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Nasal Spray

Went into Lloys chemist today to buy a Beconase nasal spray for my hayfever, something I have bought for 3 years without any questions

However the girl serving at the counter asked if i was on any meds and i told her my asthma meds etc. The pharmacist then came and told me that as i am on steroid meds she is bound not to sell me the nasal spray and that it would have to be prescribed

Anyone else had this?

Just find it appalling that if this is true other places have been selling me this no questions asked

11 Replies

none of their business.

I take nasonex and Flixotide i've never heard that before i sense another pharmacist with what i call ""not a doctor syndrome"" i unfortunately had a similar experience at boots and put an official complaint in. some pharmacists over step the mark you don't have to tell them anything whatever happened to doctor patient confidentiality?

what preventer are you using as it may become an overdose of it?


Im on Symbicort 400/12 2 puffs twice a day

I pay for a pre payment anyway so id be actually cheaper getting it prescribed but I just found it strange that this has never happened before

She wasnt really nosey and didnt ask too many questions but when i told her the preventor inhaler im on she said she is bound not to see it over the counter to people on steroid meds for asthma


its still a little odd though, Im on the pre payment thing too. Im currently using nasonex (not all the time though) and asked my GP if i could switch to flixonase (as it over the counter and i thought would be that bit safer than nasonex - he said if i switched to flixonase that would be an overdose to my preventer top up flixotide.

But in this case they arent even the same and its an over the counter thing too, odd but its cheaper to get that prescription and you may end up getting something far better that way.


It doesnt surprise me as the hayfever nasel sprays have a steriod component to them and depending on the nasel spray you ask for and the preventer you are on you may be taking too much of the steriod component and therefore will need a Dr to prescribe it if you are in danger of being over the recommened daily amount of it.

I have always got mine on prescription as it is cheaper than buying so many of them each year. Also I use them all year round so works out better in the long run.



Hi Olive

thats more or less what the parmacist said, she was actually really nice about it not like the stories of nosey pharmacists i have read on here

I just think its terrible that other shops have sold me this for 3 years with no questions asked at all


this whole topic has me thinking - i got hasselled as i had my whole selection of medications in one go (which is high in the steroid content) but then these steriod inhalers are available over the counter surely someone could (not that anybody should) conceal their other medications and buy it anyway?

there was a post on here earlier this week about lables on medications and highlighting things your allergic to shouldnt all medications containing steriods be given a symbol of some sort? I wonder if you can buy these things online and avoid all checks?

so glad i only use the prescription route.


It cannot become an overdose with it! As your asthama inhaler treats the lungs and nasal spray treats nose. I asked my allergy consultant. He says you can take both together and should be able to buy them over the counter without a prescription. Your GP will also say why didnt you just buy one like that!

Put in a complaint to pharmacy!



Still a breach of doctor patient confidentiality either way.

i don't think pharmacists have any right to question what medication your given. ok this was a nasal spray but what about something a little more personal? i got harassed because my medicine's are high in steroid content. i put an official complaint in and got a letter to confirm that its being investigated and boots apologized.

I'm sure they mean well but pharmacists can give such bad advice.


Regarding pharmacists asking what meds you are on is a good thing!

Many meds can interact with other med. See the lists on your patient leaflets that come with the pills & inhalers. Meds can also affect asthma too!

It would be wrong for a pharmacist to sell an OTT medicine if they hadn't asked the right questions about your current medicines / illness, and subsequently you had a severe reaction, exaserbation to that medicine. ( Though it does depend on the patient giving correct information to the pharmacists too!)

Inhaled steroids, whether it be via an inhaler or a nasal spray, can be absorbed systemically if taken in high enough amounts. Steroids in any form need to be taken as sparingly as possible.

Pharmacists are covering their backs in case someone has a problem with an interaction / adverse reaction to a drug that they sell. Many of these drugs such as flixonase (??) used to be POM or Prescription only medicine until a few years ago.



No but I have just been given that nasel spray today because my left sinus is inflammed and GP said it will help with my un-controlled asthma as well.


information provided by pharmacists/pharmacies

imho the vast majority of pharmacist are just trying to do their job when they ask questions about symptoms, any other medication etc etc - I think a big issue is confidentiality - some pharmacies are well designed for this & the vast majority are not! pharmacies do have to ask certain questions to make sure of the product requested is appropriate eg licensed, safe etc

My suggestion (as a pharmacist) would be to give positive feedback to pharmacies/pharmacist eg did they give you the option of using the consultation room? If things don't improve THEN by all means complain +/or switch pharmacies!?


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