• Questions To Ask Your Pharmacist

    Questions To Ask Your Pharmacist

    There are times that you need assistance on what medications to take when an emergency arises but in doubt if you are taking it the right way. Some situations may call for immediate medications as first aid but you do not know exactly what to do with it. What comes to your mind are the urgent questions to ask your pharmacist.

    Q&A Ask Alvin Live Show is all about pharmacy questions to ask your pharmacist. It is our very aim to give valuable content by answering all queries relating to pharmacy medicines,natural medicines and other health related topics.

    Questions to Ask Your PharmacistWe can deal with your queries in the proper fashion, but this is just a general overview from some of the questions that a lot of  patients have asked us over the past weeks. Here’s the answer to the “questions to ask your pharmacist” that we got from you.

    For this episode, Alvin answered four questions from the viewers.

    These “questions to ask your pharmacist” include the following:
    1. My oral antihistamine is not working. What can I do?
    2. What vitamins are good for hair and nail growth?
    3. My knee hurts after I run. What can I use?
    4. Why can’t I take cold and flu medicines when I’m taking blood pressure medicines?

    Q1: My oral antihistamine is not working, what can I do? (1:14)

    Oral antihistamines are the first line of treatment that we recommend for managing  hayfever symptoms. Along with antihistamine tablet, using a low-dose corticosteroid nasal spray  is essential.

    What is a low-dose cortisone spray?

    It is medication in the form of spray that works well at reducing the swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages whereby making it less sensitive to pollens. The guidelines in Australia state that it’s better off using a nasal spray first-line to manage hayfever.

    There are so many different nasal sprays that we can use. One of them is saline spray or saline wash. It is used to re-hydrate the nasal passages and it does the job of flushing out excess pollen. Asking your healthcare professional or your pharmacist will help you determine the right nasal spray for you.

    What if hayfever has gone really bad?

    If your hay fever is really bad, we can recommend using a preservative-free nasal decongestant for the first few days. This is something like what we use for cold and flu in conjunction with a low-dose corticosteroid spray as well as your tablet. This may seem like an overkill, but,  this is how to deal living in Melbourne with all this hay and pollen floating around in the air.

    Steroid and Cortisone- are they safe?

    Quite often, a lot of our patients need to go the full route of managing their hay fever. Set aside misconceptions about the word “steroid” and “cortisone”. Some people don’t like this stuff but these two words are totally misfounded. A low dose steroid or cortisioine is really  safe super low dose, and you will notice some amazing relief in your symptoms.

    There’s the whole preventative option as well which we can go through with you here in the pharmacy, but basically using stuff like Vitamin C, quercetin, marshmallow and all the similar natural ingredients may help protect you from hayfever. How can we forget probiotics? Particular strains of probiotics are super useful for dampening your immune response to hay fever. So taking probiotics is a must.

    Q2. What vitamins are good for hair and nail growth? (4:02)

    For the second question by Ange. The first thing to recommend is fish oil. Fish oil contains omega-3s or any other form of omega-3. They are really good at nourishing your hair and your skin. Omega-3s come in so many different forms depending on your dietary requirements, but typically we use fish oils. But if you’re a vegan, we have got other sources as well, so make sure you come in and see us.

    Omega 3 Supplement

    The second thing that you can use of is some zinc. Zinc is really good at stimulating hair follicle growth and works well for skin repair. The third one to use is silica. Silica is really important in collagen synthesis. Collagen is a part of our skin and a part of our hair. Basically, silica will help build that important component to keep skin and hair nice and strong. More than that, silica helps prevent hair loss and heals up skin conditions really nicely. You can even apply silica to your skin and hair as well.

    Q3. My knee hurts after I run. What can I use? (5:42)

    Third question from Stefan. Stefan says, “My knee hurts after I run. What can I use?” For this particular situation, we would suggest to check out your techniques and activation exercises. Some medical assistance from your physio and osteopath will be of great help in this case.

    From the pharmacy perspective, managing your pain can be done by using anti-inflammatories. There is a whole host of anti-inflammatories that you can buy in the pharmacy. If in any case, the knee is inflamed, using an anti-inflammatory might be the way for you in helping you manage the pain and  recover quickly

    Certainly from a preventative sense, using magnesium is a good idea. Magnesium relaxes the muscles around the joints in your knees and also helps your muscles recover really quickly. This is the reason why a lot of people who work out or do any strenuous activity always use magnesium. It just helps your body recover quickly.

    The other thing to add to your regime to consider would be some coumarin. Coumarin is  a natural anti-inflammatory that we’ve been using a lot with our patients. If this is an ongoing injury or something that’s happening all the time, you know, apart from getting your technique checked and getting to the underlying cause, using coumarin in a long-term is a good idea in managing the inflammation and the pain.With the help and main result of this intervention, you can get back to running sooner.

    Lastly, taking supplements like fish oils and glucosamine will do good for you. Fish oils are really good at helping you reduce inflammation and at lubricating the joints. Taking glucosamine will help rebuild the joint cartilages, especially around the knee area.

    Question no.4: Why can’t I take cold and flu medicines when I am taking blood pressure medicines? (8:05)

    The last question we got today is from Kristen. Kristen asks, “Why can’t I take cold and flu medicines when I’m taking blood pressure medicines?”

    Why is that? The main reason is that most of the cold and flu tablets have an ingredient like the decongestant, pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine. If your blood pressure is not controlled and/or if you’ve got heart conditions, taking cold and flu medicines with any of these particular ingredients will increase your blood pressure and place extra strain on your heart. 

    So it is really something that we don’t recommend unless your blood pressure’s under control. Some people who have accidentally taken it may feel their heart starts to race a little bit and that they are not use to that level of activity because their blood pressure has usually been under control  by taking a blood pressure medication.

    We hope that the above recommendations and general advice are the right solutions to your needs. Just remember this “Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist” is just a piece of general advice. We do always recommend that you consult your healthcare professional, your doctor or your pharmacist. Please make sure you always come in and see us so we can give you an individualised treatment plan.

    If you have some more questions to ask your pharmacist…

    Any feedback would be great because the main aim of these Q&A session is to give you more value and to see that if there’s any way that we can help you get better sooner .  If you have any questions to ask your pharmacist, please make sure that you pop them in the comments section below. We hope to hear more from you and till the next “Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist” episode.

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