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What Are the Side Effects of Ciprofloxacin?

Posted Wednesday 16 September 2020 12:00 by in Travellers Diarrhoea by Harman Bhamra

Ciprofloxacin is a type of antibiotic commonly used to treat traveller’s diarrhoea. Because this is an antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin can only treat diarrhoea caused by bacteria. This is not recommended for diarrhoea caused by parasites or viral infections. Within this guide, we will be taking you through the side effects of Ciprofloxacin.

How to Use Ciprofloxacin

Using Ciprofloxacin is easy. Take one tablet of Ciprofloxacin every 12 hours. You can continue taking the medication if your symptoms have not improved. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take the missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose.

Who Can Take Ciprofloxacin?

Adults and children over a year old can take Ciprofloxacin. People who have the following are not allowed to take this medicine:

  • Diarrhoea when you take antibiotics
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Problem with your tendons or kidneys
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm

The Side Effects of Ciprofloxacin

All medicines have side effects and Ciprofloxacin is no exception. Some of the common side effects of this medication include:

  • Nausea or feeling sick after taking the tablet
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Diarrhoea
  • Swelling
  • Pale skin
  • Sleepiness
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Heartburn
  • Vaginal itching

Usually mild, these side effects of Ciprofloxacin go away on their own after you stop taking the medication.

Serious Side Effects of Ciprofloxacin

Serious side effects of Ciprofloxacin happen in less than 1 in 100 people. Stop taking this medication and immediately inform your doctor if you developed:

Muscle pain or weakness - this side effect usually starts in your calf or ankle. It can also occur in your arms, legs, or shoulders. You may also develop swelling in your tendons or joints. This side effect is more common in children and can occur several months after stopping the medication.

Abnormal sensations - usually characterised by pins and needles or feelings of numbness, ticking, and tingling that lingers. You may also experience weakness in your legs or arms.

Severe tiredness - usually characterised by excessive tiredness, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety.

Diarrhoea - may contain blood or mucus. You may also experience muscle cramps. Consult your doctor as well if you have severe diarrhoea for more than four days even though it doesn’t have blood or mucus.

Other serious side effects of Ciprofloxacin are:

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Loss of taste
  • Changes in sight or smell
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Seizure or fits

Coping With Ciprofloxacin Side Effects

Mild side effects usually don’t need medical intervention. Here are some of the things you can do to cope:

If you are feeling sick…

Avoid taking spicy food. Instead, eat simple meals. Also, take Ciprofloxacin after you have had a snack or meal.

If you have diarrhoea…

Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water. It helps to replenish your lost electrolytes too. Telltale signs of dehydration include peeing less than normal and having a strong-smelling pee.

Where to Buy Ciprofloxacin

You can buy Ciprofloxacin from Express Pharmacy. Order now and we’ll get it delivered right to your doorstep.

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7 Warning Signs of Cancer That You Need to Know

Posted Monday 14 September 2020 10:13 by in Express Pharmacy by Harman Bhamra

Did you know that there are at least 1000 new cases of cancer every day in the UK? With more than half of these cancer cases are either breast, lung, bowel, or prostate cancers.

Your body is made up of trillions of cells. Cells that are too old or damaged normally die and new cells grow to replace them. However, when you have cancer, this natural cycle breaks down. Cells that are supposed to die live on and new cells grow when they shouldn’t. Most of these abnormal cells don’t stop dividing until they form large growths called tumours.

What are Tumours?

Many types of cancer form large masses of tissue called tumours. These tumours can be further classified into two:

Benign tumours - tumours that don’t spread or invade nearby tissues. Benign tumours can be very large. They don’t usually grow back when removed. Benign tumours are not dangerous unless they grow in critical parts of the body. For example, in the brain, even a tiny benign tumour can have fatal consequences.

Malignant tumours - these types of tumours spread or invade nearby organs. As they grow, parts of the tumour break off and travel to other parts of your body through your blood or lymphatic system --- forming new tumours wherever they settle. Malignant tumours also tend to grow back when removed.

Cancers related to the blood (i.e. leukaemia) often don’t form solid tumours.

How to Treat Cancer

There are several ways to treat cancer. Some of the common procedures include:

  • Surgery - removing as much of the cancer cells as possible.
  • Chemotherapy - using drugs to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy - using high-powered beams like x-rays to kill cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy - a procedure which uses your own immune system to kill cancer cells. Your immune system usually gets rid of dead and abnormal cells but cancer cells know how to “hide” from your immune system. Immunotherapy helps your immune system recognise cancer cells.

These cancer treatments are more effective when the cancer is still at its early stages. This means that early detection is key.

Early Warning Signs of Cancer

Your body usually gives off signals when something is not right. Below are 7 warning signs of cancer that you should know about.

Lack of Appetite and Unexplained Weight Loss

Common illnesses like flu can affect your appetite. Cancer can, too. Cancer makes you feel less hungry by changing your body’s metabolism --- the way your body converts food into energy. Cancers in the stomach, colon, ovaries, and pancreas can press into your stomach making you feel full all the time.

Because of the lack of appetite, most cancer patients also experience weight loss for unknown reasons. If you have lost more than 5 kilograms without knowing why then it’s worth heading to your GP.

Presence of Blood in the Stool or Urine

Cancers, ulcers, haemorrhoids, sores, and other infections in the gut can produce bloody stool. You can usually tell the source by looking at the colour of the blood. If it’s bright red, then you may have some bleeding in your anus or rectum. If the colour is dark, then the source is probably higher up in your digestive system.

Blood in the urine is usually a sign that something is wrong in your urinary tract. Cancer in the bladder and kidneys can produce blood in your pee. But so can common illnesses like kidney stones and bladder infections.

Whatever the cause is, if you see blood in your stool or urine, consult your doctor as soon as possible. They may perform tests like colonoscopy to rule out the possibility of cancer.

Persistent Cough

Coughing that doesn’t go away can be a sign of lung cancer. See your GP if the cough is accompanied by weight loss, extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, chest pain, and hoarseness. If you are a smoker, the more important it is to consult with your doctor.

Fever that Doesn’t Break

Fever is a natural immune response especially if you’ve caught an infection. But some types of cancers like leukaemia, liver cancer, kidney cancer, and lymphoma can also cause your temperature to flare up. Most fevers related to cancer rise and fall during the day. If you’ve been suffering from a fever that’s over 37.7 degrees Celsius for days, consult your doctor.

Changes in Your Skin

Skin changes can be a precursor to skin cancer. If you notice a freckle, mole, or wart change in colour, shape, and size, contact your doctor right away as this may be an early sign of melanoma.

Lumps or Changes in the Breast

An early sign of breast cancer in women include breast pain, changes in the nipples, lump under your arm, scaling and redness over the breast, and discharge from the nipple that is not milk. If you notice any of these changes, see your doctor right away.

Pain During Urination or Ejaculation

An early sign of prostate cancer is painful urination and painful ejaculation. If the pain doesn’t go away after a couple of days, get it checked by your doctor to make sure.

Remember that to fully heal from cancer, early detection is vital. We hope these early warning signs of cancer can give you a heads up on whatever is wrong with your body. If you feel something is amiss, don’t be afraid to consult with your doctor.

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Suicide Prevention Day: What Causes Negative Thinking?

Posted Thursday 10 September 2020 11:00 by in Express Pharmacy by Harman Bhamra

Did you know, that based on 2018 data, there were over 6,500 deaths by suicide in the UK in one year? Men account for up to 75% of these cases. According to researchers, most suicides in the UK are due to unemployment, loneliness, recent recessions, and austerity measures.

As the 10th of September is World Suicide Prevention Day, we would like to help increase awareness surrounding negative thinking and its consequences. This blog post will help to unravel what causes negative thinking and how to deal with it.

Causes of Negative Thinking

1. Not accepting that mistakes are part of growth

Sometimes, being too hard on yourself causes more harm than good. Perfectionism can create a lot of anxiety and stress in your life. Try reading aloud the phrases below:

“I should wake up early.”

“I should exercise.”

“I should save money.”

At first, these phrases don’t seem bad. But if you look closer, they are --- because of one word. SHOULD. The word should is damaging. It connotes a feeling of guilt. Of not having done enough. These thoughts of failure can lead you down a spiral path of negative thoughts.

How to overcome:

Don’t lead your thoughts with “I should”. Instead, try saying:

“I will do my best to wake up early by sleeping early every night.”

“I will exercise every day by setting aside a portion of time to go to the gym. I’ll invite my friend, John, so we can support each other.”

“I will save money by tracking my expenses.”

The point here is to not use words that add pressure to your already pressured self. As you go through your day, try to record your negative thoughts and identify the words that guilt-trip you. Then replace these with words that inspire and motivate.

2. Allowing automatic negative thinking to take over

Automatic Negative Thinking or ANTs are the first things that come to your mind every time you have a strong reaction or feeling. Think of it as your thought reflex. ANTs are common among people with depression and anxiety. These thoughts often revolve around ideas of danger or fear. What makes matter worse is that ANTs can be paralyzing.

You don’t pick up ANTs overnight. These thoughts are usually a product of years of experience and conditioning. Example of ANTs are:

I’m going to fail.

She/He will not like me.

I’m dumb.

I’m stupid.

This world is awful.

I hate my life.

How to overcome:

The best way to deal with ANTs is by breaking it down into three parts:

1) The trigger - usually the situation or event that triggered the negative thought

2) Your feelings - what you are feeling at the time the negative thought appeared

3) The thought - the exact thought or image that came to your mind

Identifying these three will help you examine your negative thought process so you can actively change your thinking process into a productive and helpful one. Let’s see this in action!

So, for example, the automatic negative thought is: I’m going to fail. Ask yourself these questions:

1. What situation or event is causing you to think “I’m going to fail” before it even happens?

Is it work? A project? An exam?

If it is an exam, ask yourself: Am I afraid because I failed in the past? How is this exam different from the exams I took before?

Now imagine the worst that could happen and break down your feelings and rate it from highest to lowest in terms of intensity.

Are you afraid?

Are you nervous?

Do you feel guilty?

Let’s say you rated nervousness as number 1. This means that being nervous (a symptom of anxiety) is your dominant mood when your remaining emotions are filled with guilt and fear.

Now that you’ve identified your dominant mood, what can you do so you don’t feel nervous?

As you can see, we are now taking control of your thoughts and emotions --- the first step in eliminating automatic negative thoughts in our lives.

3. Not acknowledging your mental strain

We always have a tendency to fight back or become defensive when an unfavourable situation comes our way. Automatically putting yourself in a defensive or in denial mode can send you into a state of anxiety.

How to overcome:

Embracing the emotional roller coaster you are in requires lesser energy than being constantly in denial.

Remember, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed at times and you must acknowledge that truth before you can do anything to fix your situation. Don’t exhaust yourself fighting back.

If you take a step back, you’ll eventually notice that most of your negative thoughts have a trigger. Identify these triggers and determine how you can work your way around it. If your negative thoughts are triggered by a situation, opt-out and say no.


We all have negative thoughts. We know that living with depression, anxiety, and other mental conditions is not easy. Remember that you are not alone. You always have your friends and family to support you. Don’t be afraid to work with professionals who can help you identify your negative thought patterns and help you make your way around it.

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What to Expect From a HIV Testing Kit

Posted Friday 04 September 2020 11:00 by in Express Pharmacy by Harman Bhamra

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the main culprit behind AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. This virus is designed to attack your immune system --- compromising your body’s ability to fight against infections, viruses, and illnesses. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about HIV, including what to expect from a HIV testing kit.

HIV: A Quick Overview

HIV has three stages. Let's discuss them briefly below:

Stage 1: Acute HIV Infection

This is the initial stage of the infection. If you are infected, you may begin to notice flu-like symptoms within the first four weeks. These symptoms can last for several days to weeks. During this stage, you are very contagious but may not feel very sick.

Stage 2: Dormant Stage

During this stage, the virus becomes dormant and replicates very slowly in your body. The dormancy stage is usually not associated with any symptoms. This could last for decades or even longer especially if you are taking HIV treatment.

Stage 3: AIDS

The most severe stage of the infection. By this time, your immune system is already compromised and you are most likely to develop opportunistic diseases like:

  • Cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lymphoma

Most deaths occur as a result of several complications caused by these illnesses, not by the virus itself. Life expectancy for people with AIDS is less than five years.

Get Tested Early

Since its discovery, scientists are yet to find a cure for HIV. Early detection is key to enjoying a comfortable and productive life down the road. There are several HIV treatments available but they are most effective when the virus is still at its early stages.

Get tested if:

  • You had unprotected sex with someone who may have HIV.
  • You are sharing needles (tattoos, drugs, piercings, etc).
  • You want peace of mind.

Using A HIV Testing Kit at Home

HIV self-testing is the most convenient and discreet way to test for HIV. The BioSure HIV Self Testing Kit is the first of its kind in the UK to receive a CE approval. This means that the test kit is strictly regulated and scrutinised to meet the highest quality standards.

The BioSure HIV Self Testing Kit is very easy to use. Using a technology very similar to a pregnancy test, this HIV testing kit requires a very small amount of blood (less than a drop). You will know your result after 15 minutes.

Using the BioSure HIV Self Testing Kit

Here is a quick guide for HIV testing at home. Using the BioSure HIV Self Testing Kit can be summarised into five simple steps: prepare, prick, suck, poke, and read.

Step 1. Prepare

Prepare the testing kit by removing the buffer pot from the end of the device. Place it in the hole in the tray.

Step 2. Prick

Remove the cover of the safety lancet and place the red pad on your finger. Push until you hear a click. The lancet will make a small cut on your skin. You can squeeze your finger to make the drop of blood bigger.

Step 3. Suck

Touch the tip of the BioSure HIV Self Testing Kit onto the blood. It’ll automatically suck the blood in until you have enough for the test.

Step 4. Poke

Push the tip of your testing device through the foil in the buffer pot. Push hard until you can’t push any further. Wait for 15 minutes.

Step 5. Read

Once the 15-minute waiting period is up, you can now read your results. One (1) line means negative, two lines mean positive, and no lines mean the test did not work.

If you have a positive result, consult with your GP. They will confirm your result and will help you take the next steps.

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5 Simple Ways to Reduce Period Pain

Posted Wednesday 02 September 2020 15:14 by in Period Pain Medication by Harman Bhamra

Most women experience period pain at some point in their lives. It is common and a normal part of the menstruation cycle. Usually characterised by painful muscle cramps in the abdomen, period pain can also spread to your thighs and back.

Period pain can vary between dull and constant cramps to intense spasms. Your experience may also vary with each period. There will be periods where the pain is bearable or even non-existent, while other months may be very painful.

Here’s an article to help you learn more about the symptoms of period pain.

What are the Causes of Period Pain?

Normally, period pain is caused by the contraction (tightening) of the muscles surrounding your womb. Mild contractions of the uterine wall occur every day but they are so mild you won’t even notice them. However, during your period, this contraction becomes more vigorous to help your womb shed its lining.

When your uterine wall contracts, it compresses the blood vessels in your womb --- cutting off blood and oxygen supply. This causes the tissues in your womb to release chemicals that trigger pain. These chemicals also cause your body to produce prostaglandins which stimulate the uterine wall to compress even further --- increasing the pain levels you perceive.

Until now, doctors are not sure why some women experience more painful period pains than others. They suspect that the build-up of prostaglandins in the body is the culprit.

Some medical conditions can also cause period pains. But these tend to affect women between 30 to 45 years old. Some of these medical conditions are:

Fibroids - benign tumours that grow in and around the uterus.

Endometriosis - a case where cells which line the uterus grow in other areas like your ovaries and fallopian tubes. When they shed, these abnormal cell growth can cause intense pain.

Adenomyosis - a condition where the tissues lining the uterus starts to grow within the muscular womb wall.

Pelvic inflammatory disease - an inflammation in the ovaries, womb, and fallopian tubes caused by bacteria.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) - usually begins a couple of days before your period. The pain continues into the first two days of your menstruation. 90% of women experience PMS at some point in their lives. According to doctors, PMS may be caused by the dipping of estrogen and progesterone levels at the beginning of your menstruation.

How Long Do Period Pains Last?

Most period pains start when you menstruate. However, some women also experience period pain even weeks before their bleeding begins. Usually, period pains last between two to three days. The pain is at its worst when your bleeding is at its peak. Some period pains can last longer.

Surprisingly, many women experience lesser period pains after they’ve had children.

How to Reduce Period Pains

Below are five simple ways on how to reduce period pains at home:

1. Keep yourself hydrated

Bloating is one of the common symptoms of menstrual cramps. And bloating can make the pain you feel worse. Drinking plenty of liquids can help ease bloating. Make it a habit to drink between six to eight glasses of water every day. You can add some lemon or mint to improve the taste.

There are many ways to hydrate if you are not loving plain water. Try a glass of fruit-infused water or a cup of ginger or chamomile tea. You can also prepare a pitcher of water with lemon and cucumber for the day. Sipping a cup of broth (low sodium) is also a great way to relax and rehydrate. You can also buy flavoured mineral water.

While you are hydrating, cut your alcohol and sodium intake as they promote dehydration and bloating.

2. Get some sunshine

Vitamin D helps reduce the production of prostaglandins in the body. Period pains can be disabling so if you don’t feel like going outside for some sunshine, take some vitamin D supplements. Studies show that high weekly doses of vitamin D can significantly lower the pain of menstrual cramps.

3. Avoid caffeine

Many women report that eliminating caffeine has helped reduce their period pains. Caffeine comes in many forms --- most of it are your favourites (i.e. chocolate, soda, tea, energy drinks, coffee, etc.). If you consume lots of caffeinated products every day, break the habit slowly so you don’t succumb to withdrawal symptoms.

A great substitute for caffeine is smoothies and shakes with protein powder, greens, and berries which are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients.

4. Massage and apply heat

Massages promote blood flow. So, massaging your abdomen for at least five minutes every day can help reduce period pains. Use massage creams with essential oils like marjoram and lavender to take advantage of their amazing benefits --- including soothing the pain caused by menstrual cramps.

While you are at it, consider applying a heating pad to your abdomen too. Heat can help the muscles relax. No heating pad? Just grab a hot water bottle or a warm towel!

5. Take Mefenamic Acid

Mefenamic acid is a popular period pain treatment. This medicine works by reducing inflammation in your uterine wall thus providing relief from pain. Mefenamic acid is an effective pain reliever that belongs to a family of medicines called NSAIDs or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs.

Mefenamic acid is taken three times a day for a maximum of three days during your period. Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol while you are taking this medication. You can buy period pain tablets from Express Pharmacy today.

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