Acne is a skin condition caused by changes in oil glands and hair follicles in the skin. It is usually related to hormone changes that occur during puberty. Most teenagers have some blackheads and pimples. Some develop more severe acne. Acne can be well managed with skin cleansers and medicines.
Alcohol use can affect the health and well being of people, families and communities. Many people put themselves and others at risk of harm through their drinking patterns.
Dementia is a general term for conditions involving permanent loss of memory and thinking ability. The memory loss is different to normal forgetting and is not a normal part of ageing. Support services are available for people with dementia and their families and carers.
Antibiotics are medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Unfortunately many bacteria have become resistant to commonly used antibiotics and infections caused by these resistant bacteria are difficult to treat. Wise use of antibiotics can help to slow the development of antibiotic resistance.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress or danger, but constant feelings of tension or fear may be due to an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders make can life hard. Most anxiety disorders can be well managed. Treatments include counselling and medicines.
Asthma is an inflammation of the airways that makes breathing difficult. It affects more than two million Australians. Asthma cannot be cured, but can be well controlled with medicines, allowing a person with asthma to live a normal and active life, free of symptoms.
Asthma can be well controlled by avoiding or managing triggers for asthma and using asthma medicines correctly. Most asthma medicines are inhaled into the lungs, but sometimes tablets, syrups or injections must be used. The three main types of asthma medicines are called relievers, preventers and symptom controllers and knowing how to use these properly and when to use them is essential. Make an appointment so that we can review your knowledge and technique with your inhalers.
Our ‘back’ is a complex system of vertebrae, discs, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Back pain is a warning sign that some part of this system is injured or not working properly. Some cases of back pain settle with simple treatment, while others need more specialised care.
A problem with bladder and urine control can affect your lifestyle, how you feel about yourself and your relationships. Weak bladder and urine control is very common, especially amongst older women, but it can be improved and well managed. Regular exercises, medicines and sometimes surgery can help bladder and urine control.
Blood Glucose Monitoring
Blood glucose monitoring means checking on the amount of glucose in your blood. It helps to guide the treatment of diabetes mellitus (‘diabetes’). Many people with diabetes measure their own blood glucose levels using a personal blood glucose meter. Your diabetes healthcare team, which includes your pharmacist, can advise you about blood glucose monitoring. Do you know when your blood glucose level becomes a problem?
Breast Awareness and Pap Smears
Australia has national screening programs for breast and cervical cancers. Regular screening saves lives. Women aged between 18 and 69 should have a Pap smear every two years. Women aged between 50 and 69 should have a mammogram every two years.
A carer is a person who provides support to someone who has a disability, mental illness, chronic condition or is frail aged. Special government and community support services are available for carers. Some carers can get financial help from the Australian Government.
Chickenpox is a virus infection that causes a blistering and very itchy skin rash. Complications involving other parts of the body, although rare, can develop and can be serious. Chickenpox is usually a childhood illness, but it can occur in adults. Chickenpox vaccine can prevent chickenpox. Proper advice is essential and there are some creams you should NEVER use on chicken pox.
Immunisation strengthens the body’s immune system – its natural defence system – helping it to resist particular infections. Immunisation is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting children (and adults) against disease.
Cold sores are small, blistering sores that occur on the face. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus, the same virus that can cause genital herpes. Cold sores are a common infection that can be managed with medicines and other treatments available. If you get cold sores frequently you should have the correct medicines available to use at the first sign of an attack. Waiting 24 or 48 hours will mean the difference. Call in now and speak to one our pharmacists and be prepared for next time.
Colds and Flu
Common colds and the ‘flu’ (influenza) are viral infections affecting the nose, sinuses, throat and airways. Antibiotics do not work against viral infections. Colds and the flu usually get better on their own. Medicines may relieve some of the symptoms of colds and flu. Don’t rely on advertisements to pick your products for relief. See one of our pharmacists and tailor your medicines to suit your symptoms rather than rely on mass media. You will get a much better result.
In Australia, traditional, herbal and natural medicines and remedies are referred to as ‘complementary medicines’ or ‘complementary and alternative medicines’ (CAMs). Many people believe complementary medicines are harmless, but they can interact with other medicines and they can cause adverse effects.
Constipation means being unable to empty your bowel and pass faeces as often or as easily as you usually do or would like to do. Constipation is very common, and can be well managed with diet, exercise and medicines. You may need advice from a dietician and we have a qualified dietician available by appointment.
Contact Lens Care
Contact lenses can be used instead of eye glasses to correct refractive errors of vision. Most people have success with contact lenses if they use and care for their contacts correctly. Contact lenses must be inserted, removed, cleaned and stored in ways that protect against eye damage and infection.
Contraception refers to any device or technique that is used to prevent pregnancy. There is a range of different methods of contraception available in Australia. Family planning clinics, doctors and our pharmacists can advise on the advantages, disadvantages and correct use of each method of contraception.
The common cold, allergy and cigarette smoke are common causes of coughing, but a cough can also be a symptom of a serious illness or a side effect of a medicine. Treatment for a cough depends on its cause. Any persistent cough should be investigated.
Dandruff is a very common scalp condition involving excessive flaking of the skin. It leads to visible skin flakes in the hair and on clothing which can be embarrassing. Problem dandruff can be effectively managed with appropriate scalp and hair care and medicated shampoos. They are not all the same, we can advise for the best result, depending on your individual circumstances.
Depression is much more than feeling in a low mood after a sad or stressful experience. Depression is a serious mental and physical illness that changes how a person thinks, feels and behaves. People with depression need professional help and sometimes medicines to get better. Ask us for advice and don’t waste time treating yourself.
Diabetes causes high blood glucose levels and serious changes in metabolism. A person with type 1 diabetes needs daily insulin injections to stay alive, as their pancreas cannot make insulin. Insulin is the hormone that enables our body cells to use glucose (a type of sugar).
Diabetes causes high blood glucose levels and serious changes in metabolism. Type 2 diabetes results from problems with the way the body produces or responds to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that enables our body cells to use glucose (a type of sugar).
A drug overdose means taking more of one medicine or drug, or combining more medicines or drugs, than your body can safely handle. Many medicines and drugs can cause harm if used wrongly. This includes prescription medicines, non-prescription medicines, herbal or natural remedies, alcohol and illegal drugs.
Mouth dryness is common. A mouth that is always dry can be uncomfortable and affect the health of your mouth and teeth. Dry mouth is often a side effect of medicines or due to a medical treatment. There are simple ways to reduce mouth dryness and protect your mouth and teeth.
Ear problems can involve the outer, middle or inner ear. They include infection, inflammation, damage from foreign bodies (small objects) and wax build up. A doctor can fully examine the ear using special instruments and diagnose the problem. Treatment is usually simple and effective.
Eczema and Dermatitis
Dermatitis means skin inflammation. It usually causes a red, itchy skin rash. There are several different types of dermatitis, with different causes. Dermatitis is sometimes also called ‘eczema’. Dermatitis can usually be well managed with creams and ointments. They are not all the same and you should ask us for advice.
Epilepsy is a tendency to have repeated seizures. There are several different types of epilepsy, causing different types of seizures. Medicines can help prevent epileptic seizures.
Erectile dysfunction or ED (also called impotence) is the inability to have and/or keep a penile erection that allows satisfactory sexual intercourse. It is often a symptom of another physical or psychological problem. A range of effective treatments are available for ED.
Exercise and the Heart
Heart disease is the leading single cause of death in Australia. The risk of heart disease can be reduced by regular daily exercise, which helps lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol and body weight. A combination of regular exercise and healthy eating gives even greater protection against heart disease.
Exercises for flexibility
Regular stretching can help keep your body mobile and flexible and help avoid neck aches, back aches and injuries. Stretching exercises are best done when muscles have been warmed up with aerobic exercise such as swimming, walking or cycling.
Fat and Cholesterol
Our bodies need cholesterol and fats (triglycerides), but having too much cholesterol or fat in our blood can increase our chances of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. High cholesterol and triglyceride levels can be lowered with healthy eating, lifestyle changes and medicines. Make an appointment with our dietician.
Fibre and Bowel Health
Dietary fibre is necessary for good digestion and a healthy bowel. It also helps control weight, blood cholesterol level and blood sugar level and may protect against bowel cancer. Good sources of dietary fibre include wholegrain breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. Make an appointment with our dietician.
First Aid in the Home
First aid is one of the most important skills anyone can learn. It may save a life or prevent lasting injury. This card gives some first aid advice for a few common events. To learn more about first aid, enrol in a first aid course with a registered training organisation.
You should have a supply of basic first aid products available at home for emergencies and obviously a kit for the workplace is essential. Our pharmacists are available for advice on what you should have available relative to your specific environment and risks.
Generic medicines are alternative, often less expensive brands of medicines. They contain the same active ingredient as the originally marketed brand, and can be expected to be just as safe and effective. You can save money by asking your doctor or pharmacist for generic brands of your medicines. Confused about whether they are as good ? Speak to one of our pharmacists.
Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in Australia. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus, the same virus that causes cold sores on the face. Antiviral medicines can help to relieve symptoms, speed healing, reduce the number of episodes and protect against spread to others.
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerves that connect the eye to the brain. It can cause vision loss and blindness if left untreated. As glaucoma may not cause any obvious symptoms in the early stages, it is important to have your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Gout is a common and very painful type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid crystals form in and around a joint. It mainly affects men over 40 years of age. Gout can usually be well controlled with medicines and changes to diet.
Haemorrhoids develop when vein-filled, spongy areas of tissue in the lining of the rectum and anus become swollen. They are often caused by pressure in the bowel or hard faeces. Haemorrhoids can be treated with medicines, diet and anal care.
Hair loss has many causes and can be permanent or temporary. Most people have slower hair growth as they get older and some people, mostly men, go bald. Certain types of hair loss, however, can happen to anyone at any age. Medicines can sometimes help stop hair loss.
Hay fever is the common name for allergic rhinitis. It is an allergic reaction in the nose, throat and eyes. Hay fever often occurs in spring and summer, when it is caused by airborne pollens from trees, plants and grasses. Medicines can relieve and prevent symptoms of hay fever. See one of our pharmacists early in the season for best results. Early action will save you a lot of discomfort.
Head lice are mostly spread by head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice. Having head lice is not a sign of poor hygiene, and head lice do not carry or spread diseases. Anyone can catch head lice at any age, but they most often affect children. Ask one of our pharmacists
how to find and treat head lice. Not all treatments are the same.
There are several different types of headache and many different causes. Most people get headaches occasionally, but some people often get headaches. A headache can be a symptom of a serious illness. Our pharmacists can help identify the type and cause of a headache and advise on treatment, or refer you to a doctor if necessary.
Heartburn and Indigestion
Indigestion is an uncomfortable feeling in the upper abdomen. Heartburn is a painful, burning feeling rising up from the stomach or lower chest towards the throat. Medicines, and in some cases simple lifestyle changes, can relieve and prevent heartburn and indigestion.
Help with Medicine Costs
The Australian Government’s PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) Safety Net helps to limit the cost of medicines for persons and families who use a large number of prescription medicines in one calendar year. Your pharmacist can help you to keep a record of your medicine costs each year.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the pressure of blood against blood vessel walls. We all need some blood pressure, called normal blood pressure, to stay alive, but blood pressure that is higher than normal can be dangerous. A healthy lifestyle helps keep blood pressure normal and certain medicines can help treat high blood pressure.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that weakens the immune system, the body’s defence against disease. Once the immune system is weak, serious infections and cancers develop in the body. When this happens, HIV infection is called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Medicines can delay or stop HIV infection developing into AIDS.
All babies cry some of the time, but a baby with colic cries much more of the time. Caring for a baby with colic can be stressful. Colic usually stops by about four months of age and there are no long term effects. There is help available for ‘colicky’ babies and their parents.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common gastrointestinal (gut) disorder that causes abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits. The cause of IBS is unknown, but it seems to be related to an oversensitive digestive tract. Changes to diet and lifestyle and some medicines can help relieve IBS symptoms. Make an appointment with our dietician and discuss your diet.
Medicines and Breastfeeding
Medicines and drugs used by a breastfeeding mother may pass through her breast milk to her baby. Medicines and drugs include prescription and nonprescription medicines, herbal medicines, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and illegal drugs. When breastfeeding, always check with a doctor or pharmacist before using any medicine or drug.
Medicines and Driving
Some medicines can affect the ability to drive, cycle or use machinery. You need to be alert and able to respond quickly to changes in your environment when doing these tasks. Different people are affected by medicines in different ways and not everyone is affected to the same extent. You may not notice the effect of a medicine until it is too late. When starting a new medicine, always ask your pharmacist if it is safe to drive, cycle or use machinery and what warning signs to look for. If it is not safe, DO NOT DRIVE OR OPERATE DANGEROUS MACHINERY.
Many Australian men do not look after their own health very well. They tend to avoid or delay regular health checks and their health is often poorer than that of women the same age. Men can often improve their health with changes to diet, exercise and other lifestyle habits.
Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection which can very quickly become life threatening. Anyone of any age can get meningococcal disease, but it mostly affects children and young adults. Always treat symptoms of meningococcal disease as an emergency and seek medical help immediately.
Menopause, or ‘change of life’, is the last menstrual period in a women’s life and marks the end of her fertility. The hormone changes leading to natural menopause develop gradually over several years and can cause physical, emotional and psychological symptoms and changes.
Keeping a daily record of your menstrual cycle and periods can help you get to know your body’s monthly pattern. You can use the menstrual chart to help you monitor phases and changes in your menstrual cycle and recognise the signs of your next period.
Methadone and buprenorphine can be prescribed by a doctor as a substitute for heroin or other opioids (drugs related to opium). They can help overcome an addiction to opioids and a drug-dependent lifestyle.
Migraines are severe headaches, often felt on only one side of the head. They usually also involve other symptoms that can be as distressing as the head pain. Migraines are unpredictable and can occur as often as several times a week or as seldom as once or twice a year.
Mouth ulcers are small, painful sores on the inside lining of the mouth. They usually develop on the inside of the lips and cheeks and on the underneath and edge of the tongue. Medicines from a pharmacist may reduce the pain and help mouth ulcers to heal.
Nappy rash is skin irritation and inflammation caused by urine, faeces or other irritants in contact with skin in the nappy area. Frequent nappy changes and good skin care can help prevent nappy rash, but most babies get some nappy rash even when their nappies are changed often. A pharmacist can give advice about nappy rash.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products provide nicotine to reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms that many people experience when they try to stop smoking. Using NRT can increase the chances of successfully quitting. A pharmacist can advise on safe and effective use of NRT.
Opioids for Pain Relief
Opioids are used for pain relief when other pain relievers cannot control the pain or cannot be used. Opioids can be effective but must be used carefully.
Oral contraceptives are tablets taken by women to prevent pregnancy. They can be a very effective form of contraception, but do not protect against sexually transmissible diseases. Oral contraceptives may also relieve period problems and improve acne. Oral contraceptives must be prescribed by a doctor.
Plaque is the most common cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Regular, correct brushing and flossing can remove plaque and help keep teeth and gums healthy. Regular dental checks are also important. Dentists and other oral health professionals can advise on tooth and gum care, and detect and treat tooth decay.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease that leads to destruction of the cartilage in joints. Fingers and load-bearing joints (knees, hips and spine) are the joints most often affected. It is the most common type of arthritis and develops with increasing age in more than half of the adult population.
As we age, our bones can become less dense (‘thinner’) and weaker. Bones can become so weak that they fracture (crack or break) very easily. This fragile bone condition is called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is most common in postmenopausal women.
Different types of pain relieving medicines are available for treating different types of pain. Pharmacists and doctors can advise you on the best pain relievers for your pain.
The Australian Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) aims to provide all Australian residents with affordable, reliable and timely access to a wide range of prescription medicines. The PBS subsidises (contributes to the cost of) medicines, helping consumers to purchase expensive medicines at much lower prices.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor muscles stretch between the tailbone of the spine and the pubic bone in front. They support the bladder and bowel (and vagina and uterus in women). Pelvic floor exercises strengthen pelvic floor muscles for good bladder and bowel control.
Women can have a variety of problems with their menstrual periods. Some common problems are premenstrual syndrome, painful periods, very heavy periods and no periods. Lifestyle changes and medicines may help period problems.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a long lasting and sometimes delayed anxiety disorder caused by a traumatic event. A large number of cases are war-related. People suffering from PTSD can benefit from counselling, support and medicines.
Pregnancy and Ovulation
To become pregnant, a woman needs to have sexual intercourse during the fertile phase of her menstrual cycle. Her fertile phase occurs just before and on the day of ovulation. A woman can find her day of ovulation by using a home ovulation test. She can also test for pregnancy by using a home pregnancy test. Pharmacists can give advice about these tests.
Falls are the most common accidents among older people. Falls can cause injuries affecting lifestyle and quality of life. Older people may have medical conditions or take medicines that can increase their risk of having a fall. The chances of having a fall can be reduced by understanding and managing the causes.
A man’s prostate gland sits underneath his bladder, wrapped around the urethra (urine tube). It makes a fluid that becomes part of semen. Prostate problems often cause the prostate gland to get bigger and block urine flow. Prostate problems can be helped with medicines and by surgery.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. It is an immune system disorder that causes skin cells to build up on the surface of the skin. There is no known cure for psoriasis, but it can be well controlled.
Red and Dry Eyes
Redness and dryness are symptoms of a range of eye disorders. Some of these disorders are minor, while others are serious and may result in loss of eye sight. Doctors, pharmacists and optometrists can help identify the cause of red eyes or dry eyes and advise on treatment.
Relaxation techniques or exercises can reduce physical, psychological and emotional responses to stress and tension. They are simple to learn and help our bodies and minds cope with stress. If practiced regularly, relaxation techniques can lead to feeling more relaxed, with an improved sense of wellbeing, all the time.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an immune system disorder which causes swelling, pain and stiffness in joints. It can damage joints and may also affect other body organs. Treatment includes medicines, joint care and lifestyle changes. If started early, treatment can prevent or limit joint damage.
Safer Injecting Practice
There is no completely safe way to inject drugs. The risks to you and others can be reduced by using clean, sterile equipment and injecting techniques, and safe methods of disposal.
Sense in the Sun
Overexposure to both the sun and artificial ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage and skin cancers. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. At least 2 out of 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70. Most skin cancers can be prevented by following SunSmart guidelines.
Shingles is an infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. It affects specific nerve fibres and causes a painful, blistering skin rash in the area of the affected nerves. Prompt treatment with antiviral medicines can reduce pain, speed healing and reduce complications.
Sinuses are air-filled spaces within the bones around the nose. They are connected to each other, the nose and the throat. Sinuses can become inflamed and blocked, usually due to allergy, irritation or infection. Sinus problems can often be successfully treated with medicines available from a pharmacist.
Refreshing sleep is important for our health and wellbeing. Poor sleep can lead to drowsiness, poor concentration and other symptoms that interfere with daytime activities. The best way to treat sleeping problems is to find and manage the cause.
Every year about 19,000 Australians die of smoking related diseases. Smoking damages nearly every organ in the body and one in two lifetime smokers will die from their smoking. Quitting at any age gives immediate benefits and reduces the chance of developing smoking related illnesses. With planning and determination you can quit and stay a non-smoker.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are injuries to muscles, tendons and ligaments. They are very common sports injuries, but can also happen during normal daily activities. Correct treatment given promptly leads to the best possible recovery in the shortest possible time. Always think “ice” for the first 24 hours.
Staying a Non-Smoker
Think of yourself as a non-smoker from the moment you quit. Learn new ways of doing things without cigarettes and over time the desire to smoke will fade. If an urge to smoke returns, you can remain a non-smoker by knowing ways to deal with it.
Threadworms are long, thin roundworms that live in human intestines. They are the most common cause of ‘worms’ in Australia and infection is very common. Anyone can get threadworms, but children are infected more often than adults. Medicines and careful cleaning can get rid of threadworms. You don’t get threadworms from animals.
Tinea is a common skin infection caused by a fungus. It most often affects warm, moist areas of skin and commonly occurs between the toes and around the groin. It can also affect other body areas, including the scalp and nails. Most cases of tinea can be affectively treated with medicines available from a pharmacist. Speak confidentially with one of our pharmacists.
There are health risks, for people of all ages, associated with long distance and overseas travel. Some simple planning and preparation can help you have a safe and healthy trip.
Whether you need to know the best way to sterilise water, how to improve the taste of sterilised water or how to cope with traveller’s diarrhoea speak to one of our pharmacists.
Thrush is a common infection caused by a fungus called ‘candida’. Candida is one of the many micro-organisms that normally live harmlessly in and on our bodies. Under certain conditions, candida can increase and cause thrush. Thrush can be treated with antifungal medicines available from a pharmacist, but remember the motto: “All that itches is not necessarily thrush”. Speak confidentially with one of our pharmacists for best results.
Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection involving any part of the body’s urinary system – kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra. UTIs are common, especially in women and the elderly. Bladder infection, also called cystitis, is the most common type of UTI.
Fluid from a woman’s vagina is called vaginal discharge. It is normal for a woman to have vaginal discharge all through her menstrual cycle, but a discharge that is different to normal may be a sign of an infection or other problem. Describing your discharge will help a doctor or pharmacist to choose the best treatment for you. Speak confidentially with one of our pharmacists.
Approximately half a million Australians are blind or vision impaired. Approximately 80% of blindness and vision loss is caused by 5 conditions: age related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and refractive error. Regular eye tests can detect eye conditions early, helping to prevent deterioration in vision.
We need vitamins to stay healthy. They protect against some medical conditions and can help treat some conditions. The most important source of vitamins is a healthy diet, but some people need vitamin supplements. Sometimes vitamin supplements, in large doses, can be harmful – ask a pharmacist or doctor for advice.
Vomiting and Diarrhoea
Vomiting and diarrhoea (loose, watery bowel motions) are often caused by a gastrointestinal (gut) infection. Our bodies can lose a lot of fluid and quickly dehydrate through vomiting and diarrhoea, so it is important to drink or sip fluids regularly while ill. Special oral rehydration solutions are the best fluids to drink. Ask a pharmacist for advice
, or we can refer you to doctor if we consider this required.
Warning signs of Heart Attack
A heart attack is a sudden, complete blockage of a coronary artery which can cause part of the heart to die. Heart attacks are one of the most common causes of death of both men and women in Australia. Knowing the warning signs of heart attack and acting quickly can reduce the damage to your heart and increase your chance of survival.
Weight and Health
People who are overweight or obese tend to have higher blood pressure and higher blood cholesterol levels than others, and are more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes or a stroke. The main way to lose weight and improve health is to change eating habits and increase physical activity. Make an appointment with our dietician.
Wise Use of Medicines
Medicines can help to restore or maintain health, but if used incorrectly, they can cause serious problems. Ask your doctor and pharmacist for information and advice about your medicines, and how to use them safely and wisely.