Extra care is necessary when taking several different medicines. This is particularly true for patients with visual or cognitive impairment.
Blister packs make it simple and easy to take the right medicines at the right time by dividing your tablets into separately sectioned blisters, each marked with the time of day when the tablets should be taken.
This can improve your medication adherence and reduce errors. Caregivers can also easily check that the right medicines have been taken in a timely manner.
Blister packs can help if you are
- Struggling to organise medicines.
- Finding it difficult to remember when to take your medicines.
- Helping to look after someone else.
- Recently home from hospital and suddenly have a lot more tablets to take.
- Looking after someone who is visually impaired.
- On a complex medication regime.
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Hypertension is the foremost risk factor for cardiovascular events globally and affects around a third of adults.
High blood pressure can affect people of all ages but does not always have symptoms. Untreated, high blood pressure may lead to conditions like heart disease or a stroke.
Monitoring your blood pressure for 24 hours can help work out if its consistently high. This would be particularly useful if you:
- Have family members with a history of high blood pressure.
- Suspect you have high or borderline high blood pressure.
- Experience variable blood pressure.
- Have conditions such as diabetes or high cholesterol.
- Already take medicines to reduce your blood pressure.
- Experience blood pressure that is hard to control.
- Want to check for Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).
For convenience and proximity reasons, community pharmacies play an increasingly important role in hypertension screening and monitoring.
Our service involves fitting you with a device to wear, which includes a cuff around your arm that will measure your blood pressure for 24 hours.
|Blood Pressure Category||Systolic mm Hg (upper number)||Diastolic mm Hg (lower number)|
|Normal||Less than 120||and||Less than 80|
|Elevated||120-129||and||Less than 80|
|High Blood Pressure – Hypertension Stage 1||130-139||or||80-89|
|High Blood Pressure – Hypertension Stage 2||Higher than 140||or||Higher than 90|
|Hypertensive Crisis||Higher than 180||and/or||Higher than 120|
Blood Sugar Testing
A blood sugar test is used to test people for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a condition characterised by high blood sugar (glucose) levels. It is caused by a lack or insufficiency of insulin which regulates the way glucose is used in your body.
You should consider a blood sugar test if you experience symptoms of diabetes such as
- Constantly feeling thirsty or hungry
- Unexplained weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Blurry vision
- Extreme fatigue
This is especially the case if you any of the risk factors apply to you including being overweight, family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, over 40 years old or high cholesterol.
The American Diabetes Association recommends testing for prediabetes and risk for future diabetes for all people beginning at age 45 years. If tests are normal, it is reasonable to repeat testing at a minimum of 3-year intervals.
A person’s BMI, or body mass index, is one way of measuring whether you are a healthy weight for your height. Body Mass Index is calculated using a person’s weight in kilograms (kg) divided by the square of height in meters (m2).
Initially used as a statistical index of health and weight for a population group, BMI can be used to show the weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual. Nonetheless, your BMI is a good indication of whether you are a healthy weight, and if not, how over or underweight you are.
|Less than 18.5||Underweight|
|18.5 - 24.9||Normal Weight|
|25 - 29.9||Overweight|
Obesity is currently a worldwide problem, with overweight (body mass index ≥25 kg/m2) and obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) estimated at 35% and 12% of the overall adult population, respectively.
We can assist with weight loss steps by evaluating potential obesity-related diseases; obtaining a weight history, identifying patient triggers and screening for medications that may influence weight gain. Plus, we can evaluate and track weight and height in calculating your body mass index (BMI).
Cardiovascular Health Screening
Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in Ireland, accounting for 36% of all deaths. Figures published by the HSE show that approximately 10,000 people die each year from cardiovascular disease - including coronary heart disease, stroke, and other circulatory diseases.
The heart is a muscle that pumps blood around your body. Oxygen-rich blood is pumped by the heart to the organs of your body through a network of arteries. The blood returns to your heart through veins before being pumped back to your lungs to pick up oxygen.
The heart gets its own supply of blood from a network of blood vessels on the surface of your heart, called coronary arteries.
Coronary heart disease is the term that describes what happens when your heart's blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries. Narrowing of the arteries can restrict the blood flow to the heart muscle causing chest pains – angina. A complete blockage of the coronary artery can cause a heart attack.
Screening programs have been shown to detect high risk patients with early disease development and guide them toward controlling risk factors. As a result, cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality can be reduced.
Screening helps to detect if you are high risk, and we can help with education, referral, and possible medication treatments.
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy fat that body needs to function appropriately. However, too much cholesterol can lead to heart disease, atherosclerosis, or stroke. A cholesterol test can be used to measure the amount of “good” and “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, a type of fat, in the blood.
A cholesterol test can help determine your risk of the accumulation of plaques in your arteries that can lead to narrowed or blocked arteries throughout your body.
High cholesterol levels often are a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease. Because, high cholesterol usually causes no signs or symptoms, a cholesterol test. is done to determine whether your cholesterol is high and estimate your risk of developing heart attacks and other forms of heart disease and diseases of the blood vessels.
Adults at average risk of developing coronary artery disease should have their cholesterol checked every five years.
More-frequent testing might be needed if your initial test results were abnormal or if you already have coronary artery disease, you are taking cholesterol-lowering medications, or you're at higher risk of coronary artery disease because you:
- Have a family history of high cholesterol or heart attacks.
- Are overweight.
- Are physically inactive.
- Have diabetes.
- Eat an unhealthy diet.
- Smoke cigarettes.
- Are a man older than 45.
- Or a woman older than 55.
Cholesterol control often requires lifestyle changes. Not only can we check your cholesterol, we can also give you advice on making lifestyle changes to get cholesterol to healthy levels and keeping them normal.
Apart from monitoring diet, an active lifestyle can help to lower cholesterol levels and research suggests about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week can help to improve cholesterol levels.
Diabetes mellitus (“diabetes”) is one of the fastest growing chronic diseases worldwide, and is related to significant morbidity, mortality, and health care costs. Diabetes is characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood (hyperglycaemia).
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus in which there is an absolute deficiency in insulin production. This disease can occur at any age, though it typically occurs in children and young adults.
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus which is associated with insulin resistance, with an initial increase in insulin secretion. However, over time, insulin insufficiency occurs. Although type 2 diabetes mostly occurs in people aged over 40 years old.
- Gestational diabetes which occurs during pregnancy. The condition usually vanishes once the baby is born. However, a history of gestational diabetes increases a woman’s possibility of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Patient care interventions provided by community pharmacies can be defined as complex public health treatments usually provided by pharmacists to patients in the community pharmacy setting. In diabetes, such interventions may include health promotion and diabetes prevention, screening of at-risk individuals, diabetes management, patient education and support on self-monitoring, and medical referral, when suitable.
Emergency Hormonal Contraception (morning after pill) can be used to prevent unplanned pregnancy.
An unplanned pregnancy could occur due to mishaps with contraceptives, a missed pill, incorrect timing of patch or vaginal ring application.
Emergency contraception is not suitable as a regular method of contraception and it does not prevent pregnancy in every woman. It can be used by women of all ages to prevent unplanned pregnancy.
Emergency contraception is most effective if taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex.
However, if you are already pregnant, emergency contraceptive pills will not work.
Medical card holders can get emergency contraception directly from a pharmacy, free of charge, without having to go to their GP for a prescription.
Emergency contraception does not provide protection from sexually transmitted infections.
Our compassionate pharmacists provide access to emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) following a private consultation.
Seasonal flu or influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by flu viruses which circulate in all parts of the world.
Seasonal flu symptoms include a high temperature, a severe (usually dry) cough, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, sore throat, and a runny nose. A person with the flu will also feel extremely unwell.
Most people recover from the symptoms within a week or two without requiring medical attention. But flu can cause severe illness or death especially in people at high risk (see below).
Illnesses range from mild to severe and even death. Hospitalisation and death occur mainly among high risk groups.
The most effective way to prevent the flu is get vaccinated. An annual vaccination is recommended as immunity decreases over time. The flu vaccine can be administered as an injection or using an intra-nasal spray.
While everyone should consider getting a flu vaccine, it is especially important that the following groups get vaccinated:
- Persons aged 65 years and older.
- Persons with a chronic illness requiring regular follow up, e.g. chronic respiratory disease (including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma and bronchopulmonary dysplasia), chronic heart disease (including acute coronary syndrome), chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, haemoglobinopathies, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease (including multiple sclerosis, hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system).
- Those who are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment including those with missing or non-functioning spleens.
- All cancer patients.
- Patients with any condition that can compromise respiratory function, e.g. spinal cord injury, seizure disorder or other neuromuscular disorder.
- Persons with Down syndrome.
- Those with morbid obesity, i.e. body mass index over 40.
- All pregnant women (vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy).
- Healthcare workers.
- Household contacts of at-risk persons.
- Out-of-home care givers to at-risk persons.
- Residents of nursing homes and other long stay institutions.
- People with regular contact with pigs, poultry, or waterfowl.
If you find it difficult to come to the pharmacy to collect your medicines, we are happy to deliver to patients in the locality for free. Please call us if you need to avail of this service and we can organise a delivery time that suits.
The goal of the Health Check programme is to offer a straightforward risk assessment of your general health. It will highlight any risk factors you might have and advice around how you could lessen those risks. Depending on a needs-assessment, your blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, blood glucose levels and BMI amongst other markers may be checked.
Living a healthy lifestyle and completing a regular health check can improve your health, general well-being and ultimately your life expectancy.
Home Delivery Service
We offer a home delivery services and are especially conscious of our vulnerable patients. Delivery is perfect for patients who have difficulty coming into the store for their medicines due to tight schedules, illness, or other reasons.
Medication Usage Review
Our Medication Usage Review is a pre-booked consultation to discuss your medicines (prescribed and non-prescribed). The review helps increase your knowledge and understanding of your medicines, including how and why the medicines should be taken.
Our aim is to improve outcomes by helping you to better understand your health conditions and the medications used to manage them.
The review also provides an opportunity to highlight any issues, side effects or other medication-related problems and propose solutions if appropriate.
This review can be especially helpful for people who are older, have several chronic conditions, take multiple medications, have been using a specific medication over a longer period or are seen by multiple doctors.
Nutrients are substances that are essential for good health - promoting energy, providing building blocks to form body structures, and helping to regulate body functions.
Protein, carbohydrate, and fat are classified as macronutrients providing energy to fuel the body plus protein is broken down into amino acids to repair and grow new muscle fibres.
Minerals and vitamins are classified as micronutrients and play a key role in the body's structures and functions.
The Irish government and the HSE publish detailed nutritional guidelines comprising a few key points:
- Eat more vegetables, salad, and fruit - Up to seven servings a day.
- Limit your intake of high fat, sugar, salt (HFSS) food and drinks.
- Reduce portion sizes and use the food pyramid as a guide.
- Increase your physical activity.
For many people, following a balanced and healthy diet coupled with exercise, will provide all the nutritional needs of your body.
However, nutritional needs vary with age, activity, and medication - particularly the long-term use of medications.
With age the lean body mass naturally reduces and there is an increase in body fat. This generally results in reduced mobility and subsequent risk of osteoporosis and falls.
It also reduces the metabolic rate causing the body's energy requirements to fall which may in turn may lessen your appetite. The reduced intake of foods may also decrease your micronutrient intake (for example vitamins).
Certain medications are well known for causing side effects such as nausea or drowsiness affecting nutritional intake, but sometimes a lesser known side effect happens without giving you any warning: nutrient deficiency.
Most medications for a short amount of time will not lead to nutrient deficiency.
But long-term use can be different - reducing the absorption of certain vitamins or depleting minerals in the body or even inhibiting the production of important enzymes.
Even commonly used medications like some statins, PPIs (for acid reflux) and diuretics (lower blood pressure) etc taken for long periods can lead to nutrient deficiency.
If you feel any of the above apply to you, we can complete a review of your medications and diet to provide guidance on what nutritional supplements would benefit you.
Every year in Ireland, nearly 6,000 people die because of smoking with many more suffering from smoking related diseases. The HSE estimates that 1,000 people are admitted to hospital every week with an illness caused by smoking.
In our pharmacy, we help smokers break nicotine addiction by recommending Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). NRT comes in many different forms including patches and gums. It is important that the right option is chosen to suit individual needs.
Evidence has shown that if a smoker participates in a smoking cessation service that combines advice, support, and Nicotine Replacement Therapy that the smoker is 4 times more likely to quit compared to using willpower alone.
Supervised Methadone Service
Methadone is a Schedule 2 controlled substance which is used in the treatment of opioid addiction as substitution or maintenance therapy. The service is provided within a broader treatment protocol, accompanied by regular reviews and reassessment.
We ensure that patients using our service have all information and advice necessary for the proper use of the drug. This includes general information about methadone, directions of use, common side effects, actions to be taken if a dose is missed, and interactions with alcohol and other drugs.
The ingestion of methadone occurs in our private consultation room and is supervised by a pharmacist.
Supply Residential Care & Nursing Homes
The delivery of patient care and pharmacy services to patients residing in residential care and nursing homes is a primary patient safety and professional practice issue. As pharmacists, we play an ongoing role in the healthcare team caring for nursing home and residential care patients, particularly in ensuring safe and appropriate supply and management of medicines.
Our SOPs set out the requirements involved in the sale and supply of medicines to patients who are living in residential care settings/nursing homes. Our SOPs adhere to the PSI guidelines which outline several interactions between pharmacies and nursing home / care facilities relating to the importance of prescriptions, mandatory review of prescribed medicines, patient counselling the appropriate delivery of medicines.
Our pharmacists are also available to participate in an interdisciplinary review of each patient on long-term medication. HIQA recommends this is complete at least every three months.
According to the HSE, obesity levels in Ireland have reached “epidemic proportions” and affect up to a fifth of all adults and result in 2,000 premature deaths annually.
Weight management means maintaining a healthy body weight. Body weight can affect health in many ways. Being overweight can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other cardiovascular problems.
If people maintain a healthy weight, this will decrease the risk of developing these problems. In addition to improve general health, losing weight can help to increase levels of confidence and make people feel better.
If people are serious about losing weight, we could help reach the goal, with the support of a highly trained healthcare professional on hand for information, advice, and encouragement.
We are here to help you figure out what direction is best for you as there is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ weight management product or programme.