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Guidance from the Northern Ireland Department of Health (DoHNI) and the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) advises GPs not to prescribe medicines that can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC) by patients when they are being used to treat minor conditions or self-limiting illnesses.

Patients are encouraged to self-care and seek advice from their local community pharmacist to help manage these minor and self-limiting conditions.  Please refer to the numerous resources in the Patient Zone that can be used to promote self-care in your patients.

A list of conditions and examples of medicines that are readily available and should be bought OTC has been drawn up by DoHNI and HSCB and are included below. Additional resources on over-the-counter hayfever treatment and painkillers can be found by clicking on the links on the right hand side.

Referral to Pharmacy No Prescription Required Download
Prescribing of Medicines for Minor Conditions and Self-limit... Practice promoting self care Download