Patient Information

 

 

Hormone replacement therapy and risk of breast cancer – August 2019

The MHRA have issued an HRT-patient-sheet-3008 to assist healthcare professionals when discussing new information about breast cancer risk with women using or who are considering using HRT.

SAFE USE OF EMOLLIENT SKIN CREAMS TO TREAT DRY SKIN CONDITIONS

Take care when using creams to treat dry skin conditions as they can easily dry onto clothing, bedding and bandages making them more flammable.

Watch this video and share it with your family or carer:

Skin creams, sometimes known as emollients are used by many people every day to help manage different dry skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and ichthyosis.

The creams are easily transferred from skin onto clothing, bedding and bandages.  Tests and research have shown that the dried-on cream makes the fabric more flammable and the resulting fire burns quickly and intensely, resulting in serious injury or death.

It’s important for anyone using these creams to avoid any naked flame.

If you use an emollient or skin cream to treat a dry skin condition, please follow this advice.

Avoid smoking

Do not smoke, use naked flames or get near to anything which may cause a fire whilst wearing clothing or a bandage that has been in contact with skin creams.

If this is not possible, you must take steps to ensure you are safe when you smoke or use naked flames. For example, by using a flameless lighter or e-cigarette, and removing long sleeved or baggy clothing before using a gas hob.

Change and wash clothes and bedding

Change and wash your clothes and bedding frequently to reduce the build-up of skin cream. However, remember that whilst washing your clothing and bedding even at high temperatures might reduce the build-up, it does not remove it completely and the danger may remain.

Keep cream off furniture

Be careful to make sure the skin cream does not get onto the fabric of armchairs or other furniture, cushions and blankets. Be aware that the cream can transfer from your skin onto the fabric of furniture when you are sitting or lying on it.

Tell relatives and carers

Tell your relatives or carers about your treatment and ask how they can help you to reduce the risk. Download the leaflet  for them.

For HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

Ensure patients and their carers understand the fire risk associated with the build-up of dried emollient residue on clothing and bedding and can take action to minimise the risk.

When prescribing, recommending, dispensing, selling, or applying an emollient, instruct patients not to smoke, cook or go near any naked flames or heat source (gas, halogen, electric bar or open fire) whilst wearing clothing or dressings that have been in contact with emollients. If the patient cannot do this advise on measures to do so safely (e.g use safety lighters or e-cigarettes; remove long sleeved or loose clothing before cooking; put on a thick uncontaminated shirt, overalls or apron, move chairs further away from the open fire or other heat source)

Be aware that washing clothing or bedding at a high temperature may reduce emollient build up but does not totally remove it – it is important to minimise risk in additional other ways (as above).

Watch the video above and share it with your patients or customers.

Report any fire incidents associated with the use of emollients to the Yellow Card Scheme

For complex cases contact the local fire and rescue service for advice and support.

Further information is available here.

 

 

 

Valproate

Information for girls and women taking any medicines containing valproate by searching valproic acid here.

If you have questions or concerns about the risks associated with valproate and pregnancy, please speak to your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional.

NHS Choices has a page about it too.

You can also contact a patient support network such as:

Bipolar UK – 0333 323 3880

Epilepsy Action – 0808 800 5050

Epilepsy Society – 01494 601 400

Mind – 0300 123 3393

If you are taking valproate and think you might be pregnant or know you are pregnant, contact your doctor at once so that you can talk through your options.

If you have experienced any side effects to this medicine you can report these using the Yellow Card Scheme.

If you or your child has been affected by valproate medicines, you can also contact a support network such as:

OACS – 07904 200364

INFACT/FACSA – 01253 799161

 

 

Self-Care

Small steps to a healthier you:

  • Get active; advice is to exercise for at least twenty minutes a day, it’s ideal if you can incorporate this into your day by ditching the car and walking to work, or walking the dog, taking the stairs or even dancing around the kitchen table to your favourite songs!
  • Eat well. We all know that healthy eating is crucial to our health so we can start by swapping unhealthy snacks for healthy options such as nuts, seeds and fruit. Ask your pharmacist for advice on managing your weight.
  • Make positive changes! Take steps to stop those bad habits that don’t serve you well. This Self Care Week make a plan to stop smoking, reduce alcohol intake and get active! Your pharmacist can help with lifestyle changes such as weight management and stop smoking services.
  • Rest. A good’s night’s sleep is as essential to our health and wellbeing as eating healthily and exercising so, make sure you get the recommended 7-8 hours a night!
  • Stop! These days we lead such busy lives that we sometimes forget to slow down and stop. Find time in your day to just quieten your mind. Mindfulness or yoga might be helpful.

Can your pharmacist help with your symptoms? Poster

 

Lungs

Managing asthma in children –  information for parents, carers and family members

Managing asthma in children – Patient information leaflet

Right Breathe

The Right Breathe website contains details of all the inhalers and spacers available for asthma and COPD.

 

 

Mental Health

We know that some medicines are associated with an increase in saliva (spit). Here are some tips for helping to deal with  hypersalivation factsheet

Some people who are prescribed a medicine called melatonin MR or Circadin® are told to crush the tablets. Here is an information sheet on how to crush the tablets Advice on crushing Circadin tablets

For more information on mental health conditions, treatments and medications, please click on the link to the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Pharmacy Service Website

 

 

Generic and biosimilar medicines

EMA and the European Commission have developed information materials on biosimilar medicines to improve understanding of these medicines in the EU.

An animated video for patients explains key facts on biosimilar medicines and how EMA works to ensure that they are as safe and effective as their reference biological medicines.

An information guide for patients published by the European Commission explains in a clear, unbiased way what biosimilar medicines are, how they are developed and approved in the EU and what patients can expect in terms of availability and safety

 

What do we mean by ‘generic medicine’ and ‘biosimilar medicine’?

When a new medicine becomes available for the first time it is given a brand name (also called trade name or proprietary name). This name and the product are protected by a patent. This is a legal arrangement which prevents other manufacturers from making or selling the same medicine for a number of years. Once the patent has come to an end, other manufacturers can make a similar product, called a generic.

For more information click the link

 

Useful links

Before you use the links below, please make sure you have read our disclaimer.

 

Patient information

NHS Choices

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)

Yellow card to report side effects from medicines, vaccine, herbal or homeopathic medicine; incidents involving medical devices; defective medicines; fake medicines; side effects or safety concerns about e-cigarettes.

electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) for patient information leaflets about medicines

Words and abbreviations often used in prescribing and healthcare

Information on commonly prescribed medicines

MedicineWise app: manage medicines on your smartphone. An app from Australia to help with medicine taking.

Medical cannabis (and cannabis oils)

Advice on how to decide if a medical app is right for you can be found here.