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Pharmacy Training

Become an OTC Expert in Pain Relief with our Online Course

By November 18, 2021No Comments

OTC Expert in Pain

Become an OTC expert in pain online today

Pain is one of the most common reasons why customers come into the pharmacy, especially this time of year when their aches and pains are associated with winter bugs. Recommending the right pain reliever (also known as an analgesic) for each customer’s needs will help relieve symptoms, and help you give a better person-centred service.

Pharmacy can also help with pain by being alert to possible addiction to painkillers, recognising medication overuse headaches, and offering dedicated pain and sport injury clinics.

What’s the aim of the training?

The OTC Expert in Pain course enables you to provide your customers with proper advice while making confident recommendations. This allows you to become an OTC Expert in pain.

What to expect after the course

Upon completing the course, you will have the ability to:

  • Recognise pain that comes with painful joints and muscles, headaches, and migraines
  • Give treatment recommendations for headaches, body pain, and migraines
  • Understand when to refer a client to a pharmacist

How long is the course?

The entire course takes approximately 20 minutes. Even though videos have been included, they are optional. They only play a part in accommodating various learning styles just to enhance the learning process.

OTC Expert in Pain

What’s the importance of the OTC Expert in pain course?

Most patients who visit pharmacies complain of pain. For this reason, many pharmacies stock up varieties of pain-relieving products, which bring confusion when choosing the right one. Giving proper recommendations on pain relievers (also called analgesics) for every customer allows you to give personalised service.

What’s new?

About 10 million people in the United Kingdom experience pain on a daily basis. This is according to the British Pain Society (BPS). Pain affects everyone, including those going to work, running errands, or going to school. Some of these people suffer from chronic pain that needs to be handled by a General Practitioner, requiring physiotherapy, a combination of medicines, and other times counselling. Nevertheless, short-term pain that’s mild to moderate is manageable through self-care and some help from your pharmacy.

OTC Expert in Pain

How can pharmacy help with pain?

Addiction to painkillers: Opioid-based painkillers prescribed for long-term use tend to cause addictions. Some OTC painkillers contain an opioid known as codeine, and purchasing these on repeat requests needs referral to a pharmacist.

OTC treatments: As an encouragement for people to purchase some painkillers that can be prescribed, NHS England has set restrictions on them. These include topical rubefacients like heat rubs. It helps in pushing more individuals to go to the pharmacy for treatment recommendations and medical advice.

Medication overuse headaches: Almost a million people in the United Kingdom have severe headaches that are totally preventable, resulting from taking painkillers in large numbers. This creates a dangerous habit of taking painkillers, which in turn brings about more headaches. Letting the pharmacist know about repeated purchases helps a customer to go back to the right path.

Advice: Some pharmacies have put in place exclusive clinics (either private or free) for pain management. This helps customers understand their pain better and know how to manage it. Some also include backache, migraines, and sports injuries. Customers always find it valuable to be able to discuss their needs and concerns in a dedicated consultation room.

How to engage customers with the OTC Expert in pain course

An approach to healthcare referred to as Making Every Contact Count (MECC) encourages people with access to the public to speak about their general wellbeing. Pharmacy assistants, especially the ones working at the counter, are a good example of these people.  They can play a great role in making a difference, especially when it comes to customers adopting good habits or altering their behaviours. This can include the management of migraine triggers and adhering to cool-down exercises to keep away from injuries associated with sports.

OTC Expert in Pain

How to start conversations using the OTC Expert in pain course

It’s paramount to be sensitive if the customer experiences pain. They may not be as receptive as expected and may not entertain prolonged conversations at that particular time. It’s upon you to judge and maybe, request them to get back to you for information on how they are doing to provide more self-care advice.

Self-care basically entails ‘brief interventions’ – the use of opening remarks that make an impact.

Adding value as a pharmacy and an OTC Expert in pain

The pharmacy has the ability to add value to their customers who are looking for various advice on pain. Let the customers who frequently have migraines know that it’s important to be prepared by storing suitable painkillers at work, at home, or in their bags. You can also recommend products that can help if need be.

Lastly, you can add value by building a pain management service at your store.


This blog post was written on behalf of Mediapharm by Pharmacy Mentor.