At Backhouse Pharmacy we aim to provide you with an efficient prescription service for all types of prescriptions, including Government Scheme prescriptions and private prescriptions.
Provided a valid prescription is on file with us we aim to have your prescription ready in advance. We can text you when your prescription is ready.
On request, we can blister pack your medicines in a personalised tray which helps organise and manage your daily medications. This minimises confusion and helps carers who administer medication.
Blood Pressure screening is a service available in our Pharmacy without prior appointment.
Why should you care about your Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure (also called hypertension) causes silent damage to the blood vessels and the heart. If untreated this damage progresses over time and may result in stroke or heart attack. High blood pressure also increases the risk of damage to the blood vessels in your kidneys and eyes.
What is Blood Pressure?
Everyone has blood pressure. It shows the amount of work that your heart has to do to pump blood around the body. Two numbers measure your level of blood pressure. The top number records blood pressure when the pressure is at its highest as your heart muscle squeezes out the blood from your heart – this is called systolic pressure. Then your heart relaxes, which allows the blood to flow back into your heart – this is called diastolic pressure. The normal level of blood pressure is usually about 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic). This would be recorded as 120/80. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to get it measured. Most people with high blood pressure will feel fine and not notice any symptoms.
What does your result mean?
To understand what your blood pressure result means for you, it important to understand that blood pressure is one of a number of factors which affect your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Your blood pressure should always be viewed in combination with your other risk factors. Other important risk factors include:
Family history of heart disease
Do you need to see a Doctor?
Based on your blood pressure result, you may be recommended to visit a Doctor within a specific time. General referral guidelines are designed for patients with no symptoms or underlying conditions. If you are suffering from symptoms such as dizziness, blurred vision, palpitations or shortness of breath you should seek immediate evaluation by your GP. Remember that high blood pressure is just one risk factor for heart disease and stroke. If you consider yourself to be high risk you should seek your GP’s advice. If you are currently taking prescribed medication to treat high blood pressure, do not discontinue or change the dosage of these medicines based on the results until advice has been given by your Doctor.
What if you have high Blood Pressure?
How your Doctor will choose to manage your high blood pressure will depend on how high your blood pressure is, as well as what other risk factors you may have. Regardless of whether the Doctor prescribes medication for you or not, there are a number of important lifestyle changes you can make:
If you smoke, stop smoking
Patients with high blood pressure who smoke are 3-4 times more likely to have a heart attack compared to non-smokers. You can get advice on quitting from your Pharmacist, family Doctor, local HSE office or you can phone the National Smokers Quitline at 1850 201 203.
Be a healthy weight
Keep your weight at a level that is right for your height and build. Even losing a small amount of excess weight, say 10%, can help lower your blood pressure. Reducing your weight will also reduce your chances of developing diabetes which is another major risk factor for heart disease.
Be more physically active
Long-term regular physical activity can lower your blood pressure and help to control your weight. Physical activity is also a great way to reduce stress and help you feel good. If you have very high blood pressure, consult your doctor before you start doing any form of activity.
Improve your diet and reduce your salt intake
Salt will increase your blood pressure. Reduce the amount of salt you add to your food at the table and eat less processed foods. Include more fresh vegetables, fruit and wholegrain cereals in your diet. Eating less fat and fatty foods will also help to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level – another important way to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Drink less alcohol
Drinking large amounts of alcohol can increase blood pressure and may damage the liver and heart. If you do drink, spread your drinking over the week, keep some days alcohol-free. The low risk weekly guidelines for adults are:
FOR MEN: Up to 17 standard drinks a week
FOR WOMEN: Up to 11 standard drinks a week
1 STANDARD DRINK equals one half pint of beer, stout or lager OR one small glass of wine OR one glass of spirits
Stress will cause a short-term rise in your blood pressure. Learning to relax and cope with stress can benefit you in many ways and may help to keep your blood pressure levels low.
What about medication?
If you have been prescribed medicine for high blood pressure, you will usually have to take it long-term. The good news is that your risk of a stroke or heart attack will be greatly reduced.
Don’t be concerned if you are ever prescribed more than one tablet to control your blood pressure. This is very common. Each tablet is important, as each works slightly differently. Using a combination of tablets can achieve much better blood pressure control & with less side-effects than using a single tablet. It’s essential that you take your blood pressure medication every day, and as prescribed, to ensure you keep your blood pressure under control.
24-hour or ‘ambulatory’ blood pressure monitoring requires you to wear a special monitor for a 24 hour period.
This monitor takes readings at set intervals during the 24 hours. This service monitors changes to your blood pressure more accurately throughout the day and night. It also helps to eliminate the ‘white-coat phenomenon’. This occurs when a person’s blood pressure is known to rise due to the stress of attending a Doctor. Many Doctors use 24-hour monitoring before deciding whether you need to be started on medication to lower your blood pressure, or whether your medication needs to be changed.
We will fit the device in-store and remove it the following day. You will be provided with a detailed report showing the changes in your blood pressure over the 24-hour period. This report can then be brought to your GP.
Contact us for more information and pricing.
What is influenza (flu)?
Influenza is a highly infectious viral illness of the respiratory tract that can be life-threatening.
Influenza affects people of all ages. Outbreaks of influenza occur almost every year, usually in winter. This is why it is also known as seasonal flu.
Who is eligible for free vaccination?
Administration of the Flu Vaccine is free to all Medical Card, Doctor Visit Card & HAA card holders who belong to one of the at-risk groups listed below.
Who are the at-risk groups?
✔ persons aged 65 and over
✔ those with a long-term medical condition such as chronic liver disease, diabetes, heart or lung disease, moderate or severe asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, MS
✔ cancer patients
✔ persons with hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system
✔ persons with down syndrome
✔ persons whose immune system is impaired due to disease or treatment
✔ healthcare workers & carers
✔ residents of nursing homes and long stay institutions
✔ persons with a body mass index (BMI) over 40
✔ all pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy
✔ persons with regular close contact with poultry,water fowl or pigs
✔ household contacts of persons with increased medical risk.
* Eligibility criteria are subject to change by the HSE, ask in store for details.
Backhouse Pharmacy’s Flu Vaccination service is available to everyone over 18 years old. All Pharmacists administering vaccines have completed comprehensive training and are fully certified to administer the flu vaccine.
Corporate Flu Vaccinations
Seasonal flu is a major cause of illness and absenteeism among working adults. 95% of all short-term absences in Ireland are caused by minor illness such as colds and flu. For most sufferers, flu symptoms will last for about a week, but a feeling of weakness can persist for some time, reducing individual productivity and increasing workload and stress. Flu vaccinations prevent flu in up to 90% of healthy adults aged less than 65. Flu vaccination represents a very cost-effective way of keeping employees at work.
If you are an employer and would like to receive further information, please contact us for further details.
The emergency contraceptive pill (often called the “morning after pill”) is a pill that you take after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. Emergency contraceptive pills are available directly from a Pharmacy without a Doctor’s prescription to women over 16 years of age, subject to meeting certain criteria.
From July 2017 the emergency contraception service is available FREE of charge to medical card holders.
If you think you need emergency contraception, it’s important to act quickly.
Emergency contraception is a safe, effective and responsible method of preventing pregnancy when regular contraception has failed or if no contraception was used.
Emergency contraception can be effective for up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex but is more effective the sooner you use it.
Remember, emergency contraception cannot protect against a sexually transmitted infection.
Talk to your Pharmacist or Doctor if you have any questions about STI’s or visit www.thinkcontraception.ie for more information.
Our Pharmacists have been trained to treat requests for emergency contraception professionally and confidentially. In our private consultation room the Pharmacist will need to ask a few simple questions before giving you the medication. This will help the Pharmacist ensure that the Emergency Contraceptive pill is suitable for you to use, to ensure that you are familiar with how to use it and with any side-effects that may be expected. If for any reason it is not suitable, the Pharmacist will direct you another source of help and support.
Some of the reasons it may not be suitable to supply emergency contraception include:
- too much time has passed for the medicine to be effective
- you are taking other medicines that interact with emergency contraception
- you have an existing medical condition that means it is not safe to take emergency contraception
- your last period was irregular in some way
You will be supplied with the medication, along with advice from the Pharmacist on how it should be taken. Our Pharmacist will also offer you advice on the options available for long-term methods of contraception.
Emergency Contraception should not replace regular, long-term contraception. Always read the label.
NOTE: Emergency contraception is not 100% effective.
Our Pharmacist will explain the negative effects of smoking and the benefits of giving up smoking.
They will help you:
- choose the most suitable products for you to use as part of your quit programme
- by providing useful information on personal triggers and how to beat the cravings
- with the withdrawal symptoms
- in times when motivation is needed in cases of slip ups
The benefits of stopping or not smoking start straight away:
- The good news is that once you quit smoking, your body experiences a series of beneficial health changes that begin immediately and continue for years
- Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal. Circulation improves in the hands and feet, making them warmer
- After 8 hours, oxygen levels in the blood return to normal. Your chances of a heart attack start to fall
- Within 24 hours, carbon monoxide is cleared from your body and after 48 hours, your sense of taste and smell begin to improve
- After 72 hours, breathing will become easier and your energy levels will increase
- After 1 year, your risk of a heart attack reduces by 50%
After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker and your risk of a heart attack falls to about the same as someone who has never smoked
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