Our health and wellness series continues with Pharmacist Emer King from Inish Pharmacy.

Party season is upon us! 

One of the main things we think of at Christmas is food. There is an increase in the amount of food we eat, the quality of food, and the quantity of alcohol being consumed. This can lead to stomach issues, including; heartburn, indigestion, nausea and diarrhoea. 

There are lots of options available over the counter to help ease these symptoms. 

For fast relief of heartburn and/or indigestion, Rennie and Gaviscon are the best options available. These are available in liquid form or as chewable tablets which you can carry with you on the go in your handbag – handy when on Christmas nights out & the indigestion hits! These are both safe in pregnancy. 

Pepcid AC is another fast acting option available in chewable form, which contains ingredients which get to work in two minutes but the advantage over Rennie & Gaviscon is that it can give relief for up to 12 hours. 

There are stronger, longer lasting options available to treat acid reflux and indigestion.(Nexium, Emazole, Losec) These tablets are taken once daily and give relief of symptoms for at least 24 hours. However, they can take 2-3 days to work so these tablets should be taken in anticipation of needing relief. You can take Rennie or Gaviscon in the interim period while waiting on these tablets to work.

Motilium is available over the counter to help ease nausea and vomiting. This medication has to be sold under the direct supervision of the pharmacist as it can interact with multiple different medications, therefore, if you do ask for this medication, please be prepared with your list of current medications so the pharmacist can determine if these are an appropriate option for you. 

Should you be troubled with excess gas/ bloating or cramps this season, Bloateze gets to work in 15 mins and helps reduce bloating, cramping and pain associated with the digestive system. 

Buscopan is another option which starts to work in 15 minutes, acting directly on the muscle spasm in the bowel to quickly and effectively relieve those painful cramps and discomfort.

Imodium & Arret can be sold over the counter to help stop diarrhoea. Loperamide, the active ingredient in these products, helps in the treatment of sudden, short-lived attacks of diarrhoea. Imodium comes in three different forms – Imodium Instants (dissolve in the mouth; handy to keep in your bag as you do not need water to swallow these), Imodium Liquirelief (these are easy to swallow and get to work within an hour), Imodium Plus (these contain an extra ingredient – Simeticone; to help with cramping and wind). 

It is important to ensure that we remain hydrated, particularly if we are indulging in more alcohol or have experienced bouts of vomiting or diarrhoea.

Rehydration salts are fantastic for maintaining hydration. Dioralyte is the brand most of us will be familiar with. However, they are currently in short supply across the country. There are alternative options available – Electrosal come in the same sachet format as Dioralyte and are available in a blackcurrant or lemon and raspberry flavour. They are suitable for adults and children aged 3 and over. 

ORS are another alternative option, these come in handy tubes of soluble tablets so are easy to carry around when out and about. Again these are suitable for adults and children aged over 3. 

So ladies do not let stomach upset tarnish your party season this year! There are plenty of options available for all conditions over the counter and pharmacies tend to be open over the holiday period for easy access. However, as these are all medications, please always check with the pharmacist if they’re safe and suitable for you. We can always give you advice on alternative options which will be safer in your case. 

From myself and all the team at Inish Pharmacy, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

If you do feel like you would prefer to speak privately to a pharmacist, we are always available via phone or email.

Inish Pharmacy

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Inish Pharmacy comprises three independently owned community pharmacies serving Inishowen, and worldwide via Ireland’s best online pharmacy website, inishpharmacy.com. Visit the stores in Buncrana, Muff and Carndonagh for a full range of pharmacy services including dispensing of prescriptions and advice, over the counter products and great offers on toiletries, cosmetics and health related products in store.