The help you can get for prescriptions is different across the UK
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, prescriptions are free for everyone.
In England, prescriptions are free for anything related to cancer or its side effects, like lymphoedema. This may not be the case for someone with Primary Lymphoedema.
You can ask your GP for a FP92A form and apply for a medical exemption certificate.
· An exemption certificate lasts for 5 years
· If you are still eligible you can renew your certificate
· You do not need to pay for any prescriptions once you have the exemption certificate
· This includes prescriptions for medicines that are not related to your cancer treatment.
· You will need to show the exemption certificate to the pharmacist when you collect your medicines.
Breast Cancer Related Medication
Tamoxifen is a hormonal therapy drug used:
to reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back and to prevent a new cancer developing in the other breast – you take it for a number of years.
to treat [secondary breast cancer]
to reduce risk of breast cancer developing in women at high risk because of their family history.
Calcium channel blockers are drugs used to lower blood pressure. Like many medications they do have known side-effects but for those of us who live with lymphoedema they are contraindicated and increase swelling (oedema) in the ankles or lower legs.
Simple way to remember which drugs - anything ending in "ine"
Amlodipine (high blood pressure)
Corticosteroids; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS); alpha-blockers (used to treat hypertension, prostatic hypertrophy and depression.
Ibuprofen is amongst one of the NSAIDs that is not good for swelling and not advised for anyone with a heart problem that includes the gels that use Ibuprofen.
Diuretics are not advised for lymphoedema.
Yellow Card Scheme
The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report any information on side-effects you may have with medication or health care products. This means patients, caregivers, parents as well as healthcare professionals can report any issues with medication or health care products.
Always read the patient information leaflet, or instructions that come with your medication.