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The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
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For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness If you have coronavirus symptoms:
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  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
  • If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
  • Visit NHS 111 Online for more information

Stay at Home
  • If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation section below for more information)
  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
  • It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See ending isolation section below for more information
  • If you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
  • If you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
Find out more about UK Gov Coronavirus Response
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What we have to say about your health and well being
17
Feb 2014
Insomnia
One of the most common problems that people come to treat in the pharmacy is insomnia. It is an ever increasing problem and the most common mental health problem in the UK. For those who don’t suffer from sleep problems it can seem minor, but if you suffer regularly from insomnia you know that it can be anything but minor. Lack of sleep can have a major impact on your physical and psychological health. Insomnia is characterized by Difficulty in falling asleep Waking during the night and having trouble getting back to sleep Waking early in the morning Feeling tired on waking As we get older our sleeping patterns change. In the over sixties it is estimated that those with poor sleep patterns/ insomnia increases to over 50%. This is not because we need less sleep but because it becomes more difficult to achieve the sleep hours required in one spell. Sleep is disrupted and it is broken into bits. This is because our lifestyle alters as we get older and can be due to an increase in sleep disturbing medical conditions or sleep disturbing treatments used to treat conditions more prevalent in old age. Pain is a common problem that leads to insomnia. Arthritis, back pain and any long-term pain condition often result in sleep disruption. Other conditions that occur with age such as urinary incontinence and prostate problems are common causes of broken sleep. Medicines used to treat common ailments can inadvertently affect sleep. The side effects of regularly taken medicines such as beta-blockers, antidepressants as well many more can contribute to or cause sleeplessness without the taker being aware. We are spending more and more on sleep medications both over the counter and on the NHS. In England between 2010 and 2011 the NHS spent £50 million on 15.3 million prescriptions for sleeping pills. A sleeping tablet seems like an easy fix and if the problem is short term and simple in complexity they can be. Unfortunately most sleep problems are not short term or simple and so the sleeping pill can be ineffective or become a crutch to enable you to get to sleep without treating the underlying problem. Treatment for insomnia should not start with medication. The best way to solve sleepless nights is to target the reason why you can’t get off to sleep and stay asleep. Often external factors such as stress and anxiety can be the underlying cause and treating them resolves the insomnia. Students commonly suffer from insomnia due to the stress that exams bring. Once the stress is removed then normal sleep returns. For some insomnia is caused by constant thoughts running around your head and it is the battle to try and forget about these thoughts that needs to be fought in order to get to sleep. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a technique used to try and get rid of negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Other non-medication treatments include performing relaxation exercises before going to bed to remove stress. One of the most successful courses of action is to try and get your self into good habits. Modern life brings with all sort of stresses and stimuli. The increase in the number of us who have mobile technology means we can be contacted or be in contact with news and information at all times of day. This means that we are constantly stimulated and stimulated later in the day than is good for us resulting in it being much more difficult to wind down and switch off. In order to remedy this we need to find a way of reducing the stimulation so that we are ready to go to sleep. For some this means trying to introduce a routine so that we wake up and go to bed at set times even at weekends. Avoiding eating too late and avoiding stimulants like caffeine and nicotine at least four hours before bedtime are also a good idea. Adjusting room temperature so that it is cool, quiet and peaceful can also increase the chances of getting to sleep. Activities that can be performed outside the bedroom should be segregated leaving the bedroom for sleep. Removing stimulating technology such as computers, mobile phones and televisions from the bedroom is a major way to let your body wind down and reduce the amount of light stimulation from the bright white screens. Clock watching is a common problem for those who are struggling to sleep. The constant reminder of how much time is left before you get up often compounds the problem by making the sufferer more anxious about how little sleep they are getting. Removing a clock that reminds you how much sleep you have missed is a good idea or alternatively you could replace the thoughts of how much time you have missed with the thoughts that you still have many hours remaining in bed still to sleep. If behavioral change alone doesn’t rectify the problems then it is time to introduce medication to the behavioral therapy. Over the counter remedies tend to contain antihistamines, valerian, hops, passionflower and vervain and are used to treat mild insomnia. The antihistamines used (promethazine and diphenhydramine) tend to be older subtypes than the ones used to treat allergies due to the fact that they cause sedation. They are used only short-term because the body can develop a tolerance to the sedating effects. This is the case for most sleeping tablets and there are very few on or off prescription that you will not develop a tolerance to. Valerian is prepared from the root of the plant and is known to have sedating and anti anxiety properties. It has not been established how effective valerian is at treating insomnia but it has been shown to decrease the length of time it takes to get to sleep when used for more than two weeks but more study needs to be done to get a better understanding. If these over the counter treatments are not successful then it is time to consult your GP for further treatment. For more information see The Sleep Book: How to Sleep Well Every Night by Dr Guy Meadows Visit the sleep council website at www.sleepcouncil.org.uk
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