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Kiwis at risk from taking inappropriate medicine

Thousands of Kiwis Could Be Putting Themselves at Risk by Taking Inappropriate Medicine Warns Care Chemist

Thousands of New Zealanders suffering from winter coughs and colds could be putting themselves in danger by taking unsuitable medication according to Care Chemist. Care Chemist, New Zealand’s fastest growing community pharmacy group, has launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the risks involved with purchasing medicines without seeking the advice of a healthcare professional first

Some individuals, including those that are pregnant, asthmatic, and diabetic or have high blood pressure, need to be more vigilant in considering the risks involved. A recent study from Australia has revealed that up to 20% of asthmatics are allergic to a common ingredient used in cold medications and pain killers. The one in seven adults in New Zealand taking medication for high blood pressure should also be careful as several common cold medicines could increase their blood pressure.

‘It’s very important to check that the cold medication you are thinking about purchasing won’t exacerbate an existing condition or conflict with a treatment you are already undergoing,’ explains Care Chemist CEO, Nicolette McDonald. ‘Always ask your pharmacist whether there are any potential drug interactions between your medications and cold medications.’

‘If you’re already taking a painkiller and want to take a cold medication, you’ll also need to check that you’re not double dosing,’ adds Nicolette. ‘Popular painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are often used in cold and flu tablets as well as some hot drinks for colds. Too much of either of these medications can be quite serious and in some cases lethal.’

As well as providing advice on choosing the right cold and flu medication, Care Chemist will be producing an educational brochure on how to get the right advice and what dangers to be aware of. On top of that, Care Chemists pharmacists are always on hand to discuss any issues and possible solutions with their customers.

For more information on Care Chemist, visit www.carechemist.co.nz

ENDS

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