Friday, 14 December 2012

Getting ready for Christmas - don't forget the medicines cabinet

In case you hadn't noticed, Christmas is coming!!! Are you ready yet?

Most of us will have the luxury of some time off with friends and family. Maybe you have a houseful of relatives (soem more welcome than others?!) or perhaps you are heading off to spend time with others. Either way, I am sure you will be making lists and buying extra provisions. Have you remembered to check your medicine cabinet as well?

A well stocked medicine cabinet will help you care for yourself and your family in the early stages of illness. Even if you have to phone NHS24 for advice when your GP surgery is closed over the festive period, they will quite often advise you to use medicines you should have at home.
Most families in the UK lack basic medicine cabinet supplies and knowledge needed to treat minor illnesses that can be easily dealt with at home, reveals a new survey of GPs, accoring to the Self Care Forum

So what should be in your medicine cabinet?
Barnton Pharmacy can help you
restock your medicine cabinet

  • First-aid kit including guidebook, plasters, bandages, thermometer, eyewash solution, medical tape, tweezers, sterile dressing, antiseptic lotion/cream
  • Painkillers – ibuprofen, paracetamol, aspirin
  • Cold and flu remedies
  • Anti-diarrhoea medicine
  • Antihistamines
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Indigestion remedies
  • Children's medicines including paracetamol suspension and an antihistamine.
  • Sunscreen (maybe not needed right now, but will you remember to buy it nearer the spring?)
It is also recommended that every household should ahve a healthcare guide. NHS inform offers loads of great advice about minor illnesses and how to treat them, and would be a great place to start.

Barnton Pharmacy will be closed on 25th and 26th December and again on 1st and 2nd January. Come and see us when we are open and we can advise you as to what you may need to get your medicine cabinet ready for the festive period.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Shingles - the facts

Shingles or herpes zoster (to give it its Sunday name!) is a condition caused by reactivation of the chickenpox virus.

You cannot catch shingles from someone with chickenpox.
Once you have had chickenpox (and 90% of adults in the UK will have had), the virus stays dormant in the body until it is reactivated, when it causes shingles. If you have definitely never had chicken pox, then you will not get shingles.
  What is shingles?
Symptoms of shingles normally affect one side of the body. It usually starts with a headache, fever or tiredness. Most people feel unwell with shingles. This is commonly followed by a burning pain. A few days later a rash may develop which will turn into fluid filled blisters which will eventually crust over and heal.

Most people recover fully but some people are left with nerve pain (neuralgia) for many months or even years after. This burning or shooting pain can be extremely distressing and disabling.

Treatment in the form of antivirals are available to treat the symptoms of shingles if they are taken as soon as possible during an episode.

Care is needed if shingles affects the eye or eyelid as this has been known to affect vision and even cause permanent blindness.

Although shingles can develop at any age, it is much more likely to affect people over 50 years of age and the risk increases with increasing age.

The shinglesaware website offers some really good advice for anyone wanting more information about shingles.

The good news is that there is a vaccine available which can prevent shingles at all.
The NHS has agreed that a shingles vaccination should be offered to people aged 70 to 79 years and this is likely to start from 2014, but you can protect yourself before then if you want to.
As you know, we at Barnton Pharmacy like to jab people, so we are delighted to be able to offer the shingles vaccine as part of our comprehensive vaccination programme.

It is not cheap at £150, but if you know of people who have had or are suffering from the pain left behind after shingles, they may say it is money well spent.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Launching our new travel clinic in Edinburgh

We all know we ought to ensure our travel vaccinations are up to date, but fitting that in to an already busy schedule before going on holiday can be difficult.

Then there is the added difficulty of trying to get an appointment at your doctors and then get a prescription and go back and get your jabs, right?
Our new travel clinic at Barnton Pharmacy in North West Edinburgh takes all the hassle out of getting ready for your holidays.

We offer a one-stop shop for all your travel related needs.

We can provide
  • Travel Health Advice before your trip,
  • Travel Vaccinations without a prescription
  • Anti Malarial Medication without a prescription
  • Travel Health Products
Our travel health qualified Pharmacists Leanne and Sally are able to advise you on all aspects of travel health, provide vaccinations and anti malarial medication, without you needing to visit your doctor or get a prescription.
Weekday and Saturday morning appointments available.
A consultation fee of £15.00 will be charged but can be redeemed against any vaccines, antimalarials or travel related products.
For more information on our prices, click here.

For an appointment or more information, please call 0131 339 3449 or email

Once you have made your appointment, please complete the Travel Assessment Form to bring along with you