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Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do when I am on the anti-conceptive pill and think that I am pregnant.

If a expected bleeding does not happen twice in succesion, you might be pregnant. See you doctor, when pregnancy is confirmed stop the pill immediately.

Why is it better to have a nitrate free period?

The nitrates used to treat angina pectoris (chest pain) produce nitrous oxide. This resembles a persons own endogenous nitrate. Your body builds up a tolerance towards the nitrate overload. By having a nitrate free period every day, the system does not recognize the overload.

What does 'take it once daily' mean?

You need to take your medication at the same time every day. Make it a habit. For instance brush your theeth and take your tablet with half a glass of water after rinsing.

What is the best place to keep medication stored?

The best place is a dry, cool place, that you can lock if there are children in the house. Make sure that you can access it easily in case of emergency. Don't keep medicines in the wet and damp shower/bathroom. Some are better kept in the fridge. Ask your pharmacist.

What is the best way to take tablets or capsules.

Allways read the label on your packet first. Use half a glass of water to help swallowing and allow the tablet to go down. Sit or stand upright will help. Sometimes you can use other fluids (juices). Ask your pharmacist if you still have problems swallowing the medication.

Why is sometimes a medicine used for different illnesses?

Because all drugs are chemicals (even those that are plant related), they act on the chemical systems in the body. They can interfere with different systems causing the effect they are prescribed for as well as adverse effects. It is possible that the same medication is used to treat different illnesses because of their effect in different body systems. Most of the time there will be a difference in the daily dose that is prescribed.

I got a new medicine from my doctor, but now I need to take more of another than previously. Why is that?

If you are taking more then one medicine it is possible that they interact. This interaction can be positive or negative to both, as well as positive or negative to either of them. All this can lead to needing a lower or a higher dose of the drug(s) you are taking. Make sure that your physician always is informed about all the medication you are taking even the ones that you are buying over the counter in a pharmacy, health store or supermarket.

The label on the packet says: Swallow in whole. But the tablet is scored, can I take two halfs because the tablet is big.

Swallow in whole means that you cannot crush a tablet because of a special coating to protect your stomach or to allow slow release of the drug. But there is no harm in breaking at the scoreline. Yes you can take two halfs.

Since three weeks I am taking new medication and I am feeling bad with dizzyness, and headache since.

Your pharmacy is able to check your medication for adverse effects and interactions, but only if they have all details of the drugs you are using. It is advisable to always use the same pharmacy. If that is not possible make sure you get a medication passport. This should contain all your medication with the strength and dosage you are using

Who should get Tamiflu?

Updated advice from the Department of Health and Children is that GPs should only prescribe antiviral medication (Tamiflu) on the basis of a range of clinical and other features, to certain categories of patients suspected of having Pandemic (H1N1) 2009. As most patients will have relatively mild symptoms, they will not need any antiviral medication and will recover by staying at home (to prevent spreading infection to others), drinking plenty of fluids and taking paracetamol regularly to relieve their symptoms.