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Recently Asked Questions

Do you have a question to ask the pharmacist?

This Ask-a-Pharmacist section allows you to direct questions to a patient care pharmacist regarding your medications or any drug-related concerns or issues that may be of interest to you.

Note that our reply may reach you later if you are residing in a different time zone as Singapore. Please allow up to 3 working days for our reply.

If you need an advice immediately, please consult a Doctor or call our Pharmacist via our call centre 6355 3000.

While we will strive to answer as many questions as possible, we would like to seek your understanding that we are unable to answer all questions posted or questions which are not related to medicines. Please include as much details as possible. Accurate and complete information will help our Pharmacist provide the appropriate advice.  Rest assured that all personal information provided will be kept confidential by NHG Pharmacy.


Search Criteria



Q
What is the best tablet for sore throat or
Throat infection
A

Most sore throats are not serious and go away within three to seven days without the need for medicines.

You may consider the use of lozenges for your sore throat, with the following lozenges available in NHG Pharmacy.

Name of lozenges

Contains antiseptic

Helps with pain relief

Where to get them

Dequalinium lozenges

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Available over the counter

Dorithricin lozenges

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May be purchased without a prescription after a consultation with a pharmacist

Trachisan lozenges

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Difflam lozenges

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Apart from lozenges, the following tips may also help your sore throat feel better:

-          Drink more fluids to ensure your body gets enough water. Warm water or tea can help soothe the throat. Drinking cold liquids or sucking on ice chips can help to relieve the pain, swelling and inflammation at the throat area.

-          Gargle a few times a day with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt mixed in 1 cup of warm water)

-          Using a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier can moisten and soothe a dry and painful throat.

As I do not get to see you in person, I would not be able to assess the severity and extent of involvement of your condition. Thus, I would advise you to consult a doctor if the following happens:

-          You develop a sore throat that is very serious and lasts for more than a week

-          You have a high fever

-          The area near your neck and below your ears are swollen

-          You develop a rash

-          You have trouble breathing or having difficulty swallowing

Men's Health
Q
I am currently 38 years old and I have 3 girls. I went to a private gynae and requested for birth control medicine and he prescribed me with Yasmin. However the cost is really expensive and I am wondering if I can buy the medicine over the counter at Polyclinic pharmacy?
A

Yasmin is not available in NHG Pharmacy. You may wish to contact the hospital or retail pharmacies to enquire on its availability. Do note that a valid prescription is required for the purchase of this medicine.

Women's Health
Q
Can I get epipen from the pharmacy as mine is expired.
A

Epipen injections are not available in NHG Pharmacy. You may wish to contact the hospital or retail pharmacies to enquire on its availability. Do note that a valid prescription is needed for the purchase of this medicine.

Others
Q
Skin fungus white spots. They're really bad this year than they've been in about 10 years. I'm trying to get the the oral medication which I think have to take 5 days and the selenium sulfur prescription of that shampoo you bathe with.
A

Selenium sulfur may be purchased over the counter without a prescription. Do note that a prescription from a locally registered doctor is required for the purchase of oral anti-fungal medicines.

As you had described your condition to be the worst in 10 years, I would advise you to consult a doctor for appropriate treatment and advice as soon as possible.

Others
Q
I wish to purchase medication "MONACOL" for treating cholesterol. This is medication available at your pharmacy?. What is the price?.
A

Monacol is a supplement containing red yeast rice and coenzyme Q10. Monacol is not available in NHG Pharmacy. You may wish to contact the hospital or retail pharmacies to enquire on its availability.

 Alternatively, you may wish to refer to our website regarding other supplements that contain red yeast rice:

 If you are currently taking any medication to lower cholesterol, do check with your doctor or pharmacist first before starting on the supplement.

Drug Information
Q
I have hearing loss and life-long tinnitus. I am 68 yrs old and have been taking medication for my high blood pressure. The meds are Losartan, Potassium, Cardiprin, Omeperazole and lately, Terrazoxin for my prostate. My question is whether my tinnitus and deteriorating hearing is a result of taking these medicines. And is there anything I can do to reduce my tinnitus and to improve my hearing.
A

Although high doses of aspirin may affect hearing and cause tinnitus in some people, it is unlikely that Cardiprin (100mg of aspirin) caused tinnitus. It is very rare for losartan, omeprazole and terazosin to cause tinnitus. If you notice any change in your hearing after you are started on these medicines, you should see your doctor for further checks.

Tinnitus is usually caused by another condition such as hearing loss, ear injury and blood vessel diseases. Treating the identified cause may help with tinnitus. You may also try the following:

  • Protection from loud noise and sounds
    • Lower the volume
    • Move away from sources of loud noise
    • Wear ear-protection equipment such as ear plugs when working in an environment with loud noise
  • Do not use cotton buds to clean your ears. It may push the ear wax further in and may injure the ear.
  • Use a hearing aid to help you hear better
  • Smoking can worsen tinnitus and hearing loss. Quit smoking if you are a smoker.
  • Add soothing sounds in a quiet environment. Tinnitus may be more obvious when it is quiet. Distract yourself by adding soft music in the background or by switching on the fan.
  • Get enough sleep as fatigue may worsen symptoms.
  • Exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet to prevent tinnitus that is linked to blood vessel diseases.
Men's Health
Q
I am recently taking Caltrate UC-II due to my joint discomfort and it works. I need to seek for your opinion on which type of Caltrate calcium should I take? I am 41 years old and already have slight joint discomfort.

And for my daughter, she is only 18 years old but have 2 surgeries due to ligament tear on the knee cap. Please advise which type of Caltrate calcium works for her too.
A

Calcium is important for maintaining bone health and will help to  prevent diseases such as osteoporosis which causes bones to become weak and fragile.  The Health Promotion Board recommends consuming 800mg of calcium daily. This may be obtained by eating a variety of calcium-rich food such as milk, yoghurt, tofu and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin D is also important as it helps your body absorb calcium. To allow your body to produce enough Vitamin D, allow the sun to shine on your arms and legs twice a week, for 5 to 30 minutes.

If you are unable to obtain enough calcium and vitamin D from food and sun exposure, you may wish to consider supplements which contain up to 800mg of calcium and up to 200 IU of vitamin D.

Do note that joint discomfort or pain may be caused by different conditions such as arthritis, gout or bursitis. As I am not aware of your medical history or any long term medicines that you may be taking, I would not be able to recommend an appropriate treatment. Please consult a doctor for more advice.

Calcium supplements may not be useful for preventing or treating torn ligaments. Knee ligament injuries usually occur as a result of excessive strain during sports or fitness activities. The risk of such injuries can be reduced through muscle strengthening exercises and warming up before physical activity. You may wish to consult a physiotherapist for more advice on how to prevent such injuries from recurring.

Vitamins/Herbal Supplements
Q
Hi, my son has been prescribed Nebusal 7% hypertonic saline for aerosol nebs in the morning and evening. However, when he had chest physio in KKH CICU and High Dependency, the wards use 3% hypertonic saline.
The 7% is too strong for him and he suffers a lot and cries during his neb. The KKH Pharmacy says they only have 7% in ampoules for outpatient use, not the 3% in a big bottle used in the wards.
I also have small ampoules of 0.9 (B Braun miniplasco) sodium chloride. I would like to dilute the 4 ml of 7% sodium chloride so that it can become 3% or even 4% - more comfortable for the boy. However, I don't want to do this anyhow without a proper formula of dilution from a pharmacist.
How much sodium chloride 0.9% do I add to 4 ml of 7% hypertonic saline to make it 3-4%?
A

As I am not aware of your son’s condition and whether the dilution will be suitable for him, I am unable to make any recommendation. You may wish to contact KKH at 62255554 or 63941500 for further advice.

Drug Information
Q
Came across your 'Hair Loss' brochure. Informative and I would like to see improvement in my hair growth. I would like to enquire what is the recommended oral prescription and the cost.
A

Minoxidil scalp lotion may be used in the treatment of hair loss. It is available in NHG Pharmacy and may be bought over the counter without a prescription.

Oral medicine such as finasteride is used in treatment of hair loss and is available in NHG Pharmacy. Do note that a prescription is required for the purchase of this medication. The doctor will assess your condition and prescribe the most suitable treatment for you.

You may wish to find out more about hair loss from our website.

Hair Care
Q
I had asthma attack when I was a baby. As recently I am having symptoms of asthma, and I will be going for hiking next week, I would need a preventive inhaler for asthma. I heard I can get some from the pharmacy, but not sure which medicine. Please assist.
A
As I am not aware of your medical history or any long term medicines that you may be taking, I would not be able to recommend an appropriate treatment for you. Please consult a doctor for more advice. Do note that a prescription is required for the purchase of inhalers used for treatment and prevention of asthma. 
Others
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