New guidance has been published for prescribing of medication available to buy over the counter without a prescription.
Your GP, nurse or pharmacist will not generally give you a prescription for over the counter medicines for a range of minor health concerns.
Instead, over the the counter medicines are available to buy in a pharmacy or supermarket in your local community.
The team of health professionals at your local pharmacy can offer help and clinical advice to manage minor health concerns, and if your symptoms suggest it’s more serious they’ll ensure that you get the care you need.
You may still be prescribed an over the counter medicine if:
- You need treatment for a long-term condition, e.g. regular pain relief for chronic arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease
- You need treatment for more complex forms of minor illnesses, e.g. migraines that are very bad and where over the counter medicines do not work
- You need an over the counter medicine to treat a side effect of a prescription medicine or symptom of another illness, e.g. constipation when taking certain painkillers
A patient information leaflet explaining the changes is available to download here – Self Care Patient Leaflet