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

Can a person who have cirrhosis take Viartril-S glucosamine powder 1500mg?

People with liver problems may need closer monitoring when they start on supplements such as glucosamine. You may wish to discuss with your doctor regarding the suitability of starting glucosamine.


Some studies suggest that glucosamine may affect the blood sugar levels, but the results are not conclusive. Diabetic patients who take glucosamine may need to check their blood sugar levels more often.

Vitamins/Herbal Supplements
Do you have product which equals to the function of Actimove Lumbacare for 65 years old female ?

As I am not aware of the condition of the patient, I am unable to make any recommendations. You may wish to discuss with your doctor or physiotherapist regarding suitable back supports for her.


The table below shows comparisons between Actimove Lombacare X and other back supports available in NHG Pharmacy.


Back Support


Product Features

Actimove Lombacare X

·         Sudden, short-term back pain, lower back pain

·         Long-term back pain

·         Degenerative back problems (changes to the spinal discs due to ageing)

·         Osteoporosis (weakening of the bones)

·         Muscular insufficiency (muscle unable to stretch beyond certain limits)

·         Post-operation support

·         Latex –free

·         Stretchy material

·         Dorsal X-bands for compression and stretch

·         Hand loops for adjustments

·         Four dorsal supports to maintain correct posture


Lumbar Sacro Support Support

·         Low back pain

·         Muscle strain

·         Ligament sprain

·         Osteoporosis

·         Spondylosis (arthritis of the spine)

·         Straps crossing at the back and fastened in front

·         Four flexible support at the back for stability

·         Stretchy material


Stabilising Back

·         Abdominal Support

·         General Soreness

·         Sprains & Strains

·         Latex-free

·         Includes support cushion pads

·         Back panel for even  support


You may also wish to visit our website here to check the prices and sizes available.

Women's Health
If a person has numbness on one side of the legs due to degeneration of the
spine what other options can this person adopt to relieve this problem besides
consuming neurogen-E, nuerobion or lyrica tablets? Will physiotherapy, exercise or acupuncture help? Any other non-surgical options?

There are other medicines available for the treatment of numbness and nerve pain. However, as I am not aware of the person’s condition, I am unable to make any recommendations. He/she may wish to discuss with his/her doctor further.


The list below includes some non-drug, non-surgical options to help with numbness and nerve pain:

  • Physiotherapy/Exercise
    • Improve muscle strength and blood circulation to help with nerve pain and numbness
    • It may be difficult for to do certain exercises due to the pain and numbness. Opt for low impact exercises such as swimming, cycling, yoga, tai chi and water aerobics
  • Massage
    • Improves blood circulation
  • Have a healthy diet
    • Having a good nutrition helps to prevent numbness caused by the lack of certain vitamins
  • Avoid excessive alcohol
    • Alcohol may worsen numbness and nerve pain
  • Quit smoking
    • Smoking affects blood circulation and may worsen numbness and nerve pain
  • Acupuncture
    • May provide relief for some patients
    • Effects usually short-term and may require frequent treatments
  • Herbs and supplements (Discuss with your doctor before starting any)
    • alpha-lipoic acid
      • Shows effectiveness in some short-term studies, but lacks evidence for effectiveness for long-term usage
      • May reduce blood sugar. Use with caution in people with diabetes
      • To be used with caution in people who lacks vitamin B1 and drinks excessive alcohol
      • May interact with treatments for thyroid problems


What are some common anti-fungal soap bars or body wash?

Selenium sulfide suspension or ketoconazole shampoo may be used to treat fungal infection in the scalp and skin. These products are both available over the counter.

As I am not aware of the severity and extent of your condition, I am not able to advise you on the frequency and duration to use these products. Do follow the instructions on how to use these products.


You may also practice the tips below to prevent fungal infections in the future

  • Do not share clothes, shoes or towels with other people
  • Do not go barefooted in public places, include public showers
  • Keep your skin clean and dry
  • Always dry completely after bathing
  • Wash with soap and shampoo, especially after sports or exercise
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothes and shoes
  • Change your socks and underwear at least once a day
  • If the infection might have come from your pet, bring it to a vet 
Common Ailments
Is Lynae MD3 tablet Vitamin D3 1000IU and Calcium 149mg safe to be consumed by Breast Feeding Mother?

Lynae is safe to be consumed by a breastfeeding mother. However, the manufacturer recommends you to check with your doctor before starting the supplement.


Vitamins/Herbal Supplements
I've extremely dry soles, fingertips & eyes. And I feel tired very easily too. Are those signs that I'm lacking of vitamin C intake?

Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency may include the following:

  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen, bleeding  gums
  • Poor wound healing
  • Easy bruising


If left untreated, severe lack of vitamin C may lead to jaundice (yellowing of skin and eye), swelling and serious heart problems.


As I am not aware of your medical history or any long term medicines that you may be taking, I am unable to determine whether you have vitamin C deficiency.


You may increase your vitamin C intake by increasing the consumption of vitamin rich food such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, kiwi fruit, potatoes, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, strawberries, cabbage, and spinach. Do note that dietary vitamin C intake can be affected by the food preparation process as it is sensitive to heat and light. You may choose to eat fruits and vegetables raw or lightly cooked.


You may wish to refer to the website here to learn more about daily vitamin requirements.


You may refer to our website here to find out more about the supplements available.

Vitamins/Herbal Supplements
I take wellbutrin and paxil every morning. I've been taking them together for 1 1/2 years with no side effects.

I recently read an interaction between the two medicines, where wellbutrin can raise the blood levels of paxil, by altering metabolism.

Should i be taking theses two medicines a few hours apart to avoid this interaction?

Medication interactions are classified according to differing levels of significance, from mild interactions that do not require any further action to major interactions that require immediate change of therapy.


Bupropion (Wellbutrin®) and Paroxetine (Paxil®) interaction is of a moderate severity with recommendations to monitor therapy. Bupropion may increase the concentration of paroxetine in the blood thereby potentially increasing the risk of paroxetine side effects. It is recommended to monitor closely for signs of paroxetine toxicities such as:

-          Drowsiness, Insomnia

-          Headache

-          Dizziness, Weakness

-          Tremors

-          Excessive perspiration

-          Nausea

-          Dry mouth

-          Constipation, Diarrhea


The mechanism of this interaction is currently unclear. It is possibly due to bupropion inhibiting an enzyme (CYP2D6) involved in the metabolism of paroxetine. Separating administration may not prevent the interaction as this inhibition lasts longer than 24 hours.


It is important to keep to your regular follow-up appointments for your doctor to monitor for any signs of paroxetine toxicity. Do inform your doctor if you experience any of the signs/symptoms listed above.


Drug Information
Since last year I have given plant protein powder for my ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) 18 years old boy swimmer.

May I know for long term does it affect the liver? Or Whye protein is better ?

May I know which type of protein powder is safe to take ?

Protein supplementation may be beneficial for muscle recovery, after athletic activities such as swimming. A growing teenager will also require more protein to fuel his workouts.


Examples of Sources of Protein Powders


A water-soluble complete protein source containing all 9 essential amino acids. Made from milk and contains lactose, a milk sugar that some people have difficulty digesting.


Preferred choice for vegans. Taste may be considered unpleasant. Water-solubility is less than whey protein.


Digested and absorbed much slower than whey. Appears to be more effective than soy protein but not as effective as whey protein, at increasing muscle protein synthesis and strength.


Typically made from egg whites rather than whole eggs but serves as a complete protein source like whey. Not suitable for those with egg allergies. Considered second only to whey protein as the highest source of leucine, the most important BCAA for muscle health.

Brown Rice

Generally considered inferior to whey protein for muscle building. Has insufficient lysine to be considered a complete protein source.

Mixed plant

A blend of plant sources to provide complete protein with all the essential amino acids. Adding digestive enzymes lead to a faster appearance of amino acids in the blood that make it comparable to whey protein.


BCAA: Branched chain amino acids which promote muscle growth and recovery following resistance and endurance exercise


Balance Naturals Plant Protein is plant-based, containing pea protein isolate made from golden peas sourced from North America, blended with chia protein powder, sacha inchi powder and organic brown rice protein concentrate. It is a mixed plant protein powder, with added essential BCAAs, glutamine and digestive enzymes. It is an alternative protein source for those with dairy and soy intolerances and is also gluten-free with no artificial flavours, preservatives or sweeteners.


Do note that this product should not be used as a sole source of nutrition. It is best taken in conjunction with a nutritious diet and an appropriate physical training or exercise programme.


Long Term Safety of Protein Powders


Safety data on protein powders is limited. There have been individual cases of acute liver injury and jaundice following dietary supplement usage which resolved after discontinuation of the supplements. There is however no scientific evidence currently to conclude whether the liver will be stressed through metabolizing greater protein intakes. There is some evidence that long term consumption of too much protein can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and worsening of any existing kidney problems. The Singapore Health Promotion Board recommends a daily dietary allowance of 80g protein for 16 to 18 year old boys and 68g protein for 18-30 year old males. Excessive protein can also put additional stress on the kidneys and contribute to dehydration.


To avoid these risks, you may choose to introduce high-protein foods into his diet instead in the form of snacks or adding them directly to normal meals to enhance the protein content.


Some protein-rich food options include:

-          Red meat, such as beef, lamb and pork

-          Poultry, such as chicken, duck and turkey

-          Eggs

-          Dairy, such as milk, yoghurt and cheese

-          Beans

-          Tofu


As the autistic palate is special, supplements do provide a way for you to enhance your teen’s diet without the stress of introducing foods and textures that he may not easily tolerate. ASD children who are picky eaters are potentially at risk of nutritional deficiencies such as zinc, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, amino acid, vitamin B12, and folic acid deficiency. Some studies have shown that a gluten-free, casein-free diet may be beneficial for ASD.


For more information on diet and autism, you may wish to visit the website below.



For any supplement product, be sure to follow the specific dosing instructions and do not exceed the maximum dosage stated on the product label.

Vitamins/Herbal Supplements
I had cholesterol blood test done last Saturday morning at Hougang Polyclinic. In the afternoon , I suddenly remembered I took Brand’s Chicken Essence half an hour before I had my blood taken. Will the chicken Essence I took affect my result or should I redo my blood test ?

It is recommended to fast for at least 8 to 12hr before a cholesterol blood test – Lipid panel with total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol & Triglycerides.


Consuming any food item including Chicken Essence before a fasting test may affect the results. However, high cholesterol is a long term condition and cholesterol levels are largely affected by your diet and lifestyle over long periods of time rather than immediately before a blood test.


Hence you may wish to keep to your usual Doctor’s appointment for consult and inform your doctor that you did not fast before the blood test. The doctor may then review your test results accordingly and schedule another blood test if required.

There are on the the rear side of my thigh which I suspect could be fungal infections because I had it before. Can I buy anti-fungal cream off the counter without consulting the doctor?

Superficial fungal infections on the skin can appear as a red, itchy rash (commonly known as “ringworm”) or white spot. Mild infections usually respond to over-the-counter anti-fungal creams and products. However, prescription anti-fungal creams or steroid creams are sometimes necessary for more severe infections.


There are several topical anti-fungal products available over-the-counter in NHG pharmacy which you may wish to try.

-          Clotrimazole cream

-          Miconazole cream

-          Miconazole powder


Be sure to follow the product instructions and apply the anti-fungal product regularly on the affected area until symptoms disappear. Continue using it for at least 7 days after symptoms disappear. Do note that for white spots, the white colour may remain even after the infection has been successfully treated. This will gradually improve over time.


You may also wish to consult a pharmacist for purchase of other medication for symptomatic relief of itch, redness or swelling.


For more severe fungal skin infections covering a large area, oral anti-fungal medications may be needed. Hence, do consult a doctor if the affected area is large or seems to be spreading. Also seek medical attention if the condition does not improve with the use of the above over-the-counter products.


Here are some general management tips to prevent fungal skin infections:

-          Keep skin clean and dry, especially the space between your toes, the skin folds in the groin area and the armpits. The use of powder may help.

-          Do not walk around bare-foot in areas where the floor is wet such as common showers, gyms, public toilets and swimming pools

-          Avoid sharing personal items such as napkins, towels, combs and hairbrushes

-          Wash and dry the affected area with a clean towel before applying the anti-fungal product

-          Change clothes, especially underwear everyday

-          Avoid wearing tight clothes


For further information on fungal infections and how to manage them, you may wish to visit our website here

Common Ailments
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