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When to Take the Morning After Pill

Posted Wednesday 26 August 2020 12:00 by in Emergency Contraception by Harman Bhamra

Do you know when to take the morning after pill in order to maximize its effectiveness?

The morning after pill is an effective emergency contraceptive that’s designed to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. Studies show that 20% or 1 in every 5 women in the country between ages 18 and 35 take the morning after pill at least once every year.

The morning after pill should not be used as a regular contraceptive. Being an emergency contraceptive, it should only be taken if the sex was unprotected or if your contraception failed (e.g. you missed your pill, split condom, etc.).

When is the right time to take the morning after pill?

Express Pharmacy stocks three types of morning after pills. Namely: Levonelle, ellaOne, and Richter. All have different windows of effectiveness.


Levonelle is a type of emergency hormonal contraception. It was licensed in the UK in June 2004. Levonelle’s active ingredient, levonorgestrel, works by preventing your ovaries from releasing an egg. It also helps prevent the sperm from fertilizing any egg that may have been released by your ovaries prior to unprotected sex.

When to take Levonelle

Levonelle must be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected intercourse. Studies show that it’s most effective if taken within 12 hours of unprotected sex. If taken within 24 hours, Levonelle can stop up to 95% of unwanted pregnancies.

How to use Levonelle

Take one tablet of Levonelle orally within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. Take a replacement dose if you vomited within 2 hours of taking the medication.


Another type of emergency hormonal contraception is ellaOne. This prescription-only medication has an active ingredient called ulipristal acetate which inhibits or delays ovulation. This means that your ovaries will not release an egg for the sperm to fertilize during unprotected sex.

When to take ellaOne

Like all emergency contraceptives, ellaOne is most effective when taken as early as possible. Studies show that ellaOne can be effective if taken within 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sexual intercourse.

How to use ellaOne

Take one tablet of ellaOne orally within 120 hours of unprotected sex. If vomiting occurs within 3 hours of taking the tablet, take another dose. You can take ellaOne with or without food.

We don’t recommend using ellaOne again within the same menstrual cycle. If you have an active sex life, make sure to use other forms of contraception until your next period.


Like the previous two, Richter is also an emergency hormonal contraceptive. It also contains levonorgestrel --- the same active ingredient as Levonelle. Richter works by preventing or delaying your ovulation. It also prevents pregnancy by keeping the sperm from fertilizing an egg that may have been released by your ovaries prior to unprotected intercourse.

When to take Richter

Like Levonelle, Richter must be taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse. The sooner, the better. This emergency contraception is known to prevent 84% of unwanted pregnancies if taken within its effectiveness window.

How to use Richter

Take one tablet of Richter orally within 72 hours of unprotected sex. Ideally, within the first 12 hours. If you vomited within 3 hours of taking this after morning pill, take another dose.

We don’t recommend using Richter as your regular contraceptive. Don’t take another dose of Richter until your next menstrual cycle. If you plan on having sex before your next period, make sure to use other forms contraceptives like a condom to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

Frequently asked questions about the morning after pill

Is the morning after pill safe?

Millions of people in the UK have taken a morning after pill at least once a year. There have been no reports of serious complications involving after morning pills so these drugs are generally safe.

Some common side effects of after morning pills include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Painful period

These side effects are usually mild and will go away on their own after some time.

Can I take the morning after pill regularly?

While taking the morning after pill as needed will not hurt you, we don’t recommend using it as your main contraceptive. Why? Because it’s not as effective as other forms of birth control and they are also more expensive than your regular pills.

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Achieve Peace With These Top 3 Tips for Meditating at Home

Posted Friday 21 August 2020 11:00 by in Express Pharmacy by Harman Bhamra

With the coronavirus pandemic completely changing the way we live our lives, it’s become all the more important to focus on our mental health. Staying indoors and having reduced social interactions can naturally dampen our spirits, meaning it’s wise to take time out of our days to actually do things that make us happy. And, what better way to stay grounded than with a spot of meditation?

Within this guide, we will be taking you through how to achieve peace with these top three tips for meditation at home.

How Meditation Impacts Mental Health

Before we dive right into the tips, let’s take a look at why you should practice meditation in the first place.

Meditation involves the art of focusing purely on the mind (or a particular object). The main goal is to achieve a mentally clear - and stable - brain. This stable state is what contributes to a positive mental mindset - all worries essentially melt away while you focus on tuning in with your body.

3 Tips For Meditating At Home

The following three tips are perfect for both beginners and those who practice meditation regularly.

1. Make A Tranquil Space

Meditation works better without any distractions. This means that sitting in the kitchen while dinners cooking or sitting in the living room with the TV on probably won’t help you to achieve peace. For best results, find a quiet space with little distractions. Have a declutter of any unnecessary waste and create a comfy seating area that won’t make you want to move around every few minutes.

2. Don’t Stick To Thoughts

Meditation involves letting go of passing thoughts whenever they arrive. This is a lot harder than it sounds and may take a lot of practice to get right, but if you persevere, you’ll soon find it incredibly easy to do. As soon as a thought pops up, acknowledge it is there and let it float by. Don’t get tangled up in the thought and don’t get anxious over the fact your mind is more active than you’d like it to be. As you start to practice more, the passing thoughts will slow down, and you will achieve greater peace.

3. Make Time For Practice

Achieving mindfulness cannot be done if you’re constantly thinking about the next thing you have to do. This means that, no matter what your schedule, you’ll need to set aside a good chunk of time to practice meditation properly. Whether it be ten minutes or half an hour, allocate a specific slot each day and stick to it. For best results, try to do this in the morning so that you feel prepped and refreshed for the day ahead. Just ensure that the time you allocate is a time when you have no responsibilities elsewhere.

Watch The Benefits Roll In!

While there are hundreds of tips and tricks to learn about for effective meditation, these top three are great starting points. Keep them in mind at all times (but don’t stress about them!) and watch as your ability to meditate gets easier and easier. Before you know it, you’ll have a far more ‘zen’ state of mind, allowing you to tackle most anxieties and stresses thrown at you.

If you or someone you know has been struggling with their mental health as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, check out this list of helpful resources for further guidance.

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How Effective Is ellaOne at Preventing Pregnancy?

Posted Friday 21 August 2020 10:00 by in Emergency Contraception by Harman Bhamra

It can be hard to find the best contraceptive for you, but if you’re curious about ellaOne, you’re in the right place.

EllaOne is a morning-after pill designed to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. It is considered to be the most effective morning after pill in Europe - but just how effective is it at preventing pregnancy?

How effective is ellaOne?

EllaOne’s mechanism of action is actually very simple. It works by delaying ovulation if it has not already happened. This means that the sperm waiting in your fallopian tubes will not be able to meet an egg which they can fertilise. Eventually, they’ll die out.

Like all contraceptive pills, ellaOne is not guaranteed to be 100% effective -- especially if you have already ovulated. For the highest chance of success, take ellaOne as soon as possible after unprotected sex. If you decide to have sex after you’ve taken this after-morning pill, we strongly recommend that you use condoms and other methods of contraception until your next period.

Has anyone got pregnant after taking ellaOne?

Yes, but the percentage of women who got pregnant after taking ellaOne is very small. According to this article from the BBC, approximately 0.6 to 2.6 per cent of women who take the after-morning pill after unprotected sex still get pregnant.

You have to remember that after-morning pills don’t work if you have already ovulated once you have had unprotected sex. So, knowing when you ovulate is key to maximizing the effects of ellaOne. Usually, ovulation happens about two weeks before your period.

What happens after taking ellaOne?

Like all types of treatments, ellaOne also has its own side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Feeling sick
  • Headache
  • Painful period
  • Abdominal pain

Most of these are pretty mild and will go away on their own. One thing you need to keep in mind is that these symptoms are also signs of pregnancy. Most women who take ellaOne don’t suffer any of these side effects. If you experienced one of these coupled by a lighter, heavier, or missed period, take a pregnancy test.

It’s possible to experience a delay in your period for more than a week after taking ellaOne. You can take a pregnancy test for your peace of mind.

How long does ellaOne stay effective?

EllaOne can be effective if taken within 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex. It’s more effective the sooner you take it. Use a barrier method of contraception if you are planning to have sex again after taking ellaOne to lower your risks of unwanted pregnancy.

How ellaOne compares against other forms of contraception

EllaOne is best used together with other methods of contraception. But for comparison’s sake, we’ll take a look at how this after-morning pill stacks against other contraceptive methods in terms of effectiveness (information taken from NHS UK).

Form Of Contraception Perfect Use* Typical Use**
Male condoms 98% effective 82% effective
Female condoms 95% effective 79% effective
Contraceptive pills (combined pill and progestogen-only pill) 99% effective 91% effective
Contraceptive injection (lasts between 8 to 13 weeks) More than 99% effective 94% effective
Contraceptive patch More than 99% effective 91% effective
Diaphragms and caps 92% to 96% effective 71-88% effective
Contraceptive implant More than 99% effective No user failure
Intrauterine system (IUS) More than 99% effective No user failure
Intrauterine device (IUD) More than 99% effective No user failure
Vaginal ring More than 99% effective 91% effective
Emergency contraception (e.g. ellaOne) 98% effective May result in pregnancy if taken after ovulation.

*Perfect use - contraceptive method is always used correctly
**Typical use - contraceptive method is not always used correctly (e.g. missed pill, leakage, etc.)

Where can I get ellaOne?

You can buy ellaOne online from Express Pharmacy.

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How Does Curanail Work?

Posted Monday 17 August 2020 11:00 by in Antifungal by Harman Bhamra

Fungal infections on the nail are a common problem suffered by millions of people around the globe --- particularly in areas that are warm, humid, and wet.

Fungi are small microorganisms that thrive in moist and warm environments. You can find them anywhere --- in the ground, on plants, in your home, and even on your body. Fungal infections on the nails are caused by an overgrowth of local or invasive fungi in the area. Fungal infections on the nail are usually treated with Curanail. But how does Curanail work? Read on to find out.

What it’s like to have a nail fungal infection

There are different types of nail fungal infections but almost all of them share the same characteristics. Common signs of nail fungal infections include:

  • Brittle nail
  • Bad odour or discharge from the infected nail
  • Nail that’s lifted from the nail bed
  • Thickened nail

Nail fungal infections can affect a part of the nail, the entire nail, or several nails.

Say goodbye to nail fungal infections with Curanail

Curanail is an effective antifungal nail lacquer that kills the majority of fungi that cause nail fungal infections. A clinically proven treatment, Curanail contains amorolfine as its active ingredient.

How to use Curanail

Curanail is applied to the infected nail like nail varnish. You only need to use it once a week or as directed by your doctor. You should continue using Curanail until the infection has fully healed. It may take up to twelve months for your infected nail to heal completely.

How does Curanail Work?

Amorolfine, the anti-fungal ingredient of Curanail, prevents the fungi from producing a chemical called ergosterol. This chemical is an important component of the fungi’s cell membranes. Without this, the cells become more prone to leakage which eventually kills the fungi. Because nails are tough and can take a lot of time to grow back as healthy tissue, treatment with Curanail may last up to 12 months.

Below is an example of how a typical Curanail treatment progresses:

Month 1 to Month 3

If used as directed by your GP, the amorolfine in Curanail will start penetrating the nail until it reaches the nail bed where the root of infection usually is. It will then start killing the fungi causing the infection.

Month 3 to Month 6

Treatment of the infection is ongoing and you should start seeing your healthy nail grow back. Continue using Curanail until a new, fully healthy nail replaces the infected one.

Month 6 to Month 9

You should see significant improvement on your nails. By this time, the majority of the infected nail should be growing out. You should see fewer symptoms of nail fungal infections like thickening and discolouration at this point.

Month 9 to Month 12

By this time, all of the infected nails should have been replaced by a fully healthy, fungi-free nail.

Curanail treatment takes this long because its progress depends on how fast or slow your nail growth is. Typically, toenails grow fully within 9-12 months while fingernails take around 6 months.

Is Curanail effective against nail fungal infections?

Yes! In fact, this antifungal medication has a very high success rate despite the time it takes to fully eliminate your infection. Clinical studies show that Curanail is successful at clearing 75% of toenail infections in six months. For fingernails, it’s effectiveness is even higher at 85%.

Express Pharmacy stock Curanail at an affordable price. You can buy Curanail here.

Curanail is a good choice of treatment for nail fungal infections if:

  • You are over 18 years old
  • Only have a mild fungal infection
  • Your infection only affects a maximum of two nails

Those with severe nail infections or those suffering an infection on more than two nails are discouraged from using Curanail. Don’t use this product if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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Will Nasonex Prevent My Hay Fever From Coming Back?

Posted Thursday 13 August 2020 11:00 by in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief by Harman Bhamra

Commonly known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever is usually characterized by its cold-like symptoms like congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes, sinus pressure, and runny nose. However, unlike the cold, hay fever is caused by allergens (e.g. dust mites, pollen, and animal dander) - not a virus.

Nasonex is a commonly used nasal spray against hay fever. But will Nasonex prevent your hay fever from coming back? Let’s find out.

What does Nasonex actually do?

Nasonex is a popular branded equivalent of Mometasone Furoate Monohydrate. This type of drug is used to help relieve the symptoms of both year-round allergic rhinitis and hay fever.

Mometasone, the active ingredient in Nasonex, is a corticosteroid. This group of medicines work by reducing the inflammation and swelling in your sinuses to relieve hay fever symptoms like sneezing, congestion, and runny nose.

Unlike other allergy medications, Nasonex does not make you feel drowsy. This means that you can still keep doing your day to day activities without any problems while under medication.

Will Nasonex prevent my hay fever from coming back?

Nasonex is designed to relieve the symptoms of hay fever but it doesn’t resolve the root cause of the issue. Remember that hay fever can be seasonal or year-round and it’s usually caused by allergens like pollen, fur, dust, and pet dander which are suspended in the air. Nasonex will help alleviate your symptoms but if you don’t remove these allergens from your home or take necessary precautions to limit your exposure, your hay fever will be back as soon as you stop taking the medication.

How long can you use Nasonex?

It is safe to use Nasonex daily. Usually, the prescribed dose of this medication is one or two squirts in each nostril every day. You can reduce your dosage to one squirt per day once your hay fever symptoms are under control. Take note that this medication may not work right away. Some people report that they started feeling its effects within two days. Studies suggest that it may take up to two weeks before you feel the full effect of the drug.

If you are using Nasonex to prevent seasonal hay fever, start taking the medication 2-4 weeks before the pollen season begins. You might need to ask your doctor for advice if you are planning to take Nasonex for more than six months or if you are taking other medications which may interact with the treatment.

Nasonex must only be taken by ages 12 and up. If your symptoms don’t improve after two weeks, consult your GP.

What time of the day should I take Nasonex?

If your dosage is two squirts a day. You can take Nasonex once in the morning and then one squirt again in the evening. The rule of the thumb is that you take Nasonex at precisely the same time each day. Don’t increase your dosage.

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