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Ask the Pharmacist

frequently asked questions

One hears a lot these days about paracetamol poisoning. How can I be sure I avoid this?
Many over the counter products for flu and cold contain paracetamol. Remember this includes the 'Hot Lemon Drinks' range. 

Paracetamol is also sold under many different trade names. Always check the ingredients list and the dose recommended for the age of the person involved. 

The maximum daily dose of paracetamol in 24 hours is 8 x 500g tablets (4g). Always contact the pharmacy or doctor if in doubt.
How do I prevent head lice now that the children are back at school?
Head lice are attracted to clean heads so your best chance is to try to prevent the children from coming into contact with an infected head. Do not allow the use of other persons combs, brushes or hair accessories of any sort. 

Fine comb the hair regularly by way of examining it for lice. There is a detector comb available for this specific job. Some people find that by using tea tree oil or lavender oil it can act as a deterrent. When infected, contact us for the correct use of one of the available products.
My mother is now taking a number of tablets daily, and I am afraid that she will get confused about when to take them.
We have in stock a very useful daily tablet dispenser (which has sub divisions for morning, afternoon and evening. It has 7 divisions for each day of the week and there is a more elaborate type which has three further divisions for each day. 

This can be filled once a week or daily if necessary and it is positively known to help eliminate any worries you might have.
Are there any cold-flu remedies I can take if I am taking paracetamol tablets for relief of arthritis pain?
As you know many of the cold-flu preparations contain paracetamol so by adjusting the dose of what you are already taking one can take many of the over the counter products safely. 

Remember that the maximum 24 hour dose of paracetamol is 8 x 500 mg tablets.
Do I need to send you a prescription every time?
Before we can dispense your order we need to be in receipt of a prescription written by a doctor registered in the Ireland. If it is a repeating prescription we can hold your prescription on file for you.
When is the best time to exercise?
Exercise increases your metabolism and burning off excess fat. When is the best time to exercise? 

Our metabolism slows down about 8 hours after we wake up, so 30 minutes of exercise in the evening, before dinner will increase your metabolism for about two to three more hours just when it was starting to slow down. 

This produces a significant increase in fat burned off, even after the exercise is over.
Is it necessary to take multi vitamins?
As few of us get a truly balanced diet it is necessary to take a Multivitamin. Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that the human body alone cannot manufacture in sufficient quantities. 

They are required for normal metabolism, growth, and general well being. 

One a day will help you on your way.
Why are generic medicines cheaper?
Drug companies spend millions of euro developing new drugs. This cost has to be passed on to consumers. 

Generic companies do not have the initial research and development costs the originator company has. This allows them to sell their medicines at a cheaper price. Generic products are not made to a lower standard. 

The IMB inspects manufacturers facilities to ensure all medicines, both branded and generic, are made to the same high standard.
What is the difference between a generic and brand-name drug?
Not much, except for the name and the price. The products have the same ingredients. 

A generic drug must have the same active ingredients, strength, and dosage form e.g. pill, liquid, injection etc. 

The generic drug also must be therapeutically equivalent. It must be chemically the same and exhibit the same medicinal effect.
Why is my doctor prescribing generic medicines?
Doctors are encouraged to prescribe generically because: 

Generic medicines are cheaper for the HSE. A huge amount of money could be saved if only generic medicines were used. This money could then be better spent on other areas of our health service. 

A huge proportion of generic drugs are manufactured here in Ireland. In the current economic climate it is important to support local jobs and companies whenever possible.The generic name is the name doctors & pharmacists are trained to use, and these are the names hospital doctors always use. There are often many brand names for one medicine. Possible confusion or mistakes are reduced if everyone uses the same name when talking about and prescribing medicines.