the pharmacist if you’re unsure.  Lots of cold and flu remedies contain painkillers, so make sure you’re not mixing them
  • If you’re bunged up with a cold, ask your pharmacist for the best decongestants, as these can help make breathing easier and reduce the swelling in the passageways of your nose
  • Consult your pharmacist for the best advice on how to ease the symptoms of winter ailments in the home.  Gargling with salt water, for example, can help ease a sore throat or nasal congestion
  • Protect yourself from colds and flus by regularly washing your hands. If  you’re ill,  help protect others by coughing or sneezing into a tissue and immediately disposing of it
  • Earache is the most common reason for a parent to call out a doctor, so consult your pharmacist. Painkillers are effective, as is placing a warm flannel against the infected ear
  • Tickly, itchy and chesty coughs can be remedied by cough medicines – and a teaspoon of honey in warm water is also another good cure

So if you’re in doubt about protecting yourself from those nasty cold and flu symptoms, take advantage of Ask Your Pharmacist Week – or if you need an anti-viral treatment for flu Dr Fox can provide one following a short consultation.