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Common Side Effects of Trimethoprim Tablets

Posted Monday 15 June 2020 11:20 by in Women's Medication by Harman Bhamra

Trimethoprim is an antibiotic commonly used to treat certain infections like Cystitis. Some doctors also recommend trimethoprim for chest infections and acne. In this blog post, you will learn about the proper way to take trimethoprim as well as the common side effects of trimethoprim tablets.

How And When To Take Trimethoprim Tablets

Trimethoprim is usually taken two times a day - once in the morning and once in the evening. This treatment doesn’t upset your stomach so you can take it without food.

The usual dose of trimethoprim tablets depends on the type of infection being treated, your age and any other underlying conditions. Elderly people and those with damaged kidneys are usually given lower doses.

Purpose Common Dose
To treat UTIs 200 mg tablets twice a day. You GP may advise you to double the first dosage (400 mg).
Treating cystitis that comes after sex A one-off dose of 100mg. Taken within 2 hours of having sex.
Treat acne 300 mg twice a day. Your doctor may reduce this dose over time.
Preventing infections 100 mg once a day. Take at bedtime.

You take trimethoprim by swallowing the tablets whole. If you find it hard to swallow tablets, trimethoprim is also available in made to order liquid form.

Always follow the dosage given by your doctor to avoid trimethoprim side effects.

How Long Is A Trimethoprim Course?

Again, the length of your antibiotic course will depend on your age, sex, underlying health problems, and infection being treated.

Women with UTIs usually take trimethoprim in a 3-day course. Men and pregnant women, on the other hand, need to take the antibiotic for 14 days. If you have a catheter or a complicated form of UTI, the common length of treatment is also 14 days.

If the UTI developed a complication called prostatitis or swelling of the prostate gland (men only), you may need to take a trimethoprim course of 4 to 6 weeks.

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s close to your next dose, skip the missed tablet and continue as normal. Never double dose unless directed by your doctor.

Common Side Effects of Trimethoprim Tablets

Most people taking trimethoprim experience mild itching or skin rash. This side effect usually goes away on its own after you stop taking the medication. The other common side effects of trimethoprim include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Feeling sick
  • Loss of appetite
  • Taste problems
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Although rare, serious trimethoprim side effects can also happen. Stop taking the antibiotic and call your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • Abnormal heartbeat, muscle weakness, and chest pains (you may have high potassium in your blood)
  • Serious skin rashes, swelling of the skin that looks like burns, skin ulcers, blisters
  • Headaches accompanied by fever, stiff neck, sensitivity to bright light, or tiredness (these can be symptoms of meningitis)
  • Severe diarrhoea that lasts for more than 4 days or diarrhoea with blood
  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Sore throat, mouth ulcers or fever

Serious allergic reactions to trimethoprim are also possible. Get immediate medical care if you experience:

  • Wheezing
  • Skin rash with peeling or blistered skin
  • Trouble breathing or talking
  • Swelling face, mouth, lips, throat, or tongue
  • Feeling of tightness in the chest

The best way to avoid these trimethoprim side effects is to always follow the dosage as directed by your doctor.

Which Is the Best Contraceptive Pill?

Posted Friday 12 June 2020 12:30 by in Women's Medication by Harman Bhamra

There are many different female contraceptive methods available; the choice leaves many people feeling overwhelmed! This guide will take you through the most popular contraceptive pills, helping you to find the best one for your body.

Is There A ‘Best’ Contraceptive Pill?

Let’s get this out of the way first. Is there really a “best” pill? The short answer is, no. All bodies react differently to treatments, meaning you need to make a decision on what is best for you rather than anyone else. This guide will help you to do exactly that.

There Are Different Types Of Contraceptive Pills

The most popular contraceptive pills are usually classed as either ‘combined’ or ‘mini’.

1. Combined Pill

The combined pill is the most common. It contains a combination of synthetic progesterone and oestrogen - two hormones that are produced by your ovaries. Combined pills work in different ways. Some prevent the sperm from reaching the egg while others keep the lining of your uterus thick so that the egg can’t implant itself and grow.

In the UK, the most commonly prescribed combination pills are Cilest, Yasmin, and Microgynon. You can buy Microgynon online from Express Pharmacy, as well as the Cilest and Yasmin pill.

2. Mini Pill

The mini pill doesn’t contain any oestrogen. It is only made up of progesterone. Women who are breastfeeding, smoking, or suffering from high blood pressure are usually given mini pills. These contraceptive pills are just as effective as combined pills.

How To Choose The Best Contraceptive Pill

You need to consider several factors when choosing the best contraceptive pill for your needs. Because it is mostly a matter of preference, choosing the right pill may involve some trial and error until you find the one that works best for you. Here are some questions to consider:

Do I want extra benefits from my pill?

Aside from stopping pregnancy, some pills can also help lessen heavy periods and acne outbreaks.

Do I have the discipline to stick to a regular schedule?

Contraceptive packs follow a routine which must be followed every day.

Am I ok with the side effects?

Because contraceptive pills are formulated differently, some brands may cause some severe side effects.

Comparing The Best Contraceptive Pills

Looking to compare contraceptive pills? The below table will help. It takes a look at the three most common pills (Yasmin, Microgynon and Cilest).

Brand Active Ingredients How To Take How It Works Benefits
Yasmin (combined pill) Ethinylestradiol & Drospirenone

The Yasmin pill comes in a 21-day pack. You have a 7-day break for a period.

If you want to further delay your period, you can continue taking Yasmin for up to 9 weeks. A 7-day break follows afterwards.

t thickens your cervical mucus to stop the sperm from reaching the egg.

This pill also thins down the lining of your uterus to prevent the egg from implanting itself.

  • Stop pregnancy
  • Regularise your period
  • Reduce abdominal cramps
  • Prevent hormonal acne
  • Little side effects
Microgynon (combined pill) Levonorgestrel & Ethinylestradiol This contraceptive pill comes in a 21-day pack. You have a 7-day break for a period.

If you want to further delay your period, you can continue taking Yasmin for up to 9 weeks. A 7-day break follows afterwards

It thickens your cervical mucus to stop the sperm from reaching the egg.

This pill also thins down the lining of your uterus to prevent the egg from implanting itself.

  • Stop pregnancy
  • Regularise your period
  • Reduce abdominal cramps
Cilest (combined pill) Ethinylestradiol & Norgestimate

This contraceptive pill comes in a 21-day pack. You have a 7-day break for a period.

If you want to further delay your period, you can continue taking Yasmin for up to 9 weeks. A 7-day break follows afterwards.

It thickens your cervical mucus to stop the sperm from reaching the egg.

This pill also thins down the lining of your uterus to prevent the egg from implanting itself.

  • Stop pregnancy
  • Regularise your period
  • Reduce abdominal cramps

Remember that while contraceptive pills can protect you from unwanted pregnancy, they can’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. If you have multiple sex partners, it’s best to use the pills alongside other contraceptive methods (i.e. condoms, etc.).

Alternative Contraceptive Methods

Aside from condoms, there are several contraceptive methods that you can use to reduce your chances of getting pregnant and contracting sexually transmitted illnesses. If a pill isn’t right for you, Express Pharmacy stocks EVRA patches which are applied directly on the skin instead.

EVRA patches contain two hormones, norelgestromin and ethinylestradiol, wrapped in a foil-lined sachet. Sometimes referred to as a combined hormonal contraceptive, these patches are immediately effective once you use them, provided they are stuck onto the body on the first day your period begins and you follow the right routine.

How To Use EVRA Patches

The EVRA patch should be applied directly on a clean, dry, and hairless area of the skin. This allows your body to efficiently absorb the medication. Apply the patch on areas where it will not be rubbed by clothing (buttocks, abdomen, upper torso, outer arm, etc.)

Apply one patch, once a week for three weeks. The first patch is applied on the first day of your cycle. Further applications should be on the 8th and 15th day of your cycle. Remove the third patch on day 22. Like pills, you also undergo a 7-day break when removing the patch on day 22.

These hormone patches are perfect for women who tend to forget to take their pill on a regular schedule or who have difficulty swallowing pills.

What Are the Symptoms of Cystitis?

Posted Monday 11 May 2020 12:00 by in Women's Medication by Harman Bhamra

Cystitis is the term used when referring to inflammation of the bladder. Inflammation of the bladder is usually caused by a bladder infection, also known as a urinary tract infection (UTI).

While mild forms of cystitis will treat themselves within a few days, some people find the symptoms too painful to leave. This is particularly the case amongst those who frequently suffer from cystitis episodes.

This guide will take you through everything you need to know about the symptoms of cystitis, helping you to make an informed decision on whether you have cystitis.

Symptoms of Cystitis

The most common symptoms of cystitis are as follows:

  • The constant feeling of needing to urinate
  • A burning or stinging feeling when you urinate
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Dark/cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Mild fever symptoms (low-grade fever, exhaustion, aches)

If adults have a high temperature - of 38°C or above - then the problem is more likely to be a kidney infection.

While cystitis is far more difficult to spot amongst children, the above symptoms and a loss of appetite may indicate that a trip to the doctors is needed.

What Causes These Symptoms?

Cystitis is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection, but other causes can relate to bladder irritation or underlying health issues.

The majority of bacterial infections occur when bacteria from your bowel gets into your bladder by passing through the urethra. This can happen when:

  • You wipe from back to front after going to the toilet
  • You have sex
  • You use a contraceptive diaphragm

When Should I See A Doctor?

It’s advised to see a doctor when you are experiencing unbearable symptoms or symptoms similar to a kidney infection. This includes a fever, nausea, vomiting and back or side pain.

It is also advised to see a doctor if you notice blood in your urine.

Treatments For Cystitis

Mild cystitis symptoms near enough always clear up after a few days, without the need for any treatment. There are, however, antibiotics available for those who can’t deal with the symptoms or have severe symptoms. You can purchase cystitis treatment right here at Express Pharmacy and have the antibiotics delivered discreetly right to your doorstep.

Want more information? Check out our guide on the best antibiotics for UTIs!

What Is the Best Antibiotic for a UTI?

Posted Thursday 05 March 2020 10:00 by in Women's Medication by Harman Bhamra

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can be anywhere in your urinary system. It could occur in your bladder, urethra, kidneys, and ureters. Most infections happen in the lower urinary tract - targeting your bladder and urethra.

Common Types of UTI


One of the most common cases of UTI is cystitis or the inflammation of the bladder. Although not dangerous, cystitis can be a nuisance, which is why many seek cystitis treatment right away to ease their symptoms. E. coli usually causes cystitis.

Some of the common symptoms of cystitis include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Stomach and abdominal pain
  • Burning or stinging pain when urinating
  • Pinkish urine which indicates that blood is present
  • Nausea, lethargy, and other cold-like symptoms


This type of UTI occurs when bacteria from the anus spread to the urethra. Urethritis is usually characterized by a burning feeling when urinating. A discharge may also be present.

What Causes a UTI?

Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enters through the urethra. The bacteria may take hold in the urethra or go into the bladder. If left unchecked, this bacteria could multiply and grow into a full-blown infection. Women are more likely to develop urinary tract infections than men because they have shorter urethras.

Treatment for Urinary Tract Infection

The best cystitis treatment is an antibiotic. Your dose and the type of antibiotic will depend on the severity of your infection as well as other factors, including:

  • Age
  • Allergies to antibiotics
  • Pregnancy
  • Side effects from past antibiotic treatments

Before your doctor prescribes you an antibiotic for UTI, he needs to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection first. He will take a urine sample to confirm your infection. Samples of the bacteria will be grown in the lab for a couple of days. This “culture” will help your doctor determine the type of bacteria that’s causing the infection.

Antibiotics for UTI

Below are the conventional antibiotic treatments for urinary tract infection.


Nitrofurantoin is a commonly used antibiotic for cystitis treatment. Available in a brand called MacroBID, this antibiotic for UTI is enclosed in a prolonged-release capsule.

How to use Nitrofurantoin

Nitrofurantoin should be taken at mealtimes, with food or milk. Take one tablet twice a day (every twelve hours). Capsules should be swallowed whole.

The course for Nitrofurantoin is three days long. Like other antibiotics, you should complete your course to prevent the bacteria from developing resistance towards this UTI medicine. Don't stop your medication, even when there are no more symptoms. Not taking the full course may allow the bacteria to grow again, causing your urinary tract infection to reoccur.

If you missed a dose, don’t worry. Take the tablet you missed as soon as you remember. If it’s too close to your second dose, skip it. Never take two tablets to make up for the missed dose.

Side effects of Nitrofurantoin

Like most medicines, Nitrofurantoin also has some side effects. The most common side effects reported by patients taking this treatment for urinary tract infection include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Mild diarrhoea
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal itching
  • Gas
  • Upset stomach

Nitrofurantoin is not recommended for people with diabetes. Don't take Nitrofurantoin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

It’s normal to observe a dark yellow or brown urine when taking this UTI medicine. Don’t stop taking Nitrofurantoin unless you experience other symptoms like persistent vomiting, nausea, yellowing eyes, and pounding heartbeat. These could be signs of an underlying condition like anaemia and liver problems. Contact your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms while taking this medication.

Where to buy Nitrofurantoin

Express Pharmacy stocks Nitrofurantoin (MacroBID).


Another popular and effective antibiotic for a UTI is Trimethoprim. This UTI medicine is available in 100mg and 200mg doses. Like Nitrofurantoin, Trimethoprim works by stopping the growth of bacteria so your immune system can fight off the infection.

Trimethoprim is an effective cystitis treatment. Clinical trials show that Trimethoprim can work within just a few hours. It can ease your UTI symptoms within 24 hours.

How to use Trimethoprim

Trimethoprim tablets should be taken whole, with or without food. It can be used for both long-term and acute urinary tract infections.

A course of Trimethoprim lasts for three days. Take one tablet twice a day, preferably at the same time each day to help you remember easily. Don’t stop taking Trimethoprim even when your symptoms are gone. Completing the full course makes sure that your urinary tract infection will not return.

Don’t worry if you missed a dose. Just take a tablet as soon as you remember it. Don’t take the missed dose if it’s almost time for your next dose. Never take two tablets together to make up for the missed dose.

Side effects of Trimethoprim

Like all UTI medicine, there’s always the risk of side effect when taking Trimethoprim. The common side effects of Trimethoprim include:

  • Skin rashes
  • Diarrhoea
  • Anaemia
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite

Women who take Trimethoprim may also experience confusion, vertigo, jaundice, and mouth ulcers. Most of these side effects are mild and will go away after your cystitis treatment. Contact your GP immediately if you experience these symptoms after completing your Trimethoprim course.

Consult with your doctor if you are taking other medicines. Your doctor may not recommend Trimethoprim if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or allergic to this UTI medicine’s ingredients.

Where to buy Trimethoprim

Express Pharmacy sells Trimethoprim tablets online.


Urinary tract infections are common in the UK. Most of these infections are acute and will go away in a couple of days, provided there is proper treatment.

Antibiotics for UTI are effective and readily available. However, prevention is always better than cure. So, to reduce your risks of developing urinary tract infections, do the following:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Wash carefully. Always wipe from front to back to prevent the bacteria from your anus from reaching your genital area.
  • Empty your bladder often, especially after intercourse.
  • If you are using a catheter, make sure you use it correctly to avoid damaging the delicate tissues inside your urinary tract.

Yasmin or Microgynon? How to Choose the Right Contraceptive Pill for You

Posted Friday 21 February 2020 10:00 by in Women's Medication by Harman Bhamra

Women around the world have used contraceptive pills for decades to lead fulfilling sexual lives without the risk of an unwanted pregnancy. Contraceptive pills are also used to control menstruation, particularly when the natural flow is too heavy or painful.

Within this guide, we aim to help you choose the right contraceptive pill out of two of the most popular; Yasmin and Microgynon.

What is the Contraceptive Pill?

Also known as the ‘birth control pill’, the contraceptive pill is a type of medication developed to change the way your body works in order to prevent pregnancy. To do this, contraceptive pills contain either one or two hormones that can control and alter the function of your uterus and ovaries.

One-Hormone Pills

One-hormone pills, also known as mini-pills, are low-dose progesterone pills that work by changing the uterus lining and cervical mucus, transforming them in a hostile environment for an impregnated egg.

Due to the fact that they don’t stop ovulation, these pills are less effective in preventing pregnancy than the two-hormone pills. They must be taken at the same hour every day, without interruptions, or they might not work.

Combined Pills

Two-hormone or combined contraceptive pills contain a mix of oestrogen and progesterone developed to prevent ovulation altogether. The pill also thickens the mucus around the cervix and affects the lining of the uterus.

Thus, getting pregnant while on combination pill is near impossible, as long as you take it as indicated on the package.

The Advantages of Taking a Contraceptive Pill

The advantages of taking a contraceptive pill go way beyond pregnancy control. Combination pills can also:

  • Regularise your periods, making them lighter and less painful
  • Reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Reduce acne and protect against inflammatory pelvic disease
  • Reduce the risk of fibrosis, benign breast disease, and ovarian cysts
  • Reduce the risk of ovaries, womb, and colon cancer

Yasmin vs. Microgynon: What Contraceptive Pill is Right for Me?

While there are many pharmaceutical industries that manufacture contraceptive pills, the primate on the market is held by German company Bayer AG with its two flagship products Yasmin and Microgynon.

Both are combination pills, but slight differences in their composition can make one more suitable for you than another. Let’s have a deeper look at each so that you can decide which is the best contraceptive pill for you.

Yasmin Contraceptive Pill

The Yasmin Pill is a combination of ethinylestradiol (oestrogen) and drospirenone (progesterone) developed to prevent ovulation during your menstrual cycle. At the same time, the pill also thickens your cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg and changes the lining of the uterus to prevent attachment of a fertilised egg.

Besides preventing pregnancy, the Yasmin Pill can also regularise your periods, decrease blood flow, reduce abdominal cramps associated with menstruation, and decrease the risk of ovarian cysts. Furthermore, due to the use of drospirenone, which is considered to be closer to the natural hormone progesterone, it is also a skin-friendly pill that can help treat hormonal acne.

However, Yasmin is not suitable for women with a medical history of high blood pressure or other cardiovascular diseases, as it carries a slightly higher risk of developing blood clots.

The medication comes in strips with 21 active pills. Take one pill a day, preferably around the same hour. Have a 7-day break once you finish a strip to allow time for a period, then start again with a new strip.

On occasions, you can use this pill to postpone your period by taking one pill a day for 9 weeks, then no pills for 7 days.

Yasmin is one of the most popular combination pills - it’s up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy, and many women experience no side effects while taking it.

Microgynon Contraceptive Pill

Like Yasmin, the Microgynon 30 pill is an effective and reliable combination pill if taken correctly. The main difference between the two is the type of synthetic progesterone in their composition, with Micorgynon containing levonorgestrel rather than drospirenone.

Levonorgestrel might not help you fight hormonal acne but it does make the pill more suitable for women with high blood pressure or a history of cardiovascular diseases.

Apart from this difference, Microgynon is as effective as Yasmin in preventing pregnancy; it can reduce blood flow and abdominal pain during your periods, and decrease the risk of ovarian cysts.

Microgynon comes in blisters with 21 pills that must be taken just like Yasmin, followed by a 7-day break period. Alternatively, you can alter your period by taking one pill for 9 weeks, then no pills for 7 days before starting a new strip.

Due to its lower risk of blood clots compared to Yasmin, Microgynon is a more suitable option for women with a family or personal medical history of high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke.

Where to Get the Contraceptive Pill

Once you have confirmed which contraceptive pill is best for you, the easiest way to get it is online.

At Express Pharmacy, the process of buying contraceptive pills online is quick and fuss-free. Once you decided which pill to get, choose from a 3-month or 6-month supply, fill in our medical questionnaire to get a private prescription, and then place an order.

After the first order, you can re-order it as needed without having to fill in the questionnaire again, and you can rest assured that all orders from us will be delivered in plain, non-branded packaging.

You can even decide whether you want to collect the pills yourself or have them delivered at your home. Options include same-day collection, next-day delivery, or standard delivery via UPS or Royal Mail.

Express Pharmacy is a fully regulated UK pharmacy licensed by MHRA to provide medication. Get in touch with us on 0208 123 0703 if you require more information regarding female contraception.