Medicine Restrictions, Self-Care and Signposting Policy

At Staines Pharmacy, patient safety and patient education are our top priorities.

As such we have designed the below policy to protect patients from harm and also to ensure patients are informed about their self-care using OTC products.

We also want to ensure patients know when to go to another healthcare professional for investigations around their symptoms.

You may have tried to order a product and received the following message;

The product you wish to purchase cannot be used at this time as you have previously received a product with similar ingredients. To understand more about our restricted ingredients please visit our “Medicines Restrictions, Self-Care and Signposting Policy”.

Our Policy

We track and limit the below list of ingredients across our website:

Restricted Ingredients

  • Paracetamol
  • Aspirin
  • Codeine/Dihydrocodeine
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Promethazine
  • Cinnarizine
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Phenylephrine
  • Ephedrine
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Loperamide
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Ulipristal Acetate

We do this to allow us to reach the below objectives,

  1. To comply with MEP Legal Restrictions for paracetamol, codeine, dihydrocodeine, aspirin, pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine)
  2. To ensure, best safe practice for misused medicines
  3. To ensure patients do not have more medication than they need
  4. Ensuring patients are alerted when they should be signposted to a more appropriate service e.g. their GP or a specialist.
  5. To alert our healthcare team if a customer has a recurring problem that may indicate an underlying health issue.


Which medicines should not be purchased together?

Usually, medicines that have similar effects on the body cannot be purchased together via our software, e.g. two codeine-containing products, or two promethazine-containing products.

If you have purchased one of these products we limit further purchases within a 28 day (or varying days depending on dosage) time frame.

We also have varying ingredients that cannot be purchased together that are for different ailments as the risks associated with the two being taken together outweigh the benefits of treating both conditions simultaneously.

E.g. Codeine and promethazine (or other antihistamines) containing products cannot be purchased together as their cumulative sedative effects can be dangerous.

Repeat purchasing

Our software will flag up repeat purchases of a particular ingredient.

Despite the fact you may be restricted for 28 days if you order a product regularly each month (for example, loperamide for IBS or Crohn’s disease), this will flag to our healthcare team and we will request to confirm your diagnosis with your own GP.

Quite often patients are told by their GP to come to an online pharmacy and purchase things such as loperamide, promethazine, and other medications for long-term conditions that are being monitored, as they are cheaper to purchase than to have via NHS prescription.

When your GP comes back to us we can supply the medication once your diagnosis is confirmed.

You will also be flagged as being approved to buy regular treatment for a chronic condition and reminded to speak to your GP regularly.



If our healthcare team feel that your condition would be more suitably treated or investigated face to face they will request that you visit your own GP or another service in your area to ensure you get the correct care.

For services in your area, or information about your condition please visit

For information about the medicines you have received please visit

Concerned about yourself or someone having difficulty stopping medicines or medicine misuse? Please visit or