Smoking Cessation

Guardian Pharmacies are working with Nicorette to help kick the habit, either as a new year resolution or to help with any health concerns you may be having.

Our pharmacists are ready to help you along your journey, whether it be advice on what products work best or just reassurance and encouragement about your progress so far.

Set yourself milestones or goals to achieve for quitting, these can include things like: Setting a start date to quit, write a list of the reasons to quit and put it somewhere you see it every day, identify what makes you crave a cigarette and surround yourself with support- it can be family or even a friend to quit with.

Research has shown that the use of two different smoking cessation products increases your chance of quitting when compared to just using one or going cold turkey. Nicorette offers a diverse range from patches, gum, lozenges, and sprays- each with different strengths and flavors.

The Nicorette website also offers a money saving calculator so you can work out your potential savings for that little bit of extra motivation.

Link: https://www.nicorette.com.au/get-ready-to-quit/quit-smoking-calculator

Smoking and Covid-19

With Covid-19 around, now is as good of time as any to look after your health- especially because smokers have a higher risk of respiratory track infections and lung complications.

There is some evidence that people who smoke may be more severely affected by COVID-19. This may be because smoking damages the lungs, so they do not work as well. For example, lungs naturally produce mucus, but people who smoke have more and thicker mucus that is hard to clean out of the lungs. This mucus clogs the lungs and is prone to becoming infected. Smoking also affects the immune system, making it harder to fight infection.

There is also evidence that people with other health conditions (like cardiovascular disease and cancer) are more likely to have more severe COVID-19 disease. Smoking increases the risk of many of these conditions.

The hand-to-mouth action of smoking and e-cigarette use may also mean people who smoke are more vulnerable mainly because they are touching their face and mouth more often.

For more information go to: https://www.quit.org.au/articles/faqs-coronavirus-covid-19-and-smoking/

Sun Care

The Facts;

  • Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.
  • About 2,000 Australians die from skin cancer each year.
  • Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.
  • Medicare records show there were over a million treatments for squamous and basal cell carcinoma skin cancers in 2018 – that’s more than 100 skin cancer treatments every hour.
  • Basal and squamous cell carcinoma skin cancers accounted for one quarter of all cancer-related hospitalisations in 2014–15.4 The cost to the health system of these skin cancers alone is estimated to be more than $700 million annually. The costs to the Federal Government and the community from basal and squamous cell carcinomas are predicted to continue to increase in the future.
  • It is estimated that approximately 200 melanomas and 34,000 other skin cancer types per year are caused by occupational exposures in Australia.
  • Skin sun damage is caused by UV radiation (not the temperature)- hence why you can still get sunburnt on windy, cloudy and cold days.
  • Skin damage can occur via artificial sources as well (e.g. Solarium’s).

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide

  1. Slip on sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible
  2. Slop on broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30 (or higher) sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
  3. Slap on a hat– broad brim or legionnaire style to protect your face, head, neck and ears.
  4. Seek shade.
  5. Slide on some sunglasses – make sure they meet Australian standards.

Sunscreen

  • Apply sunscreen to clean and dry skin.
  • Apply at least 20 minutes before going outside or swimming.
  • Apply evenly and re-apply every 2 hours (even if water resistant sunscreen).
  • Should also re-apply sunscreen after activities such as swimming, excessive sweating and towel drying. These activities can reduce the effectiveness of sunscreen products.
  • The recommended application for adults- 5mL to each arm, body front and back and the face (includes neck and ears) for a total body application of 35mL or roughly 7 teaspoons worth.
  • SPF is a guide to the sunscreens protection rating and how effectively it filters UV rays. The highest SPF available in Australia is SPF 50+.
  • SPF 30 filters 96.7% of UV rays while SPF 50 filters 98%- they both provide excellent protection but must be applied correctly for best protection.
  • When choosing sunscreen, pick one that best suits your skin type and needs. Ideally should aim for at least 30+, broad spectrum and water resistant.
  • Broad spectrum sunscreen filters and protects against UVA and UVB rays (they both cause skin damage), UVB is the main culprit for skin cancer and skin damage.
  • When it comes to children- sunscreen can start to be applied from 6 months and up, younger kids need to be covered up and kept out of the sun wherever possible.

What can be done after the damage is done

For adults:

  • Act fast to cool it down- If the burn happens while around a pool or beach- take a quick dip to cool the area down and quickly cover up. Continue to cool the area using cold compress in conjunction with cool baths or showers- but not for to long so you don’t dry the area out to much, also be sure to avoid harsh soap so the area doesn’t get irritated.
  • Moisturise while skin is damp- Use a moisturising lotion (nothing that contains petroleum or is an oil based ointment as these can trap in the heat) and keep applying to burnt or peeling skin to keep moist.
  • Decrease the inflammation- Use NSAIDS if able to at the first sign of a burn to aid with discomfort and reduce swelling. Aloe vera can be applied to mild burns to aid in comfort along with wearing loose fitting clothes to avoid exposing the burn to the sun further.
  • Replenish your fluids- Burns draw fluid to the skins surface and away from the rest of the body, so it’s vital that you drink plenty of water and using electrolyte replacement products.
  • See a Dr if- There is any severe blistering over large parts of the body, fever and chills or just generally disorientated then seek medical help.

For kids:

  • Bathe in clear, tepid water- This is a good way to cool the skin, but be sure to use gentle washes so not to irritate the burn any further.
  • Stay hydrated- Be sure to keep offering them plenty of water or juice, if the child becomes disorientated or isn’t urinating regularly, seek medical help urgently.
  • Moisturise the skin- Keeping the skin moist provides the best comfort for them and aids in the healing of the area.
  • Keep the kids out of the sun- To avoid any further damage, also use this opportunity to practice sun protection.

Christmas Giving Programme 2020

Warwick Friendly Society is pleased to announce this year’s Christmas Giving Programme, which encourages members to choose how the Society’s yearly Christmas Donation is distributed.

The Warwick Friendly Society was founded in 1908 to support members of the Warwick district.  At first, the Society provided support to women and children who were in need due to the illness, injury or death of the spouses. 

It is fitting therefore that the charities our staff have nominated for the Society Christmas Giving Programme also have a focus on supporting women and children.

The Lighthouse Warwick, QCWA Warwick, and East School Book Program are the three charities that Warwick Friendly Society will highlight during the shopping period up to Christmas. 

Warwick East State School believes in the crucial role that books play in the literacy engagement of children. Research has shown that being read to as a child and having books in the home are irreplaceable parts of future academic success. Warwick East State School has developed a program called “BOLT – Building Our Library Together” to increase the books in a child’s home library. The program is designed to further develop a child’s love of reading and to create a legacy of books in the homes of children. The focus is about empowering children through book ownership, prompting a love of books and reading and creating a home library that can be built upon throughout the year. The program also creates the opportunity to share books with siblings and strengthen family bonds. The school aims to gift each child with a book each term of the school year.

QCWA has had a local branch in Warwick since 1924 and in that time members have supported families and communities as stated in the motto, “Through Country Women, For Country Women, By Country Women”.
Condamine Valley- Warwick Branch is one of seventeen branches within the Border Division of the organization. Members are able to showcase their skills through competitions in Cooking, Photography, Handcraft, Dressmaking, Floral
Art; Knitting & Crochet, Art, Public Speaking; Short Story and Poetry. A Country of Study is chosen annually, with competitions included. Our rooms at 76 Grafton St, Warwick, have resumed hiring our Hall and offering take-away food after a seven-month COVID-9 shutdown. It is anticipated that dining-in will be available in 2021 depending on social distancing regulations. Volunteers are most welcome.
– Prior to COVID-19, we have assisted many Warwick and District families and communities by donations, and support to the drought relief response as well as monies to groups e.g. Salvation Army; St Vincent de Paul; Lifeline; Lighthouse; Bush Kids; Rural Aid; VIEW club; Warwick Suicide Prevention Group; Rural Fire Brigade; Leukaemia Fund; Cancer Fund;  reflections – History of the Horse; Warwick Show & Rodeo Society; Southern Downs Steam Railway; RACQ Life Flight; C.O.1.D.; RSL Sub Branch; to name but a few.
Our Branch is delighted to offer three graduating Year 12 students, who reside in our QCWA Border Division, and who may require some  financial assistance for their first year of tertiary studies, bursaries amounting to $1500 each.
Applications are now open for the 2021 year and are available from our rooms or on the QCWA website, and close 22nd January, 2021.
QCWA’s Vision as an  organization is to “Empower and inspire women through friendship, education, service and advocacy”.

The Lighthouse Community Centre is an emergency relief organisation operated to help Warwick’s most vulnerable community members.

Each year the Lighthouse supports around 500 at risk people in the Warwick area. They offer food distribution, emergency hampers, blankets, and domestic violence services. Their Op Shop provides inexpensive clothing as well as funding their charitable activities.

Food for distribution is donated to The Lighthouse from Aldi, Woolworths, Subway and Donut King each day. Depending on the season this may also be supplemented by food purchased with their own funds if required.

The Lighthouse is an independent welfare organisation based in Warwick, near the Warwick Uniting Church. The organisation was established by Pastor Judith Kunkel as a central, one-stop-shop for people in need within the community.

How it will work

  • With each transaction in-store (no minimum spends and can be from any department), members will receive a token (must be a current member)
  • Choose which charity you would like to support from the on-counter display
  • Pop your token in the appropriate box

Donation

$3000 will be distributed between the three charities according to the proportion of tokens in the boxes.  These funds will be distributed during January 2021.

Conditions

*For every transaction made in-store, each member will receive one promotional token (limit of 1 token per transaction). Place the token in the entry box on the counter, selecting the individual charity that you wish to support. Warwick Friendly Society will make a charitable donation to each of the three charities at the end of the promotion, based on the proportion of tokens contributed to each charity. The total donation will be AUD$3,000. Christmas Giving Programme Promotion runs from 1/12/20–24/12/20.

Ticks

Ticks are parasites that feed on human and animal blood. A tick bite is usually harmless, but sometimes it can cause an allergic reaction or serious illness. If you have a tick bite, it is very important to remove the tick as soon as possible.

Types of tick bite

There are about 70 different sorts of tick in Australia. They are especially common along the east coast. Some have a flat body and a long mouth, while some look wrinkly and leathery.

In Australia, most tick bites are caused by the paralysis tick (sometimes called a grass tick, seed tick or bush tick). They grow from an egg to a larva (about 1mm long and brown) and then to a nymph (about 2mm long and pale brown). An adult paralysis tick is about 1cm long and a grey-blue colour.

Ticks need blood to grow. They crawl up grass or twigs and drop onto passing animals or humans, attaching themselves to the soft skin to feed. They inject a substance to stop the blood clotting. Their saliva can also be poisonous.

Some people are allergic to tick bites. Others, usually children, can develop a condition called tick paralysis. It is also possible for ticks to pass on several illnesses to humans.

Tick bite symptoms

If you have been bitten, usually you will just notice redness and swelling around the tick bite. This will disappear once you remove the tick.

Symptoms of tick paralysis include:

  • a rash
  • headache
  • fever
  • flu-like symptoms
  • sore glands
  • walking unsteadily
  • not being able to tolerate bright lights
  • weak limbs
  • a paralysed face

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to tick bites include:

  • swollen throat
  • difficulty breathing
  • collapsing
A Tick before and after feeding.

Tick bite treatment

If you are not allergic to ticks, you should remove the tick as soon as possible. Try not to squeeze or agitate the tick since it will be more likely to inject its saliva into you.

First, kill the tick by spraying it with a product that contains ether (such as Wart-Off Freeze, Aerostart or Elastoplast Cold Spray) and wait for it to drop off. It should die and drop off in about 5 minutes. Don’t use tweezers to pull the tick out.

Do not jerk or twist the tick. Don’t use methylated spirits, kerosene, petroleum jelly, nail polish, oil or alcohol, or use a lighted match. These don’t work and may cause the tick to burrow deeper into your skin.

If you are allergic to ticks, do not try to remove the tick — kill it with a spray that contains ether. If it’s your first allergic reaction, go straight to a hospital emergency department. If you have had allergic reactions before, talk to your doctor about how to remove the tick and whether you will need to see a doctor every time.

Tick bite prevention

  • Keep your skin covered in areas where there might be ticks. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, tuck your trousers into your socks and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Avoid bush and long grass, especially after rain.
  • Use an insect repellent that contains DEET or picaridin.
  • You can put an insecticide that contains permethrin onto your clothes.
  • Brush your clothes and check your skin for ticks when you come inside.
  • Place clothes in a hot dryer for 20 minutes to kill ticks.

Menopause

Puberty, menstruation, contraception and pregnancy – hormones really put women through a lot! Menopause is a normal part of a woman’s reproductive life cycle. Typically, it occurs between the late 40s and early 50s. Each woman’s experience of menopause is unique, although most women experience some type of symptom in addition to the ending of their menstrual period.

Why do we experience Menopause?

A woman’s ovaries produce three types of hormones – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Among other things, these hormones play a vital role in menstruation, ovulation and pregnancy. During the menopause transition, the ovaries’ production of oestrogen and progesterone fluctuates and declines, ceasing at menopause.

What happens?

The experience of menopause varies widely from woman to woman and from culture to culture. All women, however, undergo the same basic hormonal changes during menopause.

Hot flushes are characterised by feelings of heat that spread to the chest, neck, face or the entire body. Hot flushes may be accompanied by sweating, nausea, heart palpitations, and flushed skin and can contribute to sleep disturbances.

Flow/Cycle changes are experienced by peri-menopausal women with irregular periods that stop and start with no apparent pattern. It is also common for women to get heavier, lighter or longer periods at this time.

Physical changes of the vagina occur due to the reduction in oestrogen levels at menopause such as thinning of the vagina lining and vaginal dryness. Changes in the vagina’s pH level (which keeps naturally occurring bacteria in balance) can occur, resulting in bacterial infections and dryness.

Skin and hair becomes thinner and less elastic as we age naturally, these changes are accentuated at menopause as oestrogen appears to play an important role in maintaining the skin. Women may notice a change in the skin’s texture and tone and an increase in the appearance of lines and wrinkles. They may also find their skin is drier or oilier than before, or a combination of both.

What can help?

There are a number of supplements available in the pharmacy, which women can take to achieve a smoother transition into this new life stage, including clinically researched and standardised Actaea racemosa (black Cohosh), Trifolium pratense (red clover), and Vitex agnus-castus.

Moisturising pH balanced vaginal gels and moisturising creams including Replens and Dr Wolffes Vagisan can help with vaginal dryness and itching.

Unpleasant symptoms of menopause may be reduced by following a healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining good mental health, reducing stress levels, getting enough good quality sleep, cotton breathable pyjamas and bedding to help with night sweats, avoiding the things that trigger hot flushes, and quitting smoking.

Our Pharmacists and Friendly Society team help women every day with their menopause and post menopause experiences. (Some of us have even been through it.) Please speak to us with your queries so we can help make this time of your life a little easier.

From – The Pharmacy Guild of Australia Top six women’s health issues – and how pharmacy assistants can help. https://www.guild.org.au/news-events/blog/2017/top-six-womens-health-issues-and-how-pharmacy-assistant-can-help

Hay Fever & Allergies

Hay fever (also known as Allergic Rhinitis), affects around 1 in 4 people (children and adults) in Australia.

Despite its common name, allergic rhinitis is not caused by hay and does not result in fever. It is caused by the nose and/or eyes coming into contact with environmental allergens, such as pollens, dust mite, moulds and animal dander. People who are sensitive to these allergens may then experience one or more of the following symptoms:

Immediate signs or symptoms

  • Runny nose.
  • Itchy nose.
  • Sneezing.
  • Itchy, watery eyes. 

Obstructive signs or symptoms

  • Congested nose.
  • Snoring. 

Some of these symptoms may be similar to those caused by infection (such as colds and flu). However, allergy symptoms tend to persist, unless they are treated correctly. 

Symptoms range from mild to moderate (does not affect day to day function), to severe (affects day to day function). Symptoms may occur in a particular season (usually due to allergies to grass, weed or tree pollens), or are persistent and present all year round (usually caused by allergies to house dust mites, moulds or animal dander). It is important to note that allergic rhinitis is not caused by a food allergy. 

Complications of allergic rhinitis may include:

  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Daytime tiredness.
  • Headaches.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Recurrent ear infections in children.
  • Recurrent sinus infections in adults.
  • Asthma which is more difficult to control.*

* Some people with allergic rhinitis also have asthma. Better control of allergic rhinitis has been shown to result in better asthma control in both adults and children. Untreated allergic rhinitis may also increase the risk of developing asthma.

Treatment options – Medications

Although medications do not cure allergies, they are effective and have few side effects. It is important to use them correctly, and to avoid medications that can cause problems such as frequent decongestant (unblocking) nose sprays or tablets.

Seek advice from your pharmacist or doctor about the following medications.

  • Antihistamine tablets, syrups, intranasal sprays and eye drops (non-sedating), help to reduce symptoms (sneezing, itchy and irritating eyes). They are not as effective in controlling severe nasal blockage and dribble. The advantage of antihistamines is their flexibility, as you can take them when you have problems, and avoid them when you are well. Antihistamine eye drops can be helpful in controlling watery eyes due to allergies. 
  • Intranasal corticosteroid nasal sprays (INCS) have a potent action on inflammation when used regularly (like asthma preventer medications). These need to be used regularly and with careful attention to the way in which they are used. Different brands of INCS vary in strength and effectiveness, so it is important to read the labels and check details with your pharmacist or doctor. 
  • Combination medications containing an antihistamine and intranasal corticosteroid nasal spray are  available and offer the combined advantages of both medications.  
  • Decongestant sprays unblock and dry the nose, but should not be used for more than a few days as they can cause long term problems in the nose. 
  • Decongestant tablets unblock and dry the nose, but should be used with caution. They can have stimulant side effects like tremors, trouble sleeping, anxiety or an increase in blood pressure. People with high blood pressure should not take decongestant tablets.

Natural products such as salt water nasal sprays or douches can also be effective in relieving symptoms.

*Information gathered from https://www.allergy.org.au

Blood Glucose Machine Upgrade

You can now access the most accurate and up to date technology to manage your Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes with this generous off from Roche.

If you have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes and are:

· Newly diagnosed, or

· Currently using a blood glucose monitoring machines over 12 months old (of any brand)

Come into our stores and speak to our friendly staff to get a new Roche Accu-check Blood Glucose Monitoring Machine.

You will need to purchase new cartridges or strips for the new machine (if required).

This offer is available while stocks last.

For more information give us a call on 4661 1944 or 4667 0692.

Be sure to take advantage of the Accu-Chek warranty program.

Please refer to your packaging insert for your warranty Terms and Conditions. You must enrol by fully completing the form in the link.

Eczema

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a common skin condition that affects both children and adults. It’s also known as Atopic Eczema, Atopic Dermatitis and Allergic Eczema.

People with eczema have skin that doesn’t keep the moisture in very well, so it becomes dry and easily irritated. This causes chemicals to be released, which worsens the irritation and makes you want to scratch. But scratching only makes your skin more itchy and so the cycle repeats itself.

What triggers Eczema?

There are many things, known as triggers, that can make eczema symptoms worse, including:

  • dry skin
  • scratching the affected area
  • viral or bacterial infections
  • chemicals from swimming pools
  • sand, especially from sandpits
  • some types of carpet or grass
  • animals or house dust mites
  • allergens that you can breathe in, such as pollen
  • artificial colours and preservatives
  • perfumes, soap and chemicals
  • woollen or synthetic fabrics
  • heat or very hot rooms
  • stress

Not all of these things will trigger a person’s eczema as it varies from person to person.

Using a lot of soap, grease, food or chemicals can damage the skin’s protective barrier, making it more likely that eczema will develop.

How is Eczema treated?

While there is no cure, eczema is quite treatable. Here are some ways to manage your eczema:

  • Protect your skin by applying moisturiser every day. Some people with severe eczema might need wet dressings, which cool, protect and re-hydrate the skin.
  • Treat flare-ups by using ointments or creams prescribed by your doctor.
  • Control itching by using antihistamines, a cold compress for the affected area and trying not to scratch.
  • Control and prevent infection by keeping your house clean and using antibiotics to treat infection if prescribed by your doctor.

Many people find eczema improves as they get older.

Once you know what triggers your eczema, your doctor may be able to help you develop an eczema action plan. This is a personal guide and check-list for how to manage your eczema and prevent it from flaring up.

Here is an example of what an Eczema Action/care Plan might look like: http://www.wch.sa.gov.au/patients/children/emergency/documents/eczema_care_plan.pdf

Ways of managing eczema include:

  • avoiding your triggers
  • avoiding things that can damage or dry out the skin, like soap or bubble bath
  • making sure baths and showers aren’t too hot
  • rinsing off chlorine from swimming pools straight after swimming
  • avoiding overheating or wearing woollen next to the skin

Speak to our staff about what range of products we offer that can assist in the treatment of Eczema & lifestyle tips that may help with future flare-ups.

Pain Management

Different types of pain.

Pain is a common condition which can be caused by any number of different factors, such as injury, surgery, illness or ongoing medical conditions. The chances are you’ve experienced pain for yourself, and in many different ways.
There are two main types of pain – acute pain and chronic pain. Let’s take a look at both.

Acute Pain

Acute pain usually starts suddenly and lasts for a shorter period of time. These are just a few of the types of acute pain:

  • Post Surgery
  • Toothache
  • Headaches & Migraines
  • Period pains & abdominal cramps
  • Cold/flu (Sinus pain)
  • Burns or cuts
  • Sports injuries, such as sprains
Chronic Pain

Chronic pain lasts longer than acute pain (usually more than 3 months) and is generally somewhat resistant to medical treatment. It is linked with a number of conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Nerve pain
  • Back pain
What else can be done?

When it comes to managing pain, getting the right medication is of the utmost importance. But there are a few other things you can try to help reduce the impact of pain.

 

Maintain a healthy weight

If you are overweight, losing the extra kilos will reduce the impact on your hip and knee joints.

Stay well hydrated

Headaches are a common symptom of dehydration. Drinking plenty of water or re-hydration fluids may assist with pain relief.

TENS Therapy

Trans-cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS machines, use small electrical currents to prompt a pain-relieving response from the body.

Hot or cold packs

A hot pack can reduce discomfort from muscle pain. A cold pack can help reduce swelling after an injury.

Relaxation & stress management

Stress can actually make your pain worse. Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, practising yoga or socialising with friends may help to reduce pain.

Please find below a pain chart that can be downloaded and filled in to be taken into either your local Pharmacist or Doctor.

Diabetes Awareness Week

This year, National Diabetes Week runs from 12 – 18 July 2020 and the focus will be on supporting the emotional and mental health of people living with diabetes.

Did you know that people living with diabetes can make up to 180 extra decisions each day covering everything from food to medication to exercise and more just to stay well and healthy?

Mentally and emotionally that is a lot of stress to deal with.

Research shows that managing the daily challenges of diabetes can lead to anxiety, distress and depression for one in three people living with the condition.

That’s why this National Diabetes Week, we’ll be working to:

  • Raise awareness of the mental and emotional challenges of managing diabetes
  • Providing blood glucose consumables via NDSS program.

Above all we’ll be working with our community, so you know you’re not alone. We are here to help and support you.

For more information follow the links below

Live Your Life Virtual Expo

In a first of its kind for people living with diabetes, Diabetes Australia is hosting Live Your Life Virtual EXPO on Saturday 18 July 2020.

This free event will showcase the latest information on diabetes for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, their families and carers.

For program details or to register visit the Live Your Life Expo website.