rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


This week I had a call from a lovely lady at my local doctors surgery to tell me that I would no longer be able to get anti-histamines on prescription.

Why prescription prepayment certificates are a good idea
Just an average month of prescriptions for the allergic girl

Why? Because I can get them over the counter. Well yes, technically, I CAN get antihistamines over the counter, but not the ones I am prescribed where I can get a box with lots in, and also stronger doses than the over the counter drugs. So I’ll need to buy more for one dose!

At my local chemists I can pay anything from £7 to £14 for a small number of between 12 and 24 tablets, or buy the liquid stuff, which works really well for me.

When you’re paying in advance for a Prescription Prepayment Certificate it makes living with a long term health condition manageable. If I had to pay a single charge for every item I got monthly on prescription from tubs of emollient, to two inhalers, antihistamines, adrenaline, steroids and immuno suppressants… I’d be penniless!

I would struggle to afford the drugs I need to stay healthy at the moment.

I know the NHS is struggling and probably needs to make cut backs but this is the very system which got me addicted to steroids at a young age in the first place. This the very system which never treated any of my allergic conditions, instead throwing drugs at me.

This system is now slowly letting me go, showing me I may need to cope alone.
I am facing the terrifying proposition of trying to wean myself off topical steroids as their effectiveness begins to diminish and my skin needs ever more frequent doses to just keep under control. Just google TSW for some real horror stories. I’m going it alone and won’t do this without medical supervision and help. They got me into this mess, they can bloomin well help me out.

I will be pushing back and speaking to my doctor about his but the lady who phoned was just doing her job, it wasn’t her fault. I told her I wasn’t happy but there was nothing she could do. She said she would ‘see what she could do’ but it was very much in a voice which said… don’t hold you breathe and I probably won’t tell anyone how you feel.

I annoyed about this but it just makes me sad. I will hopefully keep on getting these because I’m not going away quietly but why should I have to fight? There will be other people who cannot fight or don’t have the confidence.

Perhaps I will not have to add £30-40 to my monthly expenditure on antihistamines to get me through the hayfever season and incessant itching of eczema skin and allergic reactions.

But on the other hand, perhaps I will have to stump up yet more cash just to lead a normal life?

Has anyone else had this call? Can you still get antihistamines on prescription? Is this widespread?
Should I be paying for them? Or am I within my rights to demand this is still available to me?



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

4 Responses to A letter to the NHS… no more antihistamines?

  1. Hi Ruth, it’s really sad to hear your story and it is very likely that you are not the only one going through this, so thank you for opening up about your experiences.

    We hope you succeed in your fight, and please do keep us posted on how this goes!

  2. Sue

    I wasn’t told about it. I just went to order my antihistamines and it wasn’t on my prescription! I was given it about 10 years ago by my gp after he did some research in my problem. I am over 65 so didn’t think I would have this to deal with now.

  3. R Q

    I also just found this out after visiting my GP’s surgery for a repeat prescription. I don’t need many of those little tablets, just a few times a week to keep my eyes and nose from running like a water tap. Also not very happy at having to buy them and not being able to get lots of them in a small bottle. I wonder whose pockets our National Insurance Contributions are lining.

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