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      15.03.2003 20:31
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      Being winter and suffering from the usual coughs and cold I thought I would write about a cough medicine that I found a couple of years ago. It’s called Pholcodine Linctus B.P. and is available from Boots the chemist under their own label. The packaging says it is a cough suppressant for the symptomatic relief of unproductive coughs – translation - it relieves dry, tickly coughs. It comes with all the usual advice and contradictions. Check that the cap seal is not broken Unless directed by your doctor – adults and children over 12, two 5ml spoonfuls Children 5 – 12, one 5ml spoonful This dose may be taken, if necessary, 3 or 4 times daily. This is not recommended for children under 5 years old unless advised by your doctor DO NOT EXCEED THE STATED DOSE. Do not take if allergic to any of the ingredients or if you have liver disease. If symptoms do not go away, talk to your doctor. If you take too much, talk to a doctor straight away This medicine may cause drowsiness, if affected do not drive or operate machinery Avoid Alcohol Talk to your doctor before taking this medicine if you suffer with chronic lung disease or if you are taking any sedative medicines. Talk to you pharmacist or doctor if you are pregnant or breast feeding before taking this medicine. This medicine may occasionally cause nausea, vomiting, rash, sputum retention and constipation. If concerned or anything else unusual happens, talk to your pharmacist or doctor And finally KEEP ALL MEDICINES OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN. Active Ingredients Each 5ml contains, Pholcodine ph, eur, 5mg and also contains sucrose, purified water, citric acid, chloroform, glycerol, domiphen bromide. Having got all that out of the way. The main thing, does it work? For me it has, I’ve tried many cough medicines over the years of varying
      prices and have found that many do work but are expensive. Being a single parent I am not prepared to waste money on expensive cough medicine. So when I found this at only £1.69 for 200ml, I thought I would give it a try. It did seem cheap so I was a bit dubious. But was very surprised. It is simply packaged, it doesn’t even come in a box which will help keep the price down. This should not be a deciding factor I think it tastes nice too, although recommending it to a friend she said she had tried it and hated the taste but it did work So if you want a cheap but effective cough medicine give this one a go, you may be a surprised as I was and i didnt suffer from any of the side effects that were mentioned. This product is certainly cheaper that getting something on prescription. I don’t have to pay for my prescription but feel that a cough is not something you should be visiting a doctor for.

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        15.07.2002 19:14
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        What a fantastic day it was yesterday. The sun was shining, the temperature was rising... The day was spent sipping ice-cold beer whilst watching little Rachel chasing the sprinkler we had set up in the middle of the garden, squealing with delight as the cool water caught her unawares. Evening came and after a tidyup in the garden, and Rachel bathed and put to bed, the shower was beckoning. What a relief. After the warm day there was nothing better to soothe my glowing skin than a nice cool shower. My favourite fluffy lilac towel provided further comfort as I stepped out and patted my body dry. It also gave relief to an annoying itch I had on my arm. After looking for my delicate summer PJ's to slip into, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and screamed. No, not at the sight of my naked body (although it did give me a nightmare or two last night), my arms, legs, and chest were a bright red colour. But I was sure I had put on plenty of high factor suncream, and besides I have a nice olive complexion that doesn't usually burn in the sun, just goes a lovely deep shade of brown (don't be jealous now!). Upon closer inspection I realised that I actually had a rash - on the front of my arms, on my shins and thighs, and a large patch on my chest. And the itching was worse than having chicken pox. It felt hot to the touch and was quite reminiscent of last years summer holiday, where towards the end of the holiday I had to purchase some antihistamine cream for a sun rash on my chest. This was put down to the fact that my body was still full of post-pregnancy hormones and was told that it probably wouldn't last. Hmpf. The itching was terrible, and it kept me awake for most of the night and so at first light I dashed off to the Chemists to see if they could recommend anything for me. After some discussion with the pharmacist who is always helpful in this type of situation when it's not serious enough fo
        r an appointment with your GP, he recommended a skin allergy relief cream called Benadryl. BENADRYL SKIN ALLERGY RELIEF Manufactured and distributed by Warner-Lambert, it claims to soothe and reduce inflammation and is good for stings, itching, skin irritation and insect bites, and can be bought over the counter at your local Chemist shop. So far so good. It contains Diphenhydramine hydrochloride Ph Eur 1%, Camphor Ph Eur 0.1% and Zinc Oxide Ph Eur 8% amongst others, which I'm sure are kind to your skin! APPLICATION It's a pink paste, rather than the milky cream I expected, and quite thick in consistency too. It is recommended to be used three to four times a day at regular intervals. It's not the easiest of creams to apply and as it's quite thick it's not very easy to spread. No jokes please! It smells too, which I'm sure is the Camphor and I have to go to Mother and Toddler soon so shall sit in a corner on my own for fear of offending other mothers! The smell doesn't last too long though, it's more noticeable upon application. The instruction leaflet states that it shouldn't be applied to raw or broken skin (cuts or grazes) or body cavities (e.g. mouth or vagina!). RESULTS Well I expected to see and feel immediate results as it claims to be active in minutes but unfortunately I don't feel any relief as yet. My skin is still very itchy and as inflamed as ever. But as I've just started to use it, it may well take a few applications before I see some results. Here's hoping. PRICE At £3.55 for 42g I suppose it was a little on the expensive side but I'd have paid £100 if it got rid of the itching. Well, maybe not but you get the general idea. It's a large tube too which I'm sure will last me quite a while. SO WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME? Well I didn't want to bother my GP and wa
        s considering calling the NHS helpline but I thought I would try to do some research on the internet first. This is what I learnt, which may come in handy for you too: Solar Dermatitis If you have sensitive skin (which I don't have) you are more prone to getting a sun rash, as are children and young adults. It rears its ugly head as small read blisters or small or large spots in areas exposed to the sun. Sometimes it can appear immediately, sometimes after a few hours. And its recurrent too, so chances are if you had it last year, you'll suffer with it this year, as in my case. There is no cure as such, rather preventative steps you can try. For my holiday in August I've been advised to try using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with UVA and UVB filters (this information is on the sunscreen label), with an SPF of 15-25 or higher as my skin becomes used to the sun, then maybe in the second week, try reducing the factor. Photoallergic Dermatitis or Drug-Inducted Photosensitivity Easy for you to say, eh? Some medicines can cause a reaction to the sun also. These include diuretics, painkillers and antibiotics. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you think you may be at risk and they can then advise you on how best to protect yourself. Certain soaps, chemicals, perfumes etc can have an adverse reaction to the sun too. This could be the cause of your rash and it's best to try using a different product to see if it makes any difference. I have read about one young lady who found that the soap she used didn't agree with the sun and after she changed brands, the rash disappeared, never to return. It's worth checking out. CONCLUSION It is recommended that if symptoms don't clear up then you should go and see your GP, who may refer you to a dermatologist. I will definitely continue to use this cream for a week and then go from there. The smell is quite 'clinical&#
        39;, but it's bad enough to stop me using it, and I would have preferred it to be a little easier to apply as it's a dry paste. But we can't have everything can we. Darn those pollutants and other environmental nasties!

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          02.01.2002 18:39
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          Sorry about the title, but I have just spent the last six days out of mind with worry. It first started on Friday night when I started feeling light headed and swayed when I walked up the stairs. Then my legs started aching. I thought that it must be flu, so I started taking the usual Hot Lemons just in case. The day after I went to work and still felt strange, this time all my body was aching. By Saturday tea time I had to get myself into bed with another hot lemon. Then Sunday all hell let loose, I couldn't keep off the toilet all day, I started shivering, even though it was warm in the house. Then I would feel hot and clammy, so I put myself to bed again with a hot water bottle, and my husband on guard. I never buy medications always on the first day as I try and sweat it out, so by Monday when I still had the violent Diarrhoea, and hadn't eaten anything since Saturday, I asked my husband if he would go to the chemist. I wanted to get right for the night, New Years Eve wouldn't be the same with a stomach bug. He brought back Diocalm. I've heard of this being recommended before so I thought I might as well try them. They come in tablet form and you chew two of them with water. They are quite a large tablet, probably 2/5 the size of a paracetamol. They don't taste too pleasant either. They taste of aniseed but chalkie at the same time. I couldn't wait to get rid of them. Straight after the first two tablets, I went straight to the loo. Oh well, they must be given a little more time to work. Then an hour later, I went again, and so on. I found myself taking 10 tablets in 24 hours. The maximum dose is 12 tablets. They still didn't work, in fact I'm sure I was worse than ever. These tablets are meant to be dual action where they relieve the symptoms of acute diarrhoea and diarrhoeal pain. I'd swear the pain was getting worse. I tried to drink plenty of water and other
          liquids, but I struggle drinking when I'm not thirsty. All in all it was a viscious circle. I couldn't tell if I had hunger pains or stomach/diarrhoea pains. On New Years Day after having a miserable night in the night before, poor hubbie also,he rang the doctor emergency number. This led to another number then another number. He got through eventually who took my details, then a doctor would phone me back. Five minutes later a doctor rang, guess what it was my doctor who normally I can't get to talk to for months on end. Boy was I glad it was her. She told me to stop taking the Diocalm and take something with Loperamide in it, along with Diarlyte sachets for replenishing lost body fluids. Luckily for me there was a chemist open locally for an hour that day. I must admit after taking these new tablets they have helped a lot, but I'm still not eating. Can anybody offer any help. Apparently I've to stay off dairy products, even Milk. I can't even eat toast without chucking half of it in the bin. So in general the Diocalm weren't effective for me, maybe I'd got it so bad that they just weren't strong enough tablets. Anybody wishing to try them, make sure you are over 6 years old. Only take one dose(two tablets) every 2-4 hours, and don't exceed 6 doses in 24 hours. Ingredients include, Morphine Hydrochloride, Activated Attapugite, Sucrose carbohydrate. They came in a pack of 20 tablets and cost me £3.45. They are made by a company called Seton Healthcare Group, Oldham. An op about Loperamide might follow. Sorry if you are eating your dinner whilst reading this, I just think lucky you, I wish I could eat, lol.

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            25.11.2001 20:22
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            Stomach bugs aren't just a thing that we get during barbecue season and on holiday in Spain! There are many cases of upset stomaches, and, more seriously, food poisoning, at Christmas time. Think about all the things that could cause a problem including that left over turkey, party buffets that have been on the table for hours, pork pies, things on sticks. The list is endless. Having too much to drink is another frequent problem over the festive season too. You can end up being a real party pooper and spending most of your time in the loo. This is always the time when someone does something that will provide material for office gossip for a whole year, and you miss it. Dioralyte powder treats the dehydration that results from stomach upset. It contains the exact balance of glucose and salts your body needs to help it recover from sickness and diarrhoea attacks. Children tend to be more susceptible to these bugs than adults and Dioralyte is okay for them to take too. ( Don't take my word for that, always read the label for safety instructions.) The powders come in a box of 8 sachets and each one is individually foil wrapped. You simply mix them with cold water and drink. The mildly blackcurrant flavour makes them refreshing too. The cost? £3.19 for a box of eight. I thought these powders were very effective and they did aid recovery, so they are value for money. You can be up and running, and enjoying party again after just a few hours. It's worth keeping these in the cupboard just incase.

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              22.11.2001 12:26
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              Have you ever suffered the misfortune of your ear being blocked due to earwax? By this, I don’t mean tons of earwax due to poor hygiene; I mean just a small piece of the horrible stuff managing to attach itself to your eardrum, well this happened to me last week, I got out of the shower, and you know when water goes down your ear? And you get that horrible feeling of slight deafness, well this was ten times worse. The feeling I got was actually very sickly and was making me very dizzy and disorientated, I could not hear a thing from my right ear and it was very annoying to say the least, so I gave it an hour or so to clear up and it was showing no signs of doing so, so off me and the girlfriend jumped into the car and went to the late night chemist and asked for some advice. The girl behind the counter was very helpful and recommended “Cerumol Ear Drops”, she told us they were very effective and for half the price of a well-known brand (too which I can’t remember the name), anyway I paid £2.50 for them and went home. Once home, I got my girlfriend to put the Ear Drops in and awaited the results, after about 5 minutes I got a really tingling feeling in my ear and that was it, they were clear and I could hear again, and believe me, it was very relieving to get rid of the sickly feeling, this is caused through your ears having a lot to do with your balance. So what is the stuff? Cerumol as I have already stated is a bottle of Ear Drops and can be bought at most chemists, it comes in an 11ML bottle, and you also get the dropper to insert the drops into your ear. This can also be used rather than having to go to the doctors to have your ears syringed and is very effective at it. Active ingredients: (per 100ML) paradichlorobezene 2g, chlorobutanol BP 5g, arachis oil BP (Peanut Oil) 57g, other ingredients, oil of turpentine, 3-methoxybutyl acetate (butoxyl) and orthodichlorobenzene. WOW, trying writing that when you are pissed, LOL. When is it not safe to use these eardrops? If the eardrum is perforated or the ear canal is sore or inflamed, it is advised you do not use this stuff. When I was in the Chemist, the assistant asked me whether I was allergic to Peanut Oil, so I suggest anyone who is, to leave this and try something else. Oh well, only a short opinion this time, but should anyone suffer from this uncomfortable condition, they may know what to buy now, I won’t bother giving you the instructions on how to use it, as if you buy a bottle they’ll be supplied, just the bare facts that this stuff is VERY effective. Bye for now.

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                11.08.2001 19:33
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                I promise, only one Q&A style opinion after this. Q: So what exactly are these things called? A: New Era for Catarrh & Sinus Disorders or Combination Q Tissue Salts. Q: And what actually are they, steroids again? A: They’re homeopathic decongestants basically. Q: I ain’t taking no hippie medicine! A: Fine, you just wonder off and suffer then – I don’t mind. Q: OK, OK, I presume they’re quite good then. A: Yeah, they certainly do the job for me, although they seem to have a lower success rate than other medicines based on what I’ve seen them do with my friends. Q: And they do… What? A: Well, you lob four of the little blighters onto your tongue and let them dissolve there. When dissolved you swallow and a few minutes later your sinus’s should discharge into the nearest, uh, discharge container. If you’re really suffering you can take the tablets up to every half hour! Q: How do they compare to other decongestants? A: Well, the only other decongestant I’ve spent serious time with is Sudafed and this is much more effective. Plus it’s a lot easier to take if you wake up in the middle of the night with throbbing sinus as you can just grab the box and lob a few in. It also tastes a lot nicer, having a very mildly sweet taste to it. Q: Medicine that tastes nice? Nah! A: Well at least it doesn’t taste bad, although it’s not a strong taste at all. Q: So are you a bit of a, you know, tree hugging tofu eating save the earth kinda guy who’s always using natural everything? A: Nope, I’ve tried other homeopathic stuff before and the only effect it’s had on me was to make me laugh at it’s ineffectiveness. Q: So how did you come to try this? A: Well, believe it or not but a guy who was cutting my hair recommended it as he was a fellow suffer of dodgy sinus’s. <
                br> Q: So it’s just for folks with sinus problems then. A: Nope, while these little beauties have allowed me to stop taking Beconase during the winter months to allow me to breathe decently, they’re also handy to hayfever sufferers as they clear out any sinus build up caused by allergies pretty well. The only thing they do struggle with is flu type congestion where they merely help, rather than clear. Q: So where do I get these things from? A: The only place I’ve found them is Holland and Barrett where you can get a tub of 450 tablets for under £4 which should last you at least two months. Q: Side effects? A: None here! Q: So I should probably try them out? A: Yeah, although as I said – they don’t seem to work so well on some people as they do on me though.

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                  03.08.2001 05:58
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                  I am a great believer in people visiting their local pharmacy to buy medication rather then disturbing their GP for every little ailment. But as a pharacy manager it really concerns me when I go to my local chemist and I do not get asked any questions when buying medication. When I first became a pharmacy assistant I had to be trained in selling medication and was made to understand how important it is to ensure the safety of each customer. I was taught the "2wwham" method which is; W who is the medication for? What age? W what are the symtoms? H How long have you had the symptoms? A what action have you already taken? M Are you on any other medication? This is set up to ensure that people give children, pregnant or breast feeding mothers and people on medication from their dr the correct remedy which is safe. There are more and more advertising campaigns to encourage people to use their local chemist so come on pharamacies pull your socks up.

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                  21.06.2001 20:39
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                  Now I don't know about you, but I'm terrible at getting up in the morning. I tell you, you don't want to see me first thing, I'm snappy on the phone, miserable and generally obnoxious.... which isn't a change to the rest of the time really. I've tried Redbull but not only is it expensive it gives me the runs ( sorry too much info), so for those early mornings or those late nights I needed something to perk me up, a big burly man perhaps, but they're slighlty more expensive than Pro-plus...... I first found out about Pro-plus from my very good friend Kirk Blackthorn ( Hi Kirk)who used them to help him study at Uni ( study at Uni???). I was finding it hard to maintain a job, social life and look after all my pets without wearing my self out. I tried pro-plus not expecting them to help but found they did perk me up, about as much as a couple of strong cups of coffee ( Uhhhhhhhhh). The only problem being that sometimes if I took them too late in the day I would find myself wide awake when I needed to sleep, perhaps thats when the Burly man would come in handy. They do help if you need that extra pick me up during the day, but they can give you a headache and a bit of wind, I would suggest them strongly to students who need that extra kick up the bum to get them studying late at night............ Give them ago, they can only be a plus if you're a pro (???)..........

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                    13.06.2001 04:07
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                    I was sitting at my desk in work, trying to concentrate on the weekly energy log. The figures seemed to dance about on the page until, somewhere, in my sub-conscious, a door closed softly, and I slept. I awoke with a start when my head hit the desk top with a thud! I was disorientated, confused and my whole body felt weak and heavy. Luckily, there was no one about to witness my head banging, but I felt stupid all the same. Falling asleep at work can have dire consequences, i.e. if you were a lorry driver you could have a crash, possibly killing or injuring yourself or some innocent passer by. If you worked with machinery you could upset production, or again, injure yourself through innattentiveness and thus lose your job. There are several “pep-pills” on the market, “Pro-Plus” being the best known, but recently I was advised to try a newer one called “Yariba”. Yariba is an herbal tablet, designed as a ”Pick-me-up for temporary tiredness”. The active ingredient is 250mg of kola-nut; the tablet also contains some inactive ingredients such as sodium chlorophyllin, dextrose monohydrate, sodium starch glycollate, and talc! Magnesium Stearate and ethylcellulose. (Don’t ask, I don’t know what they are either) Kola-nut is a mild natural stimulant and is quite safe to take. There have been no known reports or recorded reactions of hypersensitivity to this, but they do recommend that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding refrain from taking Yariba. So how did it work for me? Well it works quite well actually. I take two tablets twice a day (Mon-Fri), Morning and lunchtime, and since I started taking them I have not nodded off at my desk once! (And that’s saying something!) The tablets don’t make you feel any different, in fact you don’t really feel anything at all, you just seem to be able to see the working day through on an even keel w
                    ithout feeling drowsy. Yariba comes in a handy 50 tablet dispenser and should be swallowed with water, although if you prefer you can chew them, (But be warned, they taste awful!). Footnote: They don’t upset your normal sleeping pattern either, except if, for some reason, you overdose on them.

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                      13.06.2001 00:24
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                      I'm not entirely sure if this is in the right place since its not strictly a medicine - i'm talking about Pro Plus - the caffiene tablets which relieve tiredness. I don't drink tea or coffee at work (hygiene thing - i.e no-one ever washes up the cups or cleans the kitchen!), yet i'm often half asleep during the afternoon at work and while Big Brother has been on and i've been addicted to the live bits on E4 staying up till 2.30 every morning while having to get up at 6.30 has taken its toll. So I figured I'd try Pro Plus. I was a little wary at first, telling myself that I just needed to go to bed earlier rather than take a stimulant, however I take the smallest dose - just one tablet (when you can take 2 an hour) and it really does work. No side effects not even the heart palpitations I sometimes get after I drink coffee and it really does work quickly. I'm not going to recommend you take it all the time, if you have a real insomnia problem or something I should imagine seeing your doctor would be a better idea, but for those days when you just can't seem to get out of bed to go to work then Pro Plus is actually really good. Or if you are one of the majority of workers who do drink coffee then probably better to do that instead!

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                        02.06.2001 18:26
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                        I recently applied for a job to which I was invited to an interview. Well naturally I had to find a nice pair of smart but comfortable shoes as the job would entail loads of walking and all my other shoes were a bit clubby for an interview. So the morning before my interview I had to go a hunting for some in town. After hours of searching I eventually found a pair. By this time my baby and toddler were getting rather fed up. So inevitably I didn't bother to try the shoes on and just went home A.S.A.P. Big, big mistake on my part! Any way I get ready for my interview and take the two little ones over to my friend to look after for me while I was being interviewed. When ready to leave I put these new shoes on and yikes! my feet have either got bigger or shoes are being made smaller these days. Oh the tightness instantly gave me cramp in my foot but has I had no choice but to wear them and suffer, off I limped to my interview to try and ease the pain. What was happening along with the cramp that did ease eventually. My shoes were beginning to rub the backs of my heals, to reveal the flesh. Most people get blisters that may pop but I don't think mine ever got to that stage and advanced somewhat. The skin on my heals, in fact lots of layers of skin was rolling up and down my heals with every step I took, and the flesh that was now visible had started to weep and cause more discomfort. Despite the pain, I thought the interview had gone well. So my next stop would be to pop in the chemist to get me some plasters, big huge plasters and boy do they cost loads for a pack of eight. I start walking home, when I notice that the plasters were no longer easing the pain and decides to nip into Matalan to get some slip on shoes with open back,s. This was going well and my sore heals were getting the air to them, which was a good thing. That was until these new slip on shoes started to rub the
                        insides of my feet and as it was raining I couldn't do what I would have done which is to walk home bare footed. Over the next couple of days, it got worse as I never really had chance to allow the air to the effected areas due to putting on shoes several times of the day (kids to school, kids back from school, shopping etc). It was due to the above fact that I had to find a cream that was suitable to apply on my sores with or with out plasters on. I didn't want an antiseptic as I was in too much pain and didn't want to contribute to it. Over to chemist to get some advice and some cream if possible. I explained to the lady in the chemist what was wrong, what I wanted. I then ask the lady what she would recommend to meet my needs and work effectively and quick. She recommended to me Savlon natural first aid for cuts and sores which cost £3.09 for a 30ml tube. The cream: It is a topical herbal remedy to apply to all types of cuts and sores and is traditionally used in the symptomatic treatment of cuts and sores. It is a hypericum and calendula based cream that is non irritating. Calendula in a natural healing agent, while hypericum is a natural source to repair the dead or broken skin and ease the pain, combined they are designed for use on open wounds, cuts grazes and sores. The active ingredients are: Calendula officinalis tincture 1/10 4.5% v/w and hypericum perforatum tincture 1/10 4.5% v/w. Other ingredients consist of: White soft paraffin, water, honey, propyl hydroxybenzoate, cetearyl hydroxybenzoate and cetearyl alcohol peg-20 stearate. It is safe to use in most cases with very few or rare side effects known. Saying that if you are pregnant or breast feeding it is advised that you consult a doctor before using it. It can also be used if you have sensitive skin but if you are sensitive to any of the ingredients then i
                        t would be best to avoid. To use it you need to clean the area that needs treatment as the cream seals the wound so would there for seal in any dirt too causing a possible infection. Once the area is clean you then apply gently to cover the whole affected area, cover it then with a plaster or a dry dressing and bandage if required. Repeat this a few times a day when required making sure that the wound is kept clean at all times. Even though it states to put a plaster on it I have used it with out any kind of dressing and found it just as effective. The cream its self is very soothing and is not painful to apply what so ever. My feet were in a very bad way and were very painful at the best of times. The cream I found to be invaluable not only to ease the pain but to quickly heal all my wounds. With in a few days of using it my sores had grown new skin and the damage was repaired. It may seem a little expensive initially but a 30ml tube does go a long way and is safe for the whole family. Having two children aged 7 and 5 who are prone to the odd cut when out playing this has proved a wonder cure. It doesn't sting them, so they have no need to throw a tantrum when it is applied. This cream has been used several times by most of the family yet there is still loads left. My moan sorry: As for the job interview to add insult to injury I never got the job and it turned out to be the most expensive interview ever, what with 2 pairs of shoes, several boxes of plasters and this cream, oh well life goes on.

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                          26.05.2001 06:11
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                          The costs Of medicines Last week the major drug companies ended their price fixing allowing the high street consuming to purchase brand name over the counter medicines at a price considerably lower than before. For the consumer this is obviously good thing as competition between the large supermarkets will drive the price down further. As for the small family run pharmacies this is not so good with a large proportion of the profit coming from over the counter sales, the future of these convenient local shops be a fight for survival. The big question is why where these medicines so expensive in the first place. With doctors being persuaded to prescribe drugs by their generic rather than trade marked name in a effort to cut NHS costs, very few people actually realise why these drug’s are so expensive. All the new medicines that are available now are at least 12 years old before they reach the open market. From the identification of a useful compound the journey to active drug Is treacherous and at almost any point the compound can be rejected. As soon a chemist has isolated or synthesized a compound that is thought to have therapeutic properties, that compound is patented this means that no other company can produce the compound for commercial use for the length of the patent, and drug patents last 20 years. So as soon as the lead compound has been identified and patented they company have got 20 years to research every aspect from large scale production, delivery of the drug into the body, side affects etc . It will take 2 to 5 years to research and develop the compound into something that can then start clinical trials. The clinical trials is a long drawn out process starting in vitro and ending vivo. At every stage the drug has to prove that it’s not to toxic, the side effects do not cause other major problem and some idea of the effects of long term use are known. These trials go through several stages starting in the
                          lab and ending up trialing in human patients having been tested on small and large mammals previously. After the clinical trials a license must be applied for, and legal wrangling can also add another couple of years to the overall process. The drug Prozac came off its patent in February 2000, is only came on the market in 92/93 therefore the drug company involved had approximately 7 years to recoup the costs of research and development, it is no wonder that it was quite an expensive drug to prescribe. Prozac is now available under the generic name of Fluoxitine and anybody (within reason) can produce and sell it under this its generic name. It is interesting to know that if drugs like aspirin and paracetomol were discovered today there would be no way that they be given a license, as the side effects are really nasty and they are both far to toxic. Taking an aspirin a day might keep your blood thin but it will also eventually cause the lining of your stomach to bleed. Paracetomol will do serious damage to the liver and the kidneys if only a small over dose it taken say 6 to 10 tablets depending on the size of the person in question. The arguments that as drug companies are multinational and have huge profits is only partially true, for every enormous drug like Pfizer’s Viagra the company will also have drugs that make huge losses but are still really important and necessary medicines. It seems that a solution to this is to lengthen the time the drug stays on its patent maybe extending the time by 5 years or so. Halving the costs of medicines will have a casualty along the line, with the local pharmacists looking the most likely candidates. Next time that you have a nasty cough/cold/headache don’t rush to the nearest large supermarkets go to your local pharmacist, he will appreciate and need your money more than Walmart or Lord Sainsbury.

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                            24.09.2000 18:13
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                            My husband has a broken back, and is prescribed a morphine based painkiller by the doctor. However, whenever he needs a new prescription, it normally involves a long drawn out argument with the health service to get them, as they need to make sure he isn't addicted to them. This would be highly unlikely seeing as 12 tablets have lasted him 4 years, however that's neither here nor there. In a vain attempt to get him some sort of pain relief until the doctor agreed to give him some more tablets, I went to the local chemist and asked them for their strongest painkillers. They gave me Paramol - of which each tablet contains 500mg Paracetamol and 46mg Dihydrocodeine, which should be enough to cure the mother of all headaches. Unfortunately, due to the level of pain that my husband suffers, they haven't done an awful lot for him, which just goes to show that the doctor was way off the mark when he told him to go home and take some paracetamol. However, I'm sure that for almost any other painful condition, these would help. They cost £2.45 for 12 tablets.

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                              17.09.2000 06:25
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                              Sounds like something you'd use to clean the sink, but no, Powergel is a topical application anti-inflammatory gel used to relieve the pain of soft tissue injuries and acute strains and sprains. For people like me who can't take anti-inflammatory tablets because they have a sensitive stomach, this gel is an absolute godsend. I've suffered from neck pain for years, but find now that applying this stuff helps enormously. It was recommended to me by my GP when I had back pain earlier in the year, and I used it regularly (although you're advised never to use it for more than 10 days in a row) while I had severe pain from a prolapsed disc. Obviously it didn't relieve the pain anywhere near entirely, but I have no doubt that it helped ease it, and helped keep the pain more bearable without the use of extremely strong painkillers. Powergel's main active ingredient is ketoprofen, and although it is theoretically possible to get the same horrible side effects as you can get taking oral anti-inflammatories, my GP says she's never heard of it happening in practice and it certainly had no side effects for me. There are contraindications for use, as with most medicines, so check these before buying/trying it. My mother has severe neck pain from arthritis for example, but is unable to use this because she is also on blood-thinning medication. It's also unsuitable if you suffer from eczema or asthma, and needs your GP's approval in cases where you're pregnant or breastfeeding. In addition to ketoprofen, powergel contains neroli and lavender oils.....it's pleasant to apply, and doesn't smell as overpowering as a lot of muscle rubs and liniments. I definitely recommend it for muscle pain (although if there's inflammation there, this stuff will feel like it's been in a freezer when you first apply it!) You can buy it over the counter but it's slightly cheaper on prescription, and it's been wor
                              th every penny.

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                                16.09.2000 00:44
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                                Medicines can be a real rip off if you buy the branded products. There is no difference in the active ingrdient of branded and non branded products. Panadol is just paracetamol, Nurofen is ibropufen etc. Even buying Calpol for your child is much more expensive than asking for generic infant paracetamol (it is even in a sugar free syrup as calpol is). The only reason for buying the branded product is if you like the shape or formulation of tablet or taste of a liquid medicine, some branded products can be in easy to swallow shapes etc but it won't make any difference to how it works. If you read the active ingredients of your usual medication it is usually just down a few shelves in the chemist's or show it to the chemist and ask for the generic form they are usually more than happy to help.

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