14 health conditions to see a pharmacist for rather than a doctor

NHS launch campaign to highlight importance of pharmacists

Duncan Reid, pharmacist at Pharmacy2U, provided an overview as to what a pharmacist can help you with.

In addition to helping you when you feel under the weather with coughs, colds and mild headaches, pharmacists can provide assistance when it comes to treating allergies.

“Pharmacists can provide guidance on suitable over-the-counter medications and remedies to alleviate your symptoms,” said Reid.

For those suffering from indigestion, heartburn or an upset stomach, pharmacists can advise on suitable antacids and other treatments.

Pharmacists can also help with skin conditions, said Reid, from rashes and insect bites to mild eczema.

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Your local pharmacy will be able to help out with:

  1. Coughs
  2. Colds
  3. Headaches
  4. Indigestion
  5. Heartburn
  6. Upset stomach
  7. Rashes
  8. Insect bites
  9. Mild eczema
  10. Muscle strains
  11. Joint pain
  12. Nicotine replacement therapy
  13. Emergency contraception
  14. Vaccinations.

Reid said: “If you’re planning to travel, pharmacists can provide advice on necessary vaccinations, travel medications, and other health precautions based on your destination.”

Pharmacists can also be helpful in giving advice about the medication you may be taking.

Reid elaborated: “Pharmacists can explain how to take prescription medications properly, engage in discussions about possible side effects, and address any queries you might have.”

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If you have any queries on over-the-counter products to choose from, pharmacists can assist you.

“Pharmacies often provide services such as blood pressure monitoring, weight management support, and advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” added Reid.

Visiting a pharmacy is a convenient and practical option for addressing various healthcare needs.

There are times, however, when booking a doctor’s appointment is the best port of call.

Reid listed seven circumstances for when scheduling a doctor’s appointment is advisable.

When to book a doctor’s appointment:

  • You have persistent or worsening symptoms
  • You experience severe pain or discomfort
  • You suspect a more complex medical condition
  • Your symptoms are not responding to over-the-counter treatments
  • You require a prescription medication that isn’t available over the counter
  • You need specialised care, referrals to specialists, or diagnostic tests
  • You have concerns regarding your mental health.

Reid said: “Doctors have the expertise to diagnose underlying health conditions, provide prescriptions for stronger medications, and coordinate comprehensive care plans.

“For serious emergencies, such as chest pain, severe injuries, or difficulty breathing, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention at a hospital or call 999.”

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