Over The Counter Medicines

Over The Counter Medicines

Your GP, nurse or pharmacist will not generally give you a prescription for over the counter medicines for a range of minor health concerns.

Instead, over the counter medicines are available to buy in pharmacy or supermarket in your local community.

The team of health professionals at your local pharmacy can offer help and clinical advice to manage minor health concerns and if your symptoms suggest it’s more serious, they’ll ensure you get the care you need.

Please help the NHS to use resources sensibly.

Your GP, nurse or pharmacist will not generally give you a prescription for certain medicines that are available to buy in a pharmacy or supermarket, even if you qualify for free prescriptions.


This applies to treatments for these conditions: 

  • acute sore throat
  • minor burns and scalds
  • conjunctivitis
  • mild cystitis
  • coughs, colds and nasal congestion
  • mild dry skin
  • cradle cap
  • mild irritant dermatitis
  • dandruff
  • mild to moderate hay fever
  • diarrhoea (adults)
  • dry eyes and sore tired eyes
  • mouth ulcers
  • earwax
  • nappy rash
  • excessive sweating
  • infant colic
  • sunburn
  • infrequent cold sores of the lip
  • sun protection
  • infrequent constipation
  • teething or mild toothache
  • infrequent migraine
  • threadworms
  • insect bites and stings
  • travel sickness
  • mild acne
  • warts and verrucas
  • haemorrhoids (piles)
  • oral thrush
  • head lice
  • prevention of tooth decay
  • indigestion and heartburn
  • ringworm or athlete's foot
  • minor pain, discomfort and fever (such as aches and sprains, headache, period pain, and back pain)


Please click the link for more information: 


Your GP Should Not Prescribe These Medicines

The NHS is asking doctors to stop or greatly reduce the prescribing of certain medicines or treatments.  This is because the medicines are:

  • Not as safe as other medicines OR
  • Not as good (effective) as other medicines OR
  • More expensive than other medicines that do the same thing OR
  • Should NOT be available on the NHS in some circumstances.

List of Products

  • Co-proxamol
  • Dosulepin
  • Prolonged release Doxazosin
  • Immediate release Fentanyl
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin
  • Herbal treatments
  • Homeopathy
  • Lidocaine plasters
  • Liothyronine containing products
  • Lutein and Antioxidants
  • Omega-3 fatty acid compounds
  • Oxycodone and Naloxone combination product
  • Paracetamol and Tramadol combination product
  • Perindopril arginine
  • Rubefacients e.g. Deep Heat and Movelat
  • Once daily Tadalafil
  • Trimipramine


Vaccines for TRAVEL purposes ONLY

  • Hepatitis B
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Yellow Fever
  • Tick-borne encephalitis
  • Rabies