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Changes to the way you get your prescription over the counter medicine

Did you know that your GP, nurse or pharmacist will generally not give you a prescription for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for a range of minor health conditions anymore.This is because these medicines are available to buy in a pharmacy or supermarket. The team of health professionals at your local pharmacy can offer help and clinical advice to manage minor health concerns. If your symptoms suggest it's more serious, they'll ensure you get the care you need.

You can buy OTC medicines for any of these conditions:

    acute sore throat
    minor burns and scalds
    mild cystitis
    coughs, colds and nasal congestion
    mild dry skin
    cradle cap
    mild irritant dermatitis
    mild to moderate hay fever
    diarrhoea (adults)
    dry eyes and sore tired eyes
    mouth ulcers
    nappy rash
    excessive sweating
    infant colic
    infrequent cold sores of the lip
    sun protection
    infrequent constipation
    teething or mild toothache
    infrequent migraine
    insect bites and stings
    travel sickness
    mild acne
    warts and verrucae
    haemorrhoids (piles)
    oral thrush
    head lice
    prevention of tooth decay
    indigestion and heartburn
    ringworm or athlete's foot
    minor pain, discomfort and fever (such as aches and sprains, headache, period pain, and back pain)

Why is the NHS reducing these prescriptions?

The NHS currently spends around 136 million a year on prescriptions for medicines that can be bought from a pharmacy or supermarket, such as paracetamol.

By reducing the amount it spends on OTC medicines, the NHS can give priority to treatments for people with more serious conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and mental health problems.