The Independent Pharmacy


Our clinical team regularly produce helpful guides to provide supporting information for the conditions that we treat and the treatments that we provide.

Simply find your medical condition below to read helpful information written and reviewed by our healthcare professionals.

Featured Guides

Guides by Condition

Acid Reflux & Heartburn

Acid reflux, heartburn, and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) are a group of conditions where excess stomach acid travels back up towards the throat and causes a burning feeling in the chest. There is a wide range of treatments for acid reflux, ranging from over-the-counter to prescription, depending on the frequency and severity of your symptoms.

1 guides from 1 authors


Living with acne can be hard. Not only can it cause discomfort and pain, it can also erode our self-confidence. We know having acne feels like a very personal experience. That’s because it is. But it's also so common that nowadays, there’s a wide range of very effective treatments. Combined with some simple dietary choices, you’ll be amazed at how quickly things can improve. Let’s get started in finding the best treatment for you.

45 guides from 5 authors

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness can affect people who travel above 2500m without time to acclimatise. The symptoms include headache and shortness of breath but can quickly become a medical emergency if you do not descend to a lower altitude. It can affect anyone regardless of age, physical fitness, or experience.

1 guides from 1 authors


Anxiety is a feeling of unease, commonly caused by having worrying thoughts about things that are about to happen or things that might happen in the future. Anxiety and worry are normal bodily responses. For example, you may feel worried about an interview or having a medical test. But some people they find it hard to control their worries and these feelings of anxiety can become constant, affecting their daily lives and may even result in panic attacks.

10 guides from 2 authors


Asthma is a common lung condition that normally starts in childhood but affects people of all ages. Asthma causes shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing as a result of the airways narrowing and swelling. There is currently no cure for asthma, but there are effective treatments that help control symptoms so your life is not significantly impacted.

4 guides from 2 authors

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common cause of unusual vaginal discharge that often has a distinct fishy odour, especially after sex. BV is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but it is caused by an imbalance in the bacteria of the vagina making you more susceptible to infections. BV is an easily treatable condition using antibiotics or pH-balancing creams & gels.

5 guides from 3 authors


Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK. It is a bacterial infection passed on through unprotected sex that, if left untreated, can cause issues with fertility, as well as pregnancy complications. Chlamydia can usually be treated with a short course of antibiotics, with doxycycline and azithromycin being the most widely effective antibiotics for chlamydia. These antibiotics are effective at treating chlamydia by killing the bacteria (known as chlamydia trachomatis) that causes the infection.

3 guides from 1 authors

Cold & Flu

Dealing with the discomfort of Cold and flu isn't a walk in the park. The incessant sniffles, body aches, and endless fatigue are all too familiar to anyone under the weather. The good news is that there are effective remedies available for your symptoms. From over-the-counter decongestants to symptom relief medications, we're here to assist you in finding the perfect solution tailored to your specific needs. Let us support you on your journey to manage and beat Cold and flu and get you back to your vibrant self.

1 guides from 1 authors


Constipation is described as having less than 3 bowel movements in a week. It is a common health problem that is rarely serious. It can affect people of all ages, causing your stool to be larger than normal as well as dry, hard or lumpy. You may also strain to go to the toilet, which may be painful. Constipation is easily treated with diet and lifestyle changes, or when this is unsuccessful there are many very effective over the counter treatments.

2 guides from 1 authors


Hormonal Contraception is used to prevent pregnancy and is available as either hormonal pills, patches, injections, implants or Intra-Uterine Devices (IUD). Hormonal contraception prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation, changing the cervical mucus and making the uterus inhospitable. Hormonal contraception is available in many different forms either containing both the synthetic hormones oestrogen and progesterone or progesterone alone.

2 guides from 2 authors

Cystitis (UTI)

Cystitis is a type of Urinary tract infection (UTI) that specifically affects your bladder. Symptoms of cystitis include pain when urinating, needing to urinate more urgently and frequently and cloudy or blood-stained urine. In mild cases of cystitis, it can be treated by drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding sexual intercourse and taking painkillers to ease discomfort. In more severe cases cystitis responds well to a short course of antibiotics.

2 guides from 2 authors

Dry Eye

Dry Eye is a relatively common health complaint causing sufferers to experience itchy, watery, grittiness and redness in one or both eyes. There are several different eye drops and gels that have proven to effectively soothe the eyes leaving you feeling more comfortable both day and night.

2 guides from 2 authors

Dry Scalp

Just like it is common to experience dry skin on your face and body, some people develop dry skin on their scalp. This can cause the skin to become flaky, itchy and red. Common conditions that cause a dry scalp include scalp psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and dandruff. Depending on the cause of the dry scalp will determine the best course of treatment but using a cream, ointment or medicated shampoo is often the best option for quick, lasting relief.

1 guides from 1 authors

Dry Skin

Dry skin (also known as xerosis cutis) is a common malady that impacts almost everyone on occasion. Your skin requires a certain level of moisture to be optimally healthy. When something happens to reduce that moisture, it leads to patches of skin becoming itchy, cracking, and even scaling over. If left untreated, dry skin can persist for a long time, causing great discomfort. View our range of dry skin treatments to identify the right option for you.

1 guides from 1 authors

Ear Wax

Ear wax is a normal substance that is produced by the body to keep irritants out of the ears. Ear wax typically falls out of your ears naturally but in some cases, the wax builds up causing the ears to become blocked. Symptoms of excessive ear wax include reduced hearing, earache, a ringing or buzzing in your ears or vertigo. Using ear drops is the most effective way to reduce excessive ear wax helping to soften the build-up so it can be removed naturally.

1 guides from 1 authors

Eczema & Dermatitis

Living with Eczema & Dermatitis isn't easy. The relentless itching, pain, disrupted sleep, and missed activities are all too real for those with moderate-to-severe eczema. We truly understand the discomfort these conditions can cause and the profound impact they have on your daily life. You don't have to face this alone. The good news is that there are effective treatment options available for dry skin conditions. From non-prescription emollients and bath additives to steroid creams or ointments, we're here to help you find the right solution tailored to your specific needs. You deserve relief and a better quality of life. Let us support you on your journey to manage and alleviate eczema. Together, we can find the best course of action.

32 guides from 3 authors

Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if the contraception you have used has failed, this could be if a condom has split or you have missed a contraceptive pill. Emergency contraceptive pills, sometimes known as "the morning after pill', can be taken either up to 3 or 5 days after unprotected sex has occurred depending on which emergency contraceptive pill you are taking. They primarily work by delaying or stopping ovulation and therefore are most effective the sooner they are taken.

2 guides from 1 authors

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Erection Dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to get and keep an erection that prevents successful sexual intercourse. For some men ED happens from time to time whereas for others it can be more consistent. ED can have many causes such as tiredness, anxiety or drinking too much alcohol. It can however be a sign of a physical health problem so it is always recommended you speak to a doctor. Treating ED may be as simple as changing a specific lifestyle factor, however, there are also effective prescription medicines that can help you to enjoy your sex life.

84 guides from 4 authors

Facial Hair

Excessive Hair or Hirsutism is where women grow thick, dark hair on their face, neck, chest, tummy, lower back, buttocks or thighs. The excess of dark hair is caused by an increase in the levels of male hormones called androgens. The most common cause for excess hair is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), however, it is also common for there to be no obvious cause. Some overweight women find that losing weight helps to reduce hair growth. There are also prescription tablets and creams that have proven to be effective.

1 guides from 1 authors

Fungal Nail Infections

Fungal nail infections are common, they are generally not serious but can be stubborn and take a long time to treat. Fungal nail infections usually affect the toenails but can sometimes also affect the fingers. The infection can be present on just one nail or multiple. The fungus causes the nails to thicken, discolour, become distorted, and become brittle and crumbly if left untreated. Treating fungal nail infections can take time, but using a medicated nail lacquer is an effective method to stop the infection in its tracks.

5 guides from 2 authors

General Health

Our general health is an essential aspect of overall wellbeing that encompasses physical, mental, and emotional health. Being healthy is about more than just diet and exercise. It is also about understanding how your body works and what it needs to stay healthy. Our extensive range of general health products can support you in achieving and maintaining optimal health.

8 guides from 2 authors

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus it is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is passed on through vaginal, anal and oral sex. Herpes is very contagious and once you have caught the virus you will likely have recurrent episodes for the rest of your life. During a flare-up, small fluid-filled blisters appear on and around the genitals and anus, which cause stinging, burning and pain. Taking regular pain relief at this time should help to relieve some discomfort. If you are more severely affected by genital herpes you may be prescribed tablets to help your body tackle your symptoms.

8 guides from 3 authors

Genital Warts

Genital warts are caused by a type of human papillomavirus (HPV) and are one of the most common types of sexually transmitted infections (STI). Genital warts are easily transmitted through vaginal, anal or oral sex and through sharing sex toys. The virus causes small, flesh-coloured bumps or has a cauliflower-like appearance. It’s common for genital warts to spread quickly. To prevent this from happening, it is important to treat them appropriately. At-home creams and solutions help your body fight the virus, allowing your skin to quickly heal.

9 guides from 3 authors

Haemorrhoids & Piles

Haemorrhoids often referred to as piles, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum, similar to varicose veins. Haemorrhoids can develop, internally, inside the rectum or, externally, under the skin around the anus. Symptoms of haemorrhoids include itchy, pain and lumps in and around the anus and blood and mucus after bowel movements. Eating a high-fibre diet and staying well hydrated can help prevent piles and using a cream or ointment helps to soothe irritation, ease pain, and reduce inflammation of the haemorrhoids.

1 guides from 1 authors

Hair Loss

Hair loss is common, it is not usually a sign of a serious condition and can affect both men and women. Male and female pattern baldness is often genetic, however other causes of hair loss such as alopecia can be caused by an illness or stress. Hair loss is a natural part of ageing, however eating a balanced diet, avoiding heating and dyeing the hair and using mild shampoos can slow the hair loss process down. There are also treatments available that effectively slow the hair loss process further.

45 guides from 4 authors

Hay Fever

Hay fever can impact your day-to-day life. Especially between March and September when the pollen count is at its highest. Fortunately, we offer a wide range of hay fever tablets and other medications that can help you put stop to symptoms like sneezing, coughing, congestion and watery itchy eyes. The best hay fever medications include eye drops, nasal sprays and antihistamine tablets that help to ease symptoms and relieve irritation in the eyes, nose, mouth and throat. Browse through our selection of effective treatments to manage your hay fever symptoms and reclaim your everyday comfort. We can help you treat your allergy.

32 guides from 4 authors


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the digestive system that causes intermittent stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. The cause of IBS is often unknown, however, it is thought the condition may be linked to stress, genetics or food passing through the digestive system too quickly or slowly. There is currently no cure for IBS, but making dietary changes and taking medicines can often help relieve uncomfortable symptoms.

4 guides from 2 authors


Insomnia is regularly struggling to fall or stay asleep. The most common causes of insomnia are stress, anxiety, depression, shift work, jet lag or an uncomfortable sleeping environment. Making simple changes to your sleep-wake routine can help to improve the quantity and quality of sleep. Healthy sleep techniques include going to bed and waking at the same time every day, making sure the room is dark, quiet and cool and avoiding caffeine for 6 hours before going to bed. Drowsy antihistamines can also improve short-term insomnia to help you get a good nights sleep.

2 guides from 2 authors

Malaria Prevention

Antimalarial medication should be considered when travelling to any countries where there is a risk of malaria. Malaria is a parasitic disease spread through mosquito bites that causes a fever, vomiting and headaches. If left untreated it is potentially fatal. Taking a reliable antimalarial tablet can reduce your chances of contracting the disease by up to 90% ensuring you can relax and enjoy your trip.

4 guides from 3 authors

Menopause (HRT)

The menopause is a natural part of the ageing process for women. It normally occurs between 45 and 55 years. The menopause is caused by a reduction in oestrogen levels that eventually stops women from ovulating causing their periods to stop. It is the reduction in oestrogen that triggers unpleasant symptoms of the menopause including vaginal dryness, hot flushes and low libido. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is used to treat symptoms of the menopause. There are now lots of options available including tablets, patches and gels, to help women find a medication that suits them.

26 guides from 3 authors


A migraine is usually a moderate to severe headache that can cause a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. Unlike headaches, migraines are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. It is not always clear what causes migraines, however, some triggers include, stress, menstruation, tiredness as well as certain foods and drinks. Because migraines affect so many people there are lots of treatment options available to suit individual needs including painkillers and anti-sickness remedies.

15 guides from 3 authors

Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers are small, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues on the inside of your cheeks and lips as well as your tongue. Most commonly, occasional mouth ulcers are triggered by unavoidable causes such as biting your cheek, cuts or burns from food as well as tiredness and stress. Mouth ulcers are not contagious and are not normally serious but they can be painful. Applying a gel, rinse or spray can help to relieve discomfort.

2 guides from 1 authors

Nasal Congestion

Nasal congestion is a common issue where irritation in or around the nose causes tissues and blood vessels to swell up. The fluid buildup can cause significant discomfort, make it harder to breathe through the nose, and result in excess mucus discharge (getting a runny nose). Often seasonal, it tends to be caused by infections (such as colds) or allergic reactions. Thankfully, nasal congestion treatment is considered to be safe and effective.

1 guides from 1 authors


Pain is a sensation that is felt usually as a response to an injury or illness. Pain can be felt in one or multiple areas of the body and can have a significant impact on peoples daily lives. The sensation can be felt for a short amount of time and controlled with a non-prescription pain killer, however for long-term chronic pain, stronger prescription-only medication may be required.

8 guides from 3 authors

Period Delay

Some women may find there are certain occasions where they would like to delay their period to prevent it from coming at an inconvenient time. Period delay tablets contain a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone and are taken 3 days before your period is due to start and can prevent your period from arriving for up to 17 days.

2 guides from 1 authors

Period Pain

Period pain is very common and is experienced by many women as a normal part of the menstrual cycle, which normally occurs for a few days during each period. It is usually felt as cramping in the lower abdomen, which may spread into the back and thighs. Taking regular painkillers, using heat compresses and trying to relax can help to ease pain and discomfort.

1 guides from 1 authors

Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation is a very common problem experienced by some men, where a man ejaculates too quickly during sexual intercourse. Premature ejaculation can have many different causes including stress, depression, relationship problems, prostate or thyroid problems or drug use. Using condoms, trying new positions or taking breaks during intercourse may help slow down ejaculation. There are also medications available that can be used that may be effective.

1 guides from 1 authors


Ringworm is a fungal infection that causes a red, itchy, circular rash to appear on the scalp or body, it is not caused by worms. Ringworm is contagious and is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact or through contact with infected ben linen or towels. It can be very easily treated using an anti-fungal cream, powder or shampoo.

2 guides from 1 authors


Rosacea is a long-term condition that is often mistaken for acne but it is actually a skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels in your face or small, red, pus-filled bumps. It is not always clear what causes rosacea but some potential triggers include, alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods and exercise. Applying creams or gels to the affected areas of the skin as well as taking a course of antibiotics can help to quickly reduce symptoms.

14 guides from 3 authors


Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by tiny burrowing mites. The mites cause intense, severe itching, which is often worse at night or when the skin is warm. Scabies is very contagious and spreads quickly through close physical contact. If one family or household member has contracted scabies it is therefore recommended that the whole household gets treated. Treatment is a cream that is applied to the whole body, which is easy to use and very effective.

1 guides from 1 authors


While you’re sleeping, your throat muscles relax. If they’re particularly loose, your airways are obstructed, or you lie in an awkward position, your inhalation and exhalation can cause those muscles to vibrate, producing a deep fluttering noise known as a snore. Accordingly, the process of generating this noise is known as snoring. And when someone who snores shares a bedroom, the noise can be irritating to everyone else present — even disrupting their sleep. Treating the snoring can help everyone sleep more soundly.

1 guides from 1 authors

Sore Throat

Bacterial sore throats are distressing illnesses caused by streptococcus bacteria, leading to a severely painful sore throat. It's common to experience fever, though, unlike viral infections, a cough or runny nose is usually absent. While a doctor's diagnosis is required, common symptoms indicating a bacterial throat infection include throat pain, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, white patches visible on the tonsils at the back of the throat, fever, and headache. Antibiotic medications like penicillin are prescribed to treat sore throats, typically taken orally for 10 days, along with over-the-counter pain and fever reducers, as well as natural remedies to help relieve discomfort while the antibiotics work.

1 guides from 1 authors

Stop Smoking

If you would like to stop smoking, making lifestyle changes alongside using medication has proven to be very effective. Quitting smoking can be very challenging but by quitting you can make massive improvements to your health. Not only reducing your risk of developing long-term conditions such as cancer and heart disease but also quickly improving the appearance of your skin and teeth and the smell of your breath.

5 guides from 2 authors


Thrush is a fungal infection that can affect men and women, although it is more common in women. The infection causes white, thick discharge from either the vagina or penis as well as itching and irritation. Thrush is caused by an overgrowth of fungus that thrives in warm, moist environments. It is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI) but it can be triggered by sexual activity. Keeping your genitals clean and dry as well as wearing cotton underwear can help prevent thrush, however, to effectively treat the fungus an anti-fungal cream, tablet or pessary should be used.

2 guides from 1 authors

Travel Sickness

Travel or motion sickness is the feeling of nausea when travelling by car, boat, plane or train. Travel sickness is caused by the repeated movements when travelling, the movement causes the inner ear to send differing signals to your brain from those your eyes are seeing. Trying to minimise movement when travelling, for example sitting in the middle seat in a car, closing your eyes and getting fresh air can all help improve travel sickness. Hyoscine patches and antihistamine tablets have also proven to be very effective at preventing symptoms.

1 guides from 1 authors

Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is a common problem experienced by women where the vagina does not produce enough natural lubrication. Vaginal dryness is not normally serious but it can be painful, irritating and embarrassing. The most common cause of vaginal dryness is menopause, however, breastfeeding and certain contraceptive pills can also contribute due to an imbalance in hormones. Treatments may vary depending on the cause of your vaginal dryness.

1 guides from 1 authors

Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts to continue to function correctly and remain healthy. Most people can get all their key vitamins and minerals by eating a varied and balanced diet, however, some may need to take extra supplements to ensure they are getting the adequate amount. There are certain groups of people who are more likely to be at risk of vitamin or mineral deficiency. For these people, it may be advised by a healthcare professional that they take a daily supplement to ensure they get enough.

7 guides from 1 authors

Weight Loss

You’re not alone. Lots of people struggle with their weight. Many also have body image concerns. It’s a journey. It won't be easy at times. But it’s worth it. Losing weight can dramatically reduce serious health risks like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. But more than that, managing our weight can help us feel better about ourselves. Some people can loose weight by changing their habits, and some also need a little help from medication such as pills for losing weight, or weight loss injections. That’s ok. Let’s start your journey today.

45 guides from 4 authors