1. Support with minor ailments
Pharmacists can offer advice and over-the-counter medication to help with a range of common conditions and minor injuries. You can see them for help with typical Winter ailments such as coughs, colds and the flu, as well as day to day issues, such as aches, pains, skin rashes and cystitis. Many pharmacists can also help with access to the morning after pill, pregnancy tests, and needle exchange services.
You don’t need to make an appointment to see a pharmacist and they will let you know if you need to see a doctor.
2. Help with your medication
Pharmacists can offer advice and over-the-counter medication to help with a range of common conditions and minor injuries such as:
- common ailments such as coughs, colds and the flu
- tummy trouble
- aches and pains
- skin rashes
- access to the morning after pill and pregnancy tests
Your pharmacist can help manage repeat prescriptions and help with any questions that you might have about medication that you have been prescribed by the doctor.
If you’re taking lots of different medicines, you may be able to have a Medicines Use Review with your pharmacist to help you work out when you should be taking your medication and discuss any questions or side effects.
If you have a question about medicine you’ve been prescribed or that you’ve bought over the counter, speak to your pharmacist. They are experts in how to use medicines safely.
3. Repeat prescriptions
Save yourself a trip to your GP by asking your pharmacist to manage your repeat prescriptions for you. If you take medication on a regular basis and your condition is stable, your GP may be able to offer a long-term repeat prescription so that your pharmacist can supply your medicine at regular intervals. In the event that you experience problems with your medicine, tell your pharmacist and they can consult your GP.
Speak to your doctor to find out what is possible for your medication.
4. General health advice
You can visit your pharmacist instead of your GP about how best to keep you and your family well. They’ve all sorts of advice, from how to eat healthily, lose weight, and what type of exercise you could be doing.
Your local pharmacist might also offer other NHS services such as smoking cessation, blood pressure tests, weight management and flu vaccination. To find out what your community pharmacist offers, just ask them.
What you need to know
All pharmacists train for five years in the use of medicines. They are also trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice.
Many pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard. Ask them if you would like to talk in private.