COVID-19 myths

COVID-19 myths

Can the pneumonia or flu vaccinations prevent me from getting COVID-19?

No they can’t because they are different.  However if you are vaccinated against other illnesses you will have better overall health and will be less likely to catch COVID-19 or get as sick if you do.  Scientists in several countries are working on a vaccine for COVID-19 but it will take many months at the minimum for it to be available.


Can you take ibuprofen if you have COVID-19?

Despite reports in the media that it might be unsafe to take ibuprofen if you have or may have COVID-19 there is no evidence that this is the case.  WHO initially warned against this but have now said that there is no evidence of a problem.  Having said that there are many people who should not take ibuprofen such as those taking certain blood pressure medicines, diabetics etc.  Paracetamol is best to use if you have a temperature or general pain.


Are older people more likely to catch COVID-19?

No, however they are more likely to become seriously ill if they do contract it.


Will wearing a face mask stop me from catching COVID-19?

No.  The only people who should wear a face mask are those who are sick so that they don’t transmit their germs to anyone else.

Wise supply and use of medicines

Wise supply and use of medicines

In order to avoid a “toilet paper scenario” Pharmacists have commenced policing of medicine sales like never before.  Part of our role as a Pharmacist is to ensure that the right people are obtaining the right medicines in a suitable quantity.  There have always been instances where someone might require several months’ worth of medicines usually to cover overseas holidays.  There are no holidays happening any time soon and as such new rules are now being enforced for medicine sales.

Pharmaceutical companies have advised the TGA that they do not anticipate shortages in medicines due to COVID-19 however if people try to stockpile there will be a problem just as there is with toilet paper.

Pharmacists are now to limit prescription medicine dispensing to one months supply.

This means that you can only get one box/bottle of each of your medicines at a time.  Most medicines come in a one month supply.  If you get more than one month in yours then you will get your usual supply.  Trying to go to different pharmacies won’t work as we can tell when you have had your prescriptions dispensed.

Customers can now only buy one Ventolin or Asmol inahaler over the counter

(you can still get two on a prescription if that’s what your prescription states).  These can only be sold to people who have been initially commenced on these by a Doctor.  If you used an asthma reliever five years ago for two weeks it is not a reason to try and buy one now just in case.  If too many people try and do this there will become a shortage.

Other items that people have been panic buying are paracetamol for adults and children.

Children’s paracetamol products will now be kept behind the counter with the aim of reducing people buying it just in case and saving it for those who need it.

The same rule applies here in that you can only buy one product.

Stockpiling of medicines has always been discouraged for reasons such as that the product may go out of date before you need it or the Doctor may change your medicine.  These reasons apply now more than ever.  If we use medicines sensibly and don’t harass the pharmacy staff to allow you to obtain more than you need for one month there will be no medication shortage.

On another note healthcare workers (along with many other workers ) are very stressed right now.  We are normally very busy at work however we are currently answering more phone calls, more questions from people coming in to the pharmacy and dispensing (or chatting about why we can’t dispense) more prescriptions than usual.  While this is happening we are trying to work with pharmacy sticky labels while wearing gloves as well as talking on the phone and in person with masks on.  Delivery numbers are increasing and cleaning and sanitising are occurring at least every hour and as needed.  Please adhere to the social distancing rules of keeping 1.5 metres away from the next person and avoid touching and handling items unnecessarily.  Prescriptions no longer need to be signed.  Please wash your hands well and often.  We endeavour to do our best to serve you while we are worried about your health, our health and safety and that of our families.


Tomorrow I will bust some COVID-19 myths.



What is a fever?

A fever is a rise in body temperature above the normal body temperature of about 37 C.  It can vary by up to a degree either way depending on the person, what they’ve been doing and time of day.

Body temperature is different depending on how you take it.  Armpit and forehead temperatures are half a degree lower than oral temperature and ear and rectal temperatures are about half a degree higher than oral temperature.

Symptoms of a fever

  • Feeling hot and clammy
  • Red face
  • Shivering

Causes of a fever

Fevers are usually caused by infections.  Infections can be caused by bacteria or by viruses.  A mild fever is part of how our body fights infection.

Heat stroke is another cause of fever.

Treatment of a fever

  • Drink water but avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol
  • Take paracetamol preferably or ibuprofen
  • Have a tepid (lukewarm) bath

When to see your Doctor if you have a fever

  • If a baby is under 6 months old
  • If a child has had a fever for more than 1 day despite using paracetamol
  • If an adult has had a fever for more than 3 days despite taking paracetamol
  • If temperature is above 40C
  • If the person is unable to eat or drink
  • If the person can’t stop shaking
  • If you have other severe symptoms such as racing heart, muscle spasms, confusion, trouble breathing, severe headache
  • If you have recently bene overseas

When to go to the hospital if you have a fever

  • If you also have a stiff neck
  • If you have a rash that does not change when you press on it
  • If your child is in pain
  • If your child can’t move properly or has muscle twitches


Ask the Pharmacist

Ask the Pharmacist

It’s live! I am very proud to announce that the “Ask the Pharmacist” app is live!


Visit the website


A lot of hard work has gone in to this.
Thank you Ollie Cloud Concepts Australia Pty Ltd.
Please save the app to your phone home screen or desktop to use when you need it and ask away. I will answer any question that you would ask a Pharmacist, which is pretty much anything!
I would also be very grateful if you could share this.
I welcome any feedback you have.
Thank you!

Novel coronavirus

Novel coronavirus

Coronavirus is a word that we have all heard mentioned lately.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can make us sick (animals too).  Some coronaviruses cause mild illness, like the common cold, and others can make people very sick like SARS did several years ago.

A novel coronavirus is a new virus which means that it has not been seen before this outbreak occurred.

Why is a new virus bad?

New viruses can affect more people as no one has immunity to them.

Viruses are present in our communities all the time and because we have some exposure to them our immune system can build up some immunity to them so that we don’t get as sick and we recover faster. There is no vaccination for a virus that is new and there is no immunity to it present in our immune systems.

Is it likely that I will catch novel coronavirus?

Unless you have been to China this year or have come in to close contact with someone who has it is very unlikely that you will catch it.

How is novel coronavirus spread?

As with other viral illnesses it is spread by an infected person coughing or sneezing on someone else or on a surface that is touched by someone else.

How can I avoid catching coronavirus?

It is always important to have good hygiene to prevent the spread of this and other illnesses.  This includes washing hands well with soap and water and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow if you don’t have a tissue.

Can novel coronavirus be treated?

There is no treatment for this.  Antibiotics do not work on viruses.

For more information visit the Australian Government Department of Health website