Recently Asked Questions

Do you have a question to ask our 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 three working days for our reply.

If you need an advice immediately, please consult a Doctor or call our Pharmacist via our NHGP contact centre at 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.

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I am taking Ascorbic Acid 100g tablets on daily basis. I do not have any health concern, existing or history medical condition except borderline high cholesterol. I took the Vit C (Ascorbic Acid 100mg tablet) for health maintain purpose only.

Along with Ascorbic Acid 100mg tablets, i also took DHA B-plex Vit B complex and Suncal-D (Calcium Carbonate 450mg & Vit D 200mg) tablets each everyday. (All purchased from polyclinic pharmacy)

I have 2 Questions :

A) Is this true taking Ascorbic acid 100mg tablet daily would cause kidney stones?
B) Is it better to take Ascorbic Acid 100mg on alternate days to prevent formation of kidney stones?

I am a lady at age 46 and do not have any history of kidney stones before.

When a person takes in excess Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), the kidneys process it and the body removes it through the urine. Too much Ascorbic Acid may cause a buildup of oxalate in the body, which may increase the risk of forming calcium oxalate (kidney stones). This risk is especially for people with poor kidney function or a history of kidney stones.

It is recommended to consume not more than 2000mg of Ascorbic Acid per day.

If you do not have any history of kidney stones or poor kidney function, it is safe to consume a dose of 100mg once a day for supplementation. There may not be a need to reduce to take 100mg on alternate days.

Vitamins/Herbal Supplements
Is it okay for my pregnant wife to take a 5mg folic acid tablet daily on top with drinking pregnancy milk which contains 0.17mg folic acid?

Folic Acid is a vitamin that helps in the formation of red blood cells and the development of the baby’s nerves. It is also helpful in preventing birth defects in the baby.

It is recommended for pregnant women to take at least 400mcg of folic acid per day. Women may also take 5mg of folic acid per day as directed by their doctor. It is a safe supplement that is recommended to take until week 12 of pregnancy. Folic acid is not likely to cause any side effects.

A healthy diet would naturally consist of food or drinks containing folic acid. The additional intake of folic acid is not likely to cause harm to your wife or the growing baby.

You may consult your gynaecologist if you wish to enquire more about recommended food or supplements during the course of your wife’s pregnancy.

Drug Information
Hi there, this is a general question regarding when to take our medications.

Do we always have to space out the doses as evenly as possible or is it OK to have one interval longer/shorter than the others, etc?

For example, if a drug is to be taken 4 times a day, we would usually take it in intervals of 4 hours. Or should it be 5 hours to spread it out more evenly? Does it affect the effectiveness of the drug in any way?

What if we need to take a drug only 2 times a day? Should we have it 12-hourly? Can we have the first dose at say 8am and the second one at 4pm if that's more convenient for us rather than 8pm?

Please kindly advise. Thank you.

In general, it is recommended to space out the time of taking each dose as evenly as possible during the waking hours. This is to ensure that the concentration of the medication in the body is maintained to provide its effect and to reduce the risk of side effects. 

Certain medications may require people to take them at specific timings for the medication to be safe and effective, for various reasons. This includes (but are not limited to) the following:

Medications that are formulated to be slowly released in the body throughout the day

Medications that may cause side effects if taken at night

Medications may work better when taken at specific times

Recommendations on how to space out doses may be different for specific medications. You may wish to speak to a pharmacist in person if you are facing difficulties in taking your medications on time, or if you wish to adjust your medication regimen for convenience. 

Hi, may I ask if it's possible to purchase domperidone (10mg) over the counter without prescription? If yes, may I know how much is it?

Domperidone 10mg may be purchased at NHG Pharmacy (in NUP and NHG Polyclinics) after consultation with a pharmacist for the appropriate indication and in limited quantity.

Drug Information
Would like to know Duro-Tuss herbal chesty cough liquid is it suitable for dry cough ?

This product is meant for wet cough as it helps to loosen and expel phlegm to clear chest congestion.

For dry cough without phlegm, other cough syrups may be more suitable.

These are Pharmacy-only medicines and may be bought after consultation with a pharmacist. However, in view of the current COVID situation, self-medicating is not recommended. If you have any cough or flu symptoms, you are encouraged to see a doctor for further assessment and treatment.

Drug Information
My Mom who's bedridden and on feeding tube appears to be suffering from bloating. She was prescribed domperidone. I did a search on this drug and it seems to be quite an unusual drug to take for bloating, considering that it could lead to cardiac death etc for people over 60 years old, when there appears to be other less drastic alternatives. We are reluctant to give it to her for obvious reasons. Would appreciate it very much if you could clarify if our concerns are unfounded and if there is anything out there, perhaps over the counter, that we could consider getting first? Thank you.

Domperidone works by increasing the movements in the stomach and bowel, thereby helping with bloating. Domperidone may be associated with an increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms or sudden cardiac death, particularly with doses above 30mg per day or when used in patients above 60 years of age. In 2017, the Health and Science Advisory(HSA) had reviewed this association and determined that it may still be used at appropriate doses for approved indications (such as bloating (dyspepsia)).

As recommended by HSA, doctors are advised Domperidone to be used at the lowest possible dose, for the shortest duration necessary. Doctors are also advised to avoid the use of Domperidone if patients are on medications that may increase the risk of cardiac adverse events.

Electrocardiograms (ECGs), a test to check heart rhythm, may also be ordered by the doctor to ensure that there are no adverse events caused by the use of Domperidone.

There are over-the-counter medications to help reduce wind and bloating, however, these may not necessarily be effective for your mother. As I am not aware of your medical history or any long term medicines that your mother may be taking, I would advise you to speak to the doctor who is managing her care to raise your concerns and discuss on the possible treatments instead. This may include a discussion on the type and frequency of feeds that the patient takes, as this may also contribute to bloating and gastric symptoms.

Proton pump inhibitors such as Esomeprazole may be used as an alternative treatment of bloating in tube feeding patients. You may discuss with the doctor if this is suitable for your mother.

Drug Information
Do you have Tresiba FlexTouch pen ?

Tresiba is a long-acting insulin used to improve sugar control in patients with diabetes.

As Tresiba is not available in NHG Pharmacy (NHG Polyclinics and NUP Polyclinics), you may wish to enquire at other hospital pharmacies or retail pharmacies e.g. Guardian, Watsons or Unity. 

Drug Information
Can I consume Tebonin on a daily basis please? Any known side effects?

Tebonin forte contains Ginkgo Biloba dry extract 120mg. It is usually taken as one tablet per day, and may be taken up to one tablet two times a day. It may be taken with or without meals.

It can be used for the following indications:

  • Improve cerebral and peripheral blood circulation
  • Improve mental alertness and concentration
  • Improve tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and vertigo (dizziness)

Tebonin forte is generally safe for daily use. However, in very rare cases, mild stomach disturbances, headache or allergic skin reactions (skin rashes, skin itch or swelling) have been reported.

Tebonin forte should not be used in those allergic to ginkgo biloba, children under 18 years old, pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you are taking any blood thinners (e.g. warfarin, or anti-platelets like aspirin or clopidogrel), taking Tebonin forte may increase the risk of bleeding.

If you are taking any long-term medications or any medical conditions, please consult a doctor for more advice if you wish to start taking this medication.

Drug Information
Do you sell rexobol 50, if yes the price please.

Rexobol 50 is not available in Singapore. You may wish to consult a doctor for a review and discuss on suitable alternatives that are available in Singapore.

Hi there, we have tried a couple of cough suppressants for my mom's persistent dry cough which is especially bad at night, and it seems only procodin showed some effect. However, it is not available over the counter apparently because it contains codeine. Those containing dextromethorphan do not seem effective at all. Was wondering if there is any similar cough medication that works the same way as codeine and does not require a doctor's prescription for it please? Thank you.

Chronic dry cough that is worse at night may be caused by allergens or underlying medical conditions like gastric reflux, asthma, lung disease, heart failure, or sleep-related breathing disorders. As I am not aware of your mother’s medical history or any long term medicines she may be taking, I would not be able to recommend an appropriate treatment. You are strongly advised to consult a doctor for an appropriate assessment to determine the cause of the dry cough and then to discuss on the possible alternatives.

Drug Information
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