Christmas is one of the most special times of the year for many of us. It's an opportunity to spend more hours with our loved ones; a break in which we can celebrate the year gone by, take stock and often just cosy up by the hearth.
But for many men, the chance to spend some important and well-deserved intimate time with their partners while the office is closed can be just another cause for worry.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition which can lead to feelings of low self-esteem in men and consequently strong feelings of unhappiness. But at Express Pharmacy we are always keen to dispel some of the stigma surrounding ED and encourage even those most nervous of men to take a more balanced approach to this important but manageable issue.
The first point to be made about ED is that itis an extremely common condition, and one that only appears rare because so few men are prepared to talk about their difficulties. In fact, most men will have some form of erectile dysfunction at some point in their life.
Why is this not common knowledge? Because men are nervous about sharing their health concerns and particularly one that they may consider to make them appear to be less of a man - another unnecessary and false belief.
What exactly is erectile dysfunction
ED is a condition caused by the restriction of blood flow to the penis as a result of the narrowing of arteries. This can be caused by a variety of things such as the build-up of fat in these arteries.
Medications for ED treat this through the dilation or widening of these blood vessels, consequently increasing blood flow to the penis, leading to a sustained erection. It is important to note that this only occurs when you’re sexually aroused.
Treatment for erectile dysfunction
In 2013 the world's most famous treatment for erectile dysfunction, Viagra, came off patent. This has subsequently opened the door for a number of other pharmaceutical companies to come out with their own drugs, based around the same active ingredient - Sildenafil.
With competition has come a price war for the various manufacturers. For erectile dysfunction sufferers the result of this has resulted in treatments becoming more affordable than ever before - something particularly important for gents feeling the financial pinch this winter.
At Express Pharmacy we offer a variety of erectile dysfunction medications,including:
Levitra (recommended for diabetics).
For a more detailed appraisal of these treatments, visit the Erectile Dysfunction section of our website, or book a consultation with one of our pharmacists today. At Express Pharmacy we can help you access the most appropriate treatment for your needs with absolute discretion and maximum convenience.
Don't let Christmas be a time for worry and sadness. Give yourself an early gift and order erectile dysfunction medication now.
Only last week, President of the United States, Barack Obama, was diagnosed with acid reflux after complaining about a persistent sore throat. Whilst he was most likely prescribed with a course of Lansoprazole, I was intrigued by his pathway to diagnosis.
You may be wondering why I am writing about President Obama’s undiagnosed bout of acid reflux. It is not the most newsworthy story, and doesn’t really say much about anything (other than the fact that he might have indulged a little too much over thanksgiving, which you can hardly blame him for!). At most it’s amusing and just a little bit silly.
I was, however, quite interested by the manner in which President Obama was diagnosed and subsequently treated in comparison to the pathway to medicines access for someone like you or me.
Let me outline it for you, if I may.
Whilst I would not personally complain with this level of healthcare, I would argue that for most, nay the majority of us, it is inconceivable. So what could you or I do if placed in a similar situation to President Obama, after hours with symptoms that just won’t go away?
Using an online pharmacy to order acid reflux medication“How? Why? Surely not!” you may proclaim. Well, fear not, it’s not as radical an idea as it sounds.
The aforementioned symptoms, such as sore throats, are commonly associated with Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). It is a condition that occurs sporadically in a healthy person, has no long term consequences and is commonly treated with a short course of Lansoprazole.
To use an online pharmacy is simple enough. Fill out a medical questionnaire relating to your symptoms. Once it is checked by the prescriber, your order will be dispatched to you, with next-day delivery always an option.
Compare this with the process involved in going to your GP for an acute condition such as Acid Reflux, or an acute migraine.
I need say no more.
President Obama clearly would not have contemplated going to a pharmacy, whether it be an online pharmacy or on the high street, for some advice on an acute condition. As I mentioned, not everyone has the luxury of having medical experts waiting for you hand on foot. You do, however, have a wealth of healthcare resources available to you. In fact, I would argue that for certain minor health issues such as a migraine, acid reflux, or a common cold, your access to diagnosis and medication is equal to that of President Obama. Okay maybe not quite equal, but most certainly improving. That being said, pharmacies are becoming increasingly accessible for a range of issues, and online pharmacies can provide next-day access to medicines. You are also doing your part by positively affecting the resource burden on the NHS.
The moral of the story? Take some responsibility for your own healthcare and it may go some way to helping you feel that little bit more presidential.
Unless you are a born again scrooge, you can't help but have noticed that 'tis the season to be jolly. And being "jolly", as we all know, usually entails merry-making with the help of scrummy mince pies, tasty turkey dinner with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding to boot.
In fact, according to dieticians, the average person consumes roughly 6,000 calories on Christmas Day - that's three times the average guideline daily allowance for women.
So, should you simply give up and accept that December is a time when you're destined to have an overly large belly that wobbles like a bowl full of jelly? Or can you be merry without taking on the appearance of Santa himself?
Take food out of focusOur most important piece of advice would be to avoid making food the entire focus of your day. Focus instead on having fun.
Yes, fun can be had at the dinner table as you indulge in some of the finer things in life. But stay at the table too long and you will quickly find yourself picking at food your stomach doesn't really want or need.
Instead, organise an afternoon activity to maximise enjoyment on the big day and take away the temptation to snack continuously. And the same goes for the rest of the festive season, when meals tend to take a more calorific approach.
Need a little help? Here are some fun activitiesto chalk up on your list this December:
- Dancing – From the office Xmas party to a family Christmas Day, get some songs playing and encourage yourself to stay on your feet. Believe it or not but a gentle dance can still burn off a significant number of calories.
- Ice Skating – it’s fun for all the family, extremely festive and extremely healthy (as long as you don’t fall over too much).
- Conversation – while eating meals,make sure you indulge not only in the food but also in having fun with the family. Enjoy Christmas crackers, jokes and funny stories – all of this will slow down your eating, ultimately allowing you to get full quicker, on less food.
- Party Games – it’s a time for celebrating so do it in style by playing as many active games as possible. Musical statues, musical chairs, pretty much any game – the more fun you’re having and the more excited you are, the more likely you are to be burning any excess calories and not eating.
Plan out your partyingThe Christmas period in general is a time for parties, celebrations and indulgence. Try and be selective about which days you plan on letting yourself go. If you pick specific days, like Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and the work Christmas party and indulge on these days then you can attempt to eat well and stay active in between.
For the big day itself we have a collection of vital tips for maximising healthiness amidst this storm of gluttony:
- Eat a good breakfast – you will be less likely to snack before dinner.
- While eating your Christmas dinner make sure you eat an average-sized portion and then take a 20-minute break. It usually takes around 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full, so after the break you’ll know whether you need to eat more or not.
- Eat plenty of nuts and dried fruit – they’re an excellent source ofironandzincwhich can help in your production of digestive acids, the lack of which is a common cause of indigestion.
- Try including pineapple in your dessert. Pineapple is a source of bromelin which is an enzyme which can aid the digestion of protein, namely your Christmas turkey.
- Stick to turkey over other birds such as duck and goose. Turkey is a much leaner meat, having much less unhealthy fat.
- Also, if like most excellent cooks you use the juices form your meat to make the gravy for your Christmas dinner, make sure you let the gravy stand before serving it. The fat will settle on the top meaning you can skim it off to reduce calories without sacrificing flavour.
- Lastly, try steaming vegetables instead of boiling them, this way they will retain more of their health vitamins and nutrients.
Consider diluting wines and spirits with water and ice and make sure that for every drink you have, have a non-alcoholic juice or glass of water in between.
Last but most certainly not least, as a way of ensuring you don’t over-do it this Christmas to the point of no return, try starting an exercise regime in December. This can involve anything as little as going for a jog a couple days a week, walking more often or a more extreme gym regime.
Manypeople make getting fit an intangible and unreachable New Year’s resolution but starting off with even the smallest routine in December sets you in good stead for keeping it up or even upping your game in January.
Suffering from more serious weight issues and are worried that things are only getting worse this Winter? Why not consult your pharmacist today on the best weight control and weight loss options.
October saw the expiration of the patent on Propecia, a hair loss treatment commonly used by men suffering from male pattern baldness. But what does this mean for pharmacies and, more importantly, those who require this form of medication.
You may be familiar with Propecia already. In the same way that the brand Viagra became synonymous with treating erectile dysfunction through the early part of the 21st century, so Propecia has become the name most commonly associated with treating male pattern baldness.
As of the 11th October 2014, however, Propecia’s patent on this medication expired and an opportunity opened up for rival pharmaceutical firms to promote a different name – that of the active ingredient finasteride 1mg.
Finasteride, also known as ‘generic Propecia’ is now readily available in UK pharmacies alongside the familiar face of Propecia. And as with generic sildenafil – the active ingredient in Viagra – generic finasteride is noticeably cheaper than its more famous alternative.
As Head Pharmacist, Daman Bhamra, says:
“The expiry of Propecia’s patent can be good news to many men suffering distress as a result of male pattern hair loss. As is usually the case when a drug patent expires, the price of Generic Propecia will likely fall over the coming months as more UK pharmaceutical companies start producing Finasteride medications.”
“But as we have seen with Viagra, the expiration of a patent does not mean an end to brand loyalty. Even though a number different pharmaceutical companies can produce drugs that are medically the same, it is not uncommon for patients to continue to use a branded medication at a higher price point simply because their trust in that product has been built over the months or years.”
Finasteride is used to counteract the effects of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which acts on genetically susceptible hair follicles found in the front, top and crown of the scalp. In practice, DHT shortens the growth phase of the hair cycle and causes hair to become increasingly fine until eventually it disappears.
Put simply, finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. It is currently produced in tablet form to be ingested orally.
Currently, two other pharmaceutical companies have released finasteride medications since the expiration of the patent – Trent and Actavis. As Daman Bhamra suggests it is often a case personal choice, which product a patient chooses to use, and at Express Pharmacy we are able to deliver both hair loss treatments direct to a patient’s door.
What should I expect to pay for Finasteride?The cost of both branded Propecia and Generic Finasteride may decrease over the coming months. This will largely be due to the number of drug companies who choose to produce the medication and the flexibility of the market.
Currently, finasteride is selling roughly 10% cheaper than branded Propecia, but when Viagra came off patent in 2013 the price continued to drop steadily for some months as an increasing number of companies came into the market. Today, sildenafil can cost as little as a sixth of the price of branded Viagra.
Are Propecia alternatives safe?Yes. If you continue to source your Finasteride 1mg medication through a reputable and registered pharmacy, the quality of the drug is assured regardless of the manufacturer.
It is, however, important to avoid ordering hair loss medication from a questionable source. As with any medication made or distributed without the correct precautions, buying illegal drugs opens up the possibility of questionable ingredients, contamination or incorrect usage guidelines.
Always look for the GPhC logo when ordering Propecia or any other medication.