Hay fever and seasonal allergy treatments such as tablets, eye drops or nasal sprays are all available to buy at low cost from your local pharmacy or supermarket with no prescription from your GP required. These are the same medications that your GP would advise, but often available cheaper than a prescription charge.
Dr Cathy Bennett, local GP and CCG prescribing lead said “Spring and summer are the time of year when hay fever and allergies can get much worse with sneezing, itchy and watery eyes and a stuffy nose causing troubling symptoms.
“Antihistamines are usually the best treatment for hay fever and these can easily be bought from local pharmacies or supermarkets. Buying a packet of 30 tablets can cost as little as £2, especially if buying non-branded products. If a patient goes to their GP to get a prescription, then it costs the NHS and the patient considerably more. Last year the CCG spent £241,000 on prescribing antihistamines.
“By going to the pharmacy you’ll be saving yourself time and money, freeing up GP appointments for people with more urgent needs as well as doing your bit to help the NHS save money on unnecessary prescription costs.
“We all have a responsibility to look after our own health and look after our NHS.”
Locally, the NHS spent millions last year on prescribing medicines that can easily be bought at local pharmacies or supermarkets for less than it costs the NHS to prescribe. These medicines included painkillers (£1.1m); antihistamines (£241,000); upset stomach treatment (£1.1m); and heartburn and indigestion treatment (£288,000).
Top tips to help ease hay fever symptoms:
- Keep house and car windows closed, especially when the pollen count is high (early morning between 7am to 9am and evenings between 5pm and 7pm)
- Avoid large grassy areas, woodland, cutting the grass and car fumes
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses
- Use petroleum jelly inside your nose to block inhalation of pollen
- Don’t dry washing outside to avoid pollen sticking to your clothes
- When you get in from outside wash your hands, face, hair, rinse your eyes and change your clothes.
For more information about treating allergies or to find your nearest pharmacy and opening times visit www.nhs.uk