NHS launches new medicines zone

PUBLISHED: 11:40 18 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:44 15 June 2010

NHS Direct has this week launched a medicines health zone on its website www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk - an in-depth guide to medicines, prescriptions, immunisation, contraception and more!

NHS Direct has this week launched a medicines health zone on its website www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk - an in-depth guide to medicines, prescriptions, immunisation, contraception and more!The new zone gives users invaluable information about how to take medicines during specific times in life such as during breastfeeding, pregnancy and childhood but it also gives advice about vaccinations, the contraceptive pill and travel advice such as flying and hot weather.The new zone also covers those recurring questions we have all asked at some time or other: what happens if I miss taking a dose and or take two; what are the side effects; how will alcohol, food or other medicines interact with my medicines?The zone gives in-depth guides to common medicines and treatments (Medicines A to Z) including painkillers, cancer treatments, laxatives and antibiotics. It offers advice on how to take your medicines, including stopping medicines, using creams and ointments, and what to do before surgery; a guide to medicines law and regulation - including advice about buying over-the-counter and controlled medicines.Anne Joshua, associate director of pharmacy, said: "We have introduced this new zone because of the increasing number of questions callers make to our telephone service, and are submitted to the online enquiry service, about medicines. Patients who are caring for themselves at home, or carers who may have concerns, are increasingly seeking reassurance and support from NHS Direct about how to use their medicines. "A medicine label that says 'take after food' is often interpreted differently by patients. For example, if a busy worker regularly skips lunch and they need to take a dose of medicine three times a day, how should they manage this? A woman planning to become pregnant may be trying to understand what she should ask her GP about the medicines she regularly takes for a long term condition. How can she assess the risks and benefits? "The zone is intended to draw together in one place information that will support patients managing their own medicines and linking them through to information about their condition.

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