Questions 4 and 5
4. Should I carry on taking my medicines even when I feel better?
Depending on which medications you are taking will depend on whether you should keep taking them. If your doctor or pharmacist has advised you to take your medicines when you need them - for example when taking paracetamol for an injury - then it is okay to stop taking them when you feel better. However, if you have a more long-term condition such as diabetes or heart disease then it's important to continue to take your medication as they are prescribed, in order to reduce relapses and slow the progression of the disease.
Also if you have been prescribed antibiotics for a condition that you see has got better, it is important to always complete the course of antibiotics, because stopping the course halfway can lead to increasing antibiotic resistance and not fully treating the infection.
5. Do I need to see a doctor?
Short-term common conditions which occur on a day to day basis can be treated by a wide range of community pharmacy services. There are many places to get healthcare advice if you are unsure about the urgency of your condition. Services and places such as NHS 111 and your local community pharmacy, are always there to give advice, both are open extended hours.
Your local community pharmacy provides the opportunity to see a trained healthcare professional face-to-face. There are clinical consultation rooms where you can be seen with full confidentiality, and also access services such as the minor ailments or Pharmacy First scheme. These enable you to get treatments such as cold and flu remedies and other over-the-counter medicines through the NHS.