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Treating common minor ailments in the pharmacy

Treating common minor ailments in the pharmacy

Pharmacy First and the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service are placing pharmacy at the centre of helping patients self-care as a way to manage minor conditions. Here is our guide on how to handle the range of cases that may present in the pharmacy.

Learning

CBL Impetigo

Case-based learning: impetigoSubscription

Pharmacists need to identify and manage impetigo effectively to help prevent its spread. 

Person with urticaria on back

Anaphylaxis: symptoms, causes and diagnosisSubscription

Anaphylaxis normally develops suddenly and can be fatal if not correctly identified and managed.

Person using auto-injector to inject adrenaline

Anaphylaxis: management Subscription

Anaphylaxis is potentially life-threatening; therefore, pharmacists must be able to immediately recognise symptoms and know how to treat patients.

Case-based learning: anxiety disorders

Case-based learning: anxiety disordersSubscription

There are many types of anxiety disorders with varying levels of severity. Pharmacists should know the treatment options that are available and how to support patients. 

Improving oral health: preventative care messages in community pharmacy

Improving oral health: preventative care messages in community pharmacySubscription

Dental caries, periodontal disease and oral cancer are health problems that can be prevented with the help of community pharmacists.

Acute pain consultation in community pharmacy

How to support patients with acute pain in community pharmacy

Patients often use their pharmacy as the first point of call for advice on the management of acute pain. This article outlines how to conduct a patient-centred acute pain consultation using a shared-decision making approach.

Managing common ear problems: discharge, ache and dizziness

Managing common ear problems: discharge, ache and dizzinessSubscription

Pharmacists and their teams should be able to manage patients presenting with ear discharge, earache and dizziness effectively, referring patients only when necessary.

Managing ear problems

Managing ear problems: hearing loss and tinnitusSubscription

Pharmacy teams should know when to manage and refer patients presenting with hearing loss or tinnitus.

One person training another

Implementing a cold and flu training programme in the community pharmacy

Practical steps for implementing a training programme to support staff in delivering consistent and reliable cold and flu management advice to the public.

Woman self-selecting medicine at a pharmacy

Engaging patients with cold and flu: putting theory into practice

Having a meaningful conversation with patients about cold and flu symptoms and management can be challenging, but it can be made easier by applying effective consultation skill theory to everyday practice.

Making consultations matter

Making consultations in community pharmacy matter

Patients should use pharmacy as their first point of call for advice for the management of minor conditions, such as cold and flu, and have clear expectations around what pharmacy can offer. This article outlines the approach and principles behind effective and meaningful consultations.

Case-based learning: Sore throat

Case-based learning: sore throatSubscription

Most sore throats are caused by viral infections and get better within a week through self-care. However, it is important to recognise when a sore throat is a symptom of a more serious illness.

Cough

Case-based learning: cough Subscription

Most coughs are acute and self-limiting; however, it is important to understand when a cough becomes clinically significant.

Pharmacist in a pharmacy

Clinical guidelines and evidence base for acute pain management

The variety of over-the-counter treatment options and guidelines means there can be misconceptions around the best options for patients. This article, part of the acute pain learning series, has been developed to highlight when and why pharmacists should review guidelines and the evidence base to support clinical decision making in patients presenting with symptoms of acute pain.

Case based learning acne

Case-based learning: acne vulgarisSubscription

Causes, diagnosis and management options for a range of patients, including those with mild or moderate acne.

Diverticulitis X ray

Diverticular disease and diverticulitis: causes, symptoms and treatmentSubscription

Diverticular disease and diverticulitis can be managed well in the community, with GPs, pharmacists and dietitians playing major roles.

Chipped tooth after a fall

Managing dental emergencies in community pharmacy: hard tissue conditionsSubscription

Patients often present to community pharmacies with oral and dental problems. This article focuses on the advice pharmacists and their teams can give to patients presenting with hard tissue emergencies.

Image of a traumatic ulcer

Oral ulceration: causes and managementSubscription

Patients often present in community pharmacy with mouth ulcers. This article describes the aetiology, presentation and treatment options for six types.

woman with joint pain walking dog

Appropriate community pharmacy management and referral of patients with chronic peripheral joint pain

A summary of best practice joint pain management recommendations for use by community pharmacy teams.

old man with joint pain tying shoes

How to conduct an effective joint pain management consultation in a community pharmacy setting

A guide to help community pharmacy team members effectively engage in conversations with patients about joint pain symptoms.

Testing eyesight in children

Vision and eye health in children

How to advise parents, dispell myths and spot the ‘red flags’ for onward referral.

woman with heel pain

Managing plantar heel pain in the pharmacySubscription

How to differentiate plantar fasciopathy from other causes of plantar heel pain, advice for pharmacists on counselling patients and when to refer. 

fungal nail lead 18

How to treat fungal nail effectivelySubscription

Owing to the high recurrence rate of fungal nail infections, pharmacy professionals should be able to advise patients on effective treatment and preventative and appropriate self-care strategies to avoid re-infection.

infected eye

How to prevent common eye problems

It is increasingly recognised that many modifiable lifestyle factors contribute to sight loss.

Teething, close up of a 6-month old baby's mouth

Managing dental emergencies in community pharmacy: soft tissue conditionsSubscription

What advice pharmacists and their teams can give to patients presenting with soft tissue dental conditions in community pharmacy.

Thrush spores

Thrush: detection and management in community pharmacy

Pharmacists can provide treatment and advice for this common yeast infection.

Female reproductive organs illustration

Heavy menstrual bleeding: diagnosis and management optionsSubscription

Heavy menstrual bleeding has a major impact on a woman’s quality of life. This article covers the most recent guidance and available treatment options.

Father giving baby bottled milk

Cow’s milk protein allergy in children: identification and treatmentSubscription

How pharmacists and pharmacy professionals can diagnose this complex problem and advise parents and carers on options for management.

Dentures

Advising denture wearers in community pharmacySubscription

Community pharmacy is ideally placed to provide first-line advice and support for patients experiencing issues with their dentures. Pharmacists and healthcare professionals should be aware of the common problems patients encounter and be able to recommend products that may be beneficial to relieve any symptoms they are experiencing. 

Close up of computer screen reflected on a man's eyeglasses

Computer vision syndrome: causes, symptoms and management in the pharmacy

Computer vision syndrome is a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and mobile phone use. Patients may present to pharmacies complaining of eye discomfort and vision problems, so pharmacists and pharmacy teams should be able to distinguish the factors involved for particular patients

3d anatomy of the eye

Chronic open-angle glaucoma: case studySubscription

Understand how to advise on chronic-open angle glaucoma, a condition in which intraocular pressure can permanently damage the optic nerve and nerve fibre, leading to blindness if left untreated.

Historical illustration of an eye

Evidence-based understanding of dry eye disease in pharmacy: overview of the TFOS DEWS II report

July 2017 saw publication of the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society International Dry Eye Workshop report, an update to the 2007 report that became the reference for clinicians, researchers and industry on dry eye. Pharmacy is a frequent point of contact for patients with a dry eye condition. Pharmacists and pharmacy teams should therefore be aware of its changing definiton, causes, diagnosis and management.

young pregnant woman belly hands ss 17

Conjunctivitis in pregnancy: case studySubscription

Healthcare professionals should advise non-pharmacological therapies for the initial treatment of minor ailments, such as eye conditions, in women who are pregnant. A conservative approach reduces the risk of exposing the unborn baby to medicines and their metabolites.

older man eyes closed ss 17

Wet age-related macular degeneration: case studySubscription

Advance your knowledge of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults in the developed world.

blepharitis inflammation eyelid wi 17

Eye disorders: understanding the causes, symptoms and managementSubscription

Patients often visit community pharmacy with eye complaints, and pharmacists are well placed to advise them. Boost your knowledge of the pathology, signs and treatment of common eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis and blepharitis.

Images of common foot conditions

Management and treatment options for common foot conditions

Patients of all ages visit their pharmacy to seek advice on a variety of conditions affecting their feet, but some groups, including the young and active, people with diabetes and elderly patients, are at higher risk of developing common foot conditions. Produced in partnership with RB.

Micrograph of melanoma

Melanoma: risk factors and advice on sunscreen useSubscription

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 4% of all new cancer diagnoses. Pharmacists and healthcare professionals are ideally placed to offer advice to patients on the use of sunscreens to limit UV exposure, reducing their risk of developing melanoma.

glaucoma eye test male patient 15

Glaucoma: an overviewSubscription

Stay abreast of glaucoma with an essential guide to its causes, diagnosis and management.

Chickenpox rash close up

Rashes in childrenSubscription

Rashes in children are common and may be difficult to differentiate by appearance alone, therefore, it is important to consider the entire clinical presentation in order to make the appropriate diagnosis.

closeup woman applying eye drops artifical tears ss 17

Topical drug dosage forms for eye conditionsSubscription

Pharmacists managing localised eye problems should be aware of the dosage froms that can be administered topically to the eye — solutions, suspensions and ointments — and their advantages, disadvantages, and considerations for use.

Close up of a health worker examining a toddler's ear

How to diagnose and manage primary and secondary earache and ear infectionsSubscription

Earache is a common problem that can be the result of a variety of different pathologies. It is important for pharmacists and healthcare professionals to appropriately diagnose primary and secondary earache and ear infections.

Close up of a man using a tongue scraper

Advising patients on halitosis and oral hygieneSubscription

Halitosis (bad breath) is estimated to be the third most frequent reason for patients to seek dental care, following tooth decay and gum disease. Pharmacists are ideally placed to promote oral health and provide patients with advice on the prevention and management of halitosis.

Man looking at gluten free products in a supermarket

How to identify symptoms of coeliac disease in community pharmacy and primary careSubscription

It is estimated that in the UK there are more than half a million people with clinically undiagnosed coeliac disease, caused by an adverse immune response to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Pharmacists and healthcare professionals can play a key role in identifying individuals with symptoms, referring them for testing, ultimately leading to earlier diagnosis.

Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the head and thorax of a human head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) clinging to a strand of human hair.

Head lice: resistance and treatment optionsSubscription

An update on head lice, their identification and the various treatment options available after considering resistance and treatment failure.

Illustration of the cross section of the eye

Recommending dry eye treatments in community pharmacy

How community pharmacists can best manage patients with dry eye conditions.

A typical dry eye. The green speckling shows the dry areas on the eye surface after instillation of a special eye drop

Identification of dry eye conditions in community pharmacy

How community pharmacists can identify patients with dry eye and how these conditions can be diagnosed.

Identifying symptoms associated with primary tooth eruption (pictured), the available treatments and best practice for management

Tooth eruption and teething in childrenSubscription

Identifying symptoms associated with primary tooth eruption, the available treatments and best practice for management.

Helminths either live as parasites, or free of a host, in aquatic and terrestrial environments. In the image, micrograph of the head of a tapeworm (Taenia pisiformis)

Helminth infections: diagnosis and treatmentSubscription

Diagnosis and selection of appropriate drug treatments for common helminth infections.

Warts and verrucas are common viral skin infections, affecting around 7–12% of the population at any one time, and are more common in children. They are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). In the image, micrograph of a common wart

Warts and verrucas: assessment and treatmentSubscription

Lesions caused by human papilloma virus often do not require treatment, but need to be assessed to rule out more serious conditions.

Infographic

Relief from indigestion: a visual guide

Relief from indigestion: a visual guideSubscription

Indigestion and heartburn affect four in ten people. This guide illustrates the options available over the counter for managing symptoms and how they work.

Hay fever OTC: management

Hay fever: OTC managementSubscription

More patients may seek advice on hay fever in the future since NHS England has advised GPs not to routinely prescribe products that are available over the counter for this condition.

GSK joint pain infographic

Joint pain: pathology and treatment

An overview of joint pain for community pharmacy teams.

Features

Insomnia concept, bus stop

Putting insomnia to bedSubscription

An estimated 30–50% of the population will experience insomnia symptoms at some point in their lives and, in the UK, insomnia rates steadily rise with age. With a 2% increase in sales of over-the-counter sleep aids during 2017, pharmacists are seeing more patients with insomnia symptoms. Here we discuss the health implications of not getting enough sleep and what can be done to help people drift off.

Acne scars on back

Innovation in acne treatment is long overdue but the treatment pipeline looks promisingSubscription

Current treatments for acne are effective but regimens are complex and side effects are common. Better understanding of the pathology of acne is leading to identification of new, safer, treatment targets, and dermatologists and researchers in the field are excited about the pipeline.

Insight

Illustration of acne on a young woman's skin

Why we need more over-the-counter products to treat acneSubscription

Approval of the first over-the-counter topical retinoid in the United States is a welcome move and should be replicated in other countries.

Close up of a woman taking cough syrup

It's time to change the way we approach coughs in community pharmacySubscription

Over-the-counter treatments for the common cough need to be brought up to date and improved, especially considering the social and economic implications of the condition.

Research

Dipstick showing urinary tract infection urinary tract infection (UTI)

NHS Grampian project: treating uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection in community pharmacySubscription

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common conditions seen in female patients in general practice (GP) and account for 1–3% of all GP consultations each year in the UK. Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments for UTIs currently available in community pharmacy only attempt to relieve symptoms, and do not address the bacterial infection. The Grampian project was developed to provide treatment of uncomplicated UTIs through community pharmacies by means of a Patient Group Direction ...

Rows of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine

A new way to look at acute cough in the pharmacySubscription

Cough is the most common symptom for which people seek medical advice, and patients with cough frequently present to community pharmacy. Cough can be either acute or chronic. Acute cough, defined as being of less than three weeks’ duration, is often caused by viral respiratory tract infection and is probably one of the most common reasons for accessing healthcare in the community. For these infections, no antiviral treatment exists and antibiotics have been shown to be ineffective in ...

Scanning electron micrograph of nasal mucosa in allergic rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis: impact, diagnosis, treatment and managementSubscription

Allergic rhinitis results from an immunological abnormality in which atopic individuals produce immunoglobulin E (IgE) to allergens (e.g. pollen, house dust mites, animal dander and moulds). IgE activates mast cells, which respond by releasing inflammatory mediators. Histamine stimulates the early symptoms, predominately mucus production, nasal itching and sneezing. Leukotrienes and cytokines attract and activate eosinophils to cause allergic inflammation, which is primarily responsible ...

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