Plain cigarette packaging introduced – A guide into the new rules

smokingIt is now almost a week since the new smoking legislation came into force in Britain, but what are the changes implemented and exactly does it mean you may ask?

From May 20, cigarettes are now being sold in green-coloured standardised, plain cigarette packaging depicting graphic warnings showing the grave health dangers emanating from smoking. These new rules are mainly aimed at helping to prevent youngsters from picking up the habit.

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Just How Many Zombie Hayfever Drivers are on Britain’s Roads?

driving-at-night-1542327-1920x1440Here at Medical Specialists® Pharmacy we’d like to think that the majority of our patients would not ever think of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol or after ingesting any illegal drugs.

However, would you get behind the wheel after taking a few tablets of legal drugs? More specifically – over-the-counter or prescription medication.

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Statins could shield an unborn baby from the mother’s stress

pregnantCholesterol-boosting statins could be used to help protect unborn babies from being impacted by their mother’s stress and thus reducing the risk of that baby growing up with health problems later in their life.

Statins are the most commonly prescribed treatment in the United Kingdom, taken by approximately anywhere between 5 and 10 million people, and estimated to cost the NHS around £500 million a year. They are usually prescribed to lower the patient’s high cholesterol levels, but scientists now believe they may also help protect the hearts of babies in the womb.

Research conducted at Edinburgh University discovered that statins helped counteract the negative effects brought on by stress hormones on foetal growth and heart development in mice.

Those involved in the research into the drugs, claim that the therapy may decrease the chances of babies being born underweight, and lower their risk of suffering with health problems in later life, such as heart disease.

Although the findings emanated from a study of mice, this may now prompt further analysis into looking at the long-term effects of statins during a woman’s pregnancy. However, researchers say the drugs are currently already sometimes given to pregnant women and therefore should be OK for clinical trials.

Professor Megan Holmes, from the University of Edinburgh, said: “These are very exciting results suggesting that there may finally be a potential therapy for women whose placenta is unable to maintain the normal growth of her baby.

“At present there is no treatment and babies may be born prematurely or small, and will be at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even psychiatric disorders later in life.

“Although more work needs to be done to show statins are safe in human pregnancy, these results show a new way forward for the major unmet need of foetal growth retardation.”

Previous studies have shown babies are typically born under what is considered a ‘normal’ weight, following exposure to high levels of stress hormones within the womb, and have a much higher risk of heart disease as they get older.

Usually, an unborn baby gets protection from a key enzyme generated the placenta. The enzyme helps to destroy the stress hormones, reducing the quantity of active hormones that can get to the baby’s blood supply.

If the mother is experiencing high levels of stress, the placenta then produces less of the enzyme and the baby’s protection is reduced.

Therefore, the researchers involved in the latest study decided to analyse mice that are unable to produce the enzyme as a model of maternal stress. It was discovered that stress hormones prevent the placenta from developing regular blood vessels, hindering the blood supply to the foetus.

This stops the growing foetus from reaching a full size as a result, negatively impacting the heart function too.

However, researchers found that by treating the mother with the statin Pravastatin, actually managed to trigger the production of a molecule called VEGF. This worked at stimulating the development of blood vessels in the placenta. Pravastatin is just one of numerous statins provided by Medical Specialists® Pharmacy, which also includes atorvastatin and rosuvastatin.

The study – published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and was funded by the Wellcome Trust – found that by re-establishing the blood supply, the treatment helped to promote a regular development of the heart. In addition, the baby was able to grow to a healthy birthweight.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Low birthweight has been associated with maternal stress, and babies with low birthweights may be more prone to cardiovascular complications later in life.

“In this study the researchers have discovered that a drug called Pravastatin may counteract the consequences of increased levels of the stress hormone corticosterone within the placentas of mice.

“How Pravastatin counteracts the stress hormone is not yet understood, therefore more research is needed to see whether the drug will have the same effect in humans.”

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Skincare Awareness Week 2016 Hammers Home the Importance of Looking after Skin

skincare awareness weekLet’s be honest, there isn’t a man or woman alive who, given the chance to have healthy-looking skin and free of wrinkles, would turn that chance down.

People enter the world with healthy, radiant, skin, but environmental and lifestyle factors through the course of day-to-day lives, means some people’s skin can age at a much quicker speed than others.

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Potentially deadly haul of fake impotence drugs seized in Scunthorpe

pillsYesterday the The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) confirmed that over 320,000 doses of unlicensed erectile dysfunction medicines have been seized by their enforcement officers.

The huge quantity of potentially fatal unlicensed impotence drugs came about following raids at addresses across Scunthorpe yesterday, carried out by MHRA officers.

The illegal and possibly highly dangerous haul of unlicensed drugs have a reported estimated street value of over £990,000.

Alastair Jeffrey, MHRA Head of Enforcement, commented: “Selling unlicensed medicines is illegal and poses a serious health hazard.

“Unlicensed medicines can be dangerous as they may contain impurities, incorrect ingredients, and there is no way of knowing if they are manufactured to acceptable standards of quality and safety.

“Criminals involved in the illegal supply of medical products aren’t interested in your health – they are only interested in your money.

“Be careful buying medicines online – only buy from a site that is registered with MHRA and displays the new EU common logo.

“MHRA will continue to track down and prosecute those who put the public’s health at risk.”

Here at Medical Specialists® Pharmacy, we only supply genuine branded medication such as Pfizer Viagra. Moreover, our pharmacy will only dispense medication after a patient has undergone a consultation with one of our fully registered doctors, who will make sure the medication is both right and safe for the patient – or if a private prescription is posted in, issued by another GP. In addition to that, we are fully registered with the National Pharmacy Association and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

With thousands of illegal fake online pharmacy websites still plaguing the internet, offering ‘discounted’ medicines with ridiculous (and illegal) deals on prescription drugs – i.e. ‘buy one get one free’ – it can be difficult to know who to trust or where to buy from.

On a daily basis Medical Specialists® speak to concerned patients. With this in mind, here are some warnings signs and red flags when trying to determine if an online pharmacy is legitimate and who they say they are:

. No requirement of a doctors’ consultation for prescription medication.

. Long delivery times, sometimes up to several weeks. This is due to the drug being imported from a foreign country before it gets to you.

. The price of the medication is a lot cheaper than what would be expected, sometimes by as much as 70%.

. The website does not list any contact details, e.g. a telephone and fax number, email address, company address or details of its pharmacists, doctors, etc.

. The company registration and VAT number should both be clearly stated on the website. Both of these are a legal requirement.

. A registered Pharmacy such as Medical Specialists® Pharmacy will display a clearly visible and clickable GPhC green cross logo on their website, together with its pharmacy number. This number can be checked on the GPhC pharmacy register to see if the pharmacy exists, as follows:

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. As an extra level of security, reassurance and peace of mind for the consumer, from 2015, legimate pharmacies had to display the EU common logo on every page of the website where selling to a patient occurs. This helps members of the public to identify websites that can legally sell medicines. Like the GPhC logo, the EU common logo is clickable, but the hyperlink will direct people to the that pharmacy’s listing on the MHRA’s list of registered online pharmacies and should state that the pharmacy has been approved by the MHRA, as follows:

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