Minor Ailments Service and Over the counter medication

Minor Ailments Service

The Minor Ailments Service is available through community pharmacies. Patients can speak to a Pharmacist and receive treatment for the following conditions free of charge. You don't need to wait for a prescription or an appointment with the Doctor. Your community Pharmacist can provide treatment directly, free-of-charge for the following conditions:

Acne Vulgaris
Ear Wax
Mouth Ulcers
Oral Thrush
Vaginal Thrush
Athlete’s Foot

Head Lice
Groin area infection

Your Pharmacist will refer you to your Doctor as necessary.

Your Doctors thank you for making your community Pharmacy your first point of contact for these common conditions. This will free them up to spend more time focusing on patients with complex medical needs.

Templepatrick Surgery Policy for prescribing of over-the-counter medicines

  • Promotes self-care for minor conditions and self-limiting illnesses
  • Advises patients that medicines on the list below should be purchased by the patient from community pharmacies or supermarkets and will no longer be prescribed for minor or self-limiting conditions
  • Advises patients that their local community pharmacy pharmacist can provide advice and help to manage minor conditions and self-limiting illnesses

In line with the NI Department of Health and from the 1st May 2017 this practice will not prescribe medicines that can be purchased over-the-counter by patients when they are being used to treat minor conditions or self-limiting illnesses, or where there is no evidence base for their use (see table below)

This new policy will:

  • Encourage self-management of minor illnesses and free up GP appointments to treat patients with complex health problems
  • Increase the money available to the health service to treat more serious conditions such as heart disease and cancer
  • Increase patients’ confidence and feeling of positivity in being able to look after their health

OTC Indication

Medicines no longer prescribed for minor and self-limiting illness

Mild aches and pains e.g. headache, occasional migraine and teething
  • Anti-inflammatory gels or creams e.g. ibuprofen or diclofenac gel
  • Oral painkillers e.g. paracetamol or ibuprofen
Athlete’s foot Antifungal creams e.g. clotrimazole, miconazole and terbinafine
Cold sores Anti-viral creams e.g. acyclovir 5%
Colic Infacol®, Dentinox®, Colief®, Gripe water
Coughs, colds and sore throats
  • Cough bottles
  • Lozenges and sprays for sore throats
  • Oral painkillers / antipyretics e.g. paracetamol, ibuprofen
  • Nasal decongestants e.g. pseudoephedrine tablets, decongestant sprays, drops
Diarrhoea (occasional and short duration)
  • Oral rehydration solutions e.g. Dioralyte
  • Antidiarrhoeal medicines e.g. loperamide
Constipation (occasional and short duration)
  • Laxatives e.g. ispaghula husk (Fybogel®), bisacodyl, lactulose, senna
Ear wax Ear drops for softening ear wax
Haemorrhoids (piles) Haemorrhoid creams, ointments and suppositories
Hayfever Antihistamine tablets and liquids for patients over 6 years old eg: Cetirizine, Loratadine, Chlorphenamine, Acrivastine.
Head lice Head lice lotions and sprays
Indigestion and heartburn e.g. Maalox®, Peptac®, Gaviscon®
Infant feeding
  • Comfort milks
  • Lactose free formulas for colic
  • Reflux milks
Nappy rash e.g. Metanium®, Sudocrem®
Oral health
  • Mouthwashes e.g. Chlorhexidine
  • Fluoride toothpaste
Sunscreen Should only be prescribed for certain approved conditions
Threadworms Mebendazole tablets and suspension

Vitamins and minerals

Should not be prescribed as dietary supplements or as a general “pick-me-up”

Should only be prescribed in line with actual or potential vitamin or mineral deficiency


Local Services, Let
Local Services, Let