If you or someone you know needs emergency herbal treatment, you can do so without a prescription from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority.
The RHA has issued a ‘quick start guide’ to help those who have been diagnosed with a non-medical condition and don’t need an expensive prescription.
The guide was created by health minister Karen Andrews, who said that in the past, the RHA had not provided clear guidance to people who needed herbal medicines.
“I think that the information that we have now is very clear that people who do need to take their medicine are advised to seek advice from their GP and their pharmacist,” she said.
“If they are able to find a GP who has an office with emergency medicines, that is also helpful.”
Ms Andrews said that the guide would help patients who were prescribed herbal medicines before the new drug laws came into effect.
“We’re working closely with the RBA, with the pharmacists and other organisations to ensure that people can get the best advice and guidance they need,” she told the ABC.
“So the key thing is to be patient, don’t get upset, stay calm and keep taking your medicine.”
The RBA said that emergency herbal medicines can be used for a wide range of conditions including: headache, neck pain, joint pain, stomach pain, sore throat, cough, sore eye, cold, flu, bronchitis, and a variety of skin and skin-related conditions.
The information was obtained by the ABC from the RAA’s ‘Quick Start Guide’ that was issued on March 10.
“These are not the only medicines that are available in Australia, so there are a variety, so it’s good to have that information for people,” Dr Kate Schofield, the director of the Queensland Department of Health, told ABC News Breakfast.
“They may not have a prescription but they can get it if they’re in need of it.”
Dr Andrews said the RMA was providing advice to help people who were “in need” and that it was also making sure that emergency treatment for other health conditions was available.
“You can call our hotline on 13 19 84 or your local pharmacist, they’ll give you a prescription for whatever you need,” Dr Andrews said.
The ‘Quickstart Guide’ is available to anyone who needs an emergency herbal prescription and is intended to help “people with non-medicinal conditions and chronic illnesses to get the advice they need”.
It says that herbal medicines should only be prescribed for a limited number of conditions, such as pain or cough, and that if there are “other conditions” they should be sought first.
It says people should only take one dose of any one herbal medicine.
“It should be taken within a short period of time and then you should see your GP or pharmacist for further advice,” the guide says.
The advice does not specify which herbs are safe to use for emergency use.
It warns that using an herbal remedy that contains a substance that can cause a condition that is not a medical emergency should be avoided, as it could increase the risk of an allergic reaction.
“The safest herbal remedy is one that contains no active ingredients at all and is safe to take if you are using it as directed,” it says.
“However, the active ingredients can be toxic and can cause serious side effects.”
People should only use these medicines if they have a valid prescription.
“While some herbal medicines have been approved by the RDA, they are not available for sale in pharmacies.”
To be safe, we advise that people should always consult with their GP before using any herbal medicines,” the ‘QuickStart Guide’ states.”
There are many different types of herbal medicines available for purchase in pharmacies and we encourage people to check with their pharmacy.”‘
People who do not have access to an office where they can obtain emergency medicines should seek advice’Ms Andrews also said that while the RTA had not issued any guidance to those who were unable to obtain emergency treatment, it would be a matter for the pharmacy to determine what treatment options were available.
The health minister said that a few herbs, including the spice turmeric, were being considered for approval as an emergency treatment option.”
Turmeric is considered a natural herbal remedy in the treatment of many different conditions, and is also a natural ingredient in some herbal preparations that are also safe to consume,” Dr Schofonds said.’
If you are able, you should get advice from your GP and your pharmacist’Dr Andrews also warned that the RCA’s advice was not a substitute for seeking advice from a GP or your pharmacy.”
A GP, or your GP’s pharmacist if you have one, will make sure that the patient understands what treatment is available and whether it is safe for them to take,” she explained.”
In terms of alternative therapies, we are not making recommendations to people to take alternative therapies