Hamilton’s Hillcrest Healthcare Pharmacy, situated in the Remadee.co.nz Retail Lounge and Café are continuing to support the fight against breast cancer.


“As we move from September’s Blue, we indulge the colour Pink for October, a reminder to support the efforts of the Breast Cancer Foundation of New Zealand,” says Tom Bennett, owner of the Hillcrest Healthcare Pharmacy in the Remadee retail lounge, café, and spa.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Kiwi women and the third most common cancer, affecting one in nine New Zealand women over their lifetime. Today nine New Zealand women will hear that they have breast cancer, and over 600 women die every year from breast cancer.

Hillcrest Healthcare Pharmacy in the Remadee retail lounge, café and spa is committed to supporting the pink ribbon effort for October. “We have walked the journey from diagnosis with many of our customers over the years and it was very natural of us to get behind the fund-raising effort of The Breast Cancer Foundation of New Zealand and help increase awareness of the issues relating to breast cancer,” says Tom.

A special message from our team is in our latest video as we encourage you all to get behind Breast Cancer Foundation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HTYL8Suyt0

“The risk of breast cancer increases with age, and about 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50 years old. However, women in their 20’s and some men can also be diagnosed. As our population ages, we will likely see more diagnosed with this condition,” adds Tom.

The diagnosis rate has been gradually increasing over the last decade, which may also be a product of increased screening rates that “we wholeheartedly encourage”, says Tom. Breast Screen Aotearoa (BSA) is New Zealand’s free National Breast Screening Programme. They provide free mammograms every two years for women with no symptoms aged between 45 and 69.

The team at Hillcrest Healthcare Pharmacy want to encourage you to register for regular mammograms through the National Breast Screening program. Mammograms help earlier detection, increasing the chances of survival and enabling less severe treatment strategies such as total breast removal.
To find out more about breast screening and book a mammogram, log into the Government’s screening website.


We are so proud to be supporting The Breast Cancer Foundation of New Zealand. This month, join us in store at Hillcrest Pharmacy in the Remadee Retail lounge, Café and Day Spa. We are taking Donations.


We know a lot of you have been concerned about what’s been in the news regarding the outbreak of Meningococcal disease and have been interested in more information about Meningococcal vaccines.

Here is the latest from the NZ Ministry of Health. You can also find this information here

Meningococcal vaccines

On 5 December, Northland District Health Board starts a targeted three-week vaccination programme to halt the spread of a strain of meningococcal disease (W strain). They are offering free vaccinations to children and young people aged 9 months to 4 years (inclusive) and 13 to 19 years (inclusive) who live in Northland. PHARMAC has procured a supply of Meningococcal ACWY vaccines for this programme. There have been increasing numbers of cases of Meningococcal W disease reported in New Zealand since 2017 but there are no confirmed community outbreaks elsewhere. The Ministry of Health acknowledges that there has been an increasing number of families requesting meningococcal vaccinations but advises that outside Northland the recommendations for meningococcal vaccination in the Immunisation Handbook should continue to be followed.

Publicly funded (free) Meningococcal ACWY vaccine is available from general practices for people who meet the following criteria:

  • patients pre- or post-splenectomy or with functional asplenia
  • patients with HIV, complement deficiency (acquired, including monoclonal antibody therapy against C5, or inherited) or who are pre- or post-solid organ transplant
  • HSCT (bone marrow transplant) patients
  • patients following immunosuppression
  • close contacts of meningococcal cases.

In addition, meningococcal vaccines are recommended but not funded for the following people:

  • aboratory workers regularly handling meningococcal cultures
  • adolescents and young adults living in communal accommodation (eg, in a hostel or at boarding school, in military accommodation, in correctional facilities or in other long-term institutions)
  • people who are travelling to high-risk countries (see www.who.int/ith/en ) or before the Hajj.

Meningococcal vaccines can be privately purchased from general practices and (for those aged 16 and over) from vaccinating pharmacies.

Private supplies of Meningococcal ACWY vaccine are separate from the publicly funded vaccines noted above, but suppliers have reported high demand in recent weeks and there have been intermittent local vaccine shortages. Stocks of the vaccine are likely to be limited for the foreseeable future due to global demand but suppliers are doing what they can to secure more vaccines for New Zealand. The wholesaler does not take back orders but will advise via its website www.hcl.co.nz (Healthcare Logistics) when stock is available.

Meningococcal B is still the most prevalent strain of the disease in New Zealand, and supplies of the vaccine Bexsero are available to protect against it – this is not currently publicly funded for any groups. Members of the public seeking meningococcal immunisation should check with their GP or pharmacist whether they have the vaccine in stock before making an appointment.

October is all about Women’s Health, so we got Kate along to talk about a problem that many of us have unfortunately experienced, UTIs.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Often we call these “cystitis” which means an infection of the bladder, or simply as a “bladder infection”. This occurs when bacteria infect the bladder or the urinary tract (which takes urine from your bladder out of your body) and causes swelling and irritation. Normally, there are bacteria present in the opening of the vagina, but when these bacteria get into the warm, damp environment of your urinary tract they can quickly multiply and travel up into your bladder, causing a UTI. If you are pregnant, have diabetes, or bowel or kidney disease, you are more likely to get a UTI.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) will often cause:

  • burning or stinging when passing urine
  • increased need to pass urine
  • urgency to pass urine
  • passing only small amounts of urine at a time

Tips to make you feel better when you have a UTI

  • Drink plenty of water (this helps to flush the bacteria out of your urinary tract)
  • Rest and keep warm
  • Avoid having sex until the infection clears
  • Pain relief can be taken if needed
  • Avoid alcohol, fruit juices, strong coffee and fizzy drinks as these can make your urine more acidic


Often UTI’s can be treated without medications. Mild infections can be treated with Ural sachets which alkalinise the urine (make it less acidic).
Other treatment options involve antibiotics, which you can get from your Remadee Pharmacist. This requires a one-on-one private consultation with an accredited Pharmacist.

How to stop it happening again

Drink plenty of water – 8 glasses a day
Empty your bladder each time you go to the toilet
Drink cranberry juice regularly to stop the bacteria from sticking to your urinary tract (caution with some medication)
Pass urine after having sex
Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the need – try not to hold on


Untreated urinary tract infections can lead to kidney infections and this can be serious.
See your doctor if symptoms do not improve or if the UTI keeps coming back.

Heart Health

February 23, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Every 90 minutes a New Zealander dies from Heart Disease1.

High Blood Pressure

Heart disease includes a lot of different conditions that range in severity and treatment. It is important for your heart to function properly because it pumps blood to all our organs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the blood vessels, and the strength with which it does this is called blood pressure. Having high blood pressure means that your heart is pumping with too much force which over time can lead to damaged arteries and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

High blood pressure is a treatable condition; tablets may be taken every day to reduce blood pressure. The tablet and dose will vary depending on each individual. It may be that you need more than one tablet to control your blood pressure.

Irregular Heart Beat

There are various heart conditions, some of which can occur when your heart doesn’t beat regularly (arrhythmia/atrial fibrillation), causing turbulent blood flow and damage to the arteries, or when blood stops flowing to part of your heart (heart attack). There are important parts of your heart that need to function properly in order to prevent more serious conditions such as heart failure.

Medications play a role in helping the heart to beat regularly again, so as to stop the turbulent blood flow. Blood thinners may also be required to reduce the risk of the blood clotting.


Cholesterol plays a role in heart health. Cholesterol is a type of fat that circulates in the blood. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly, however having too high cholesterol can lead to deposits on your artery walls and over time cause blockages. These clots cause heart attacks, stroke, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), depending on where the clot occurs.

A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent cholesterol build up. This includes eating a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, and fibre, whilst limiting the amount of fat, sugar, alcohol and processed foods you eat. Exercise and drinking plenty of water also help.

Cholesterol medications work to lower your cholesterol, prevent your body making more cholesterol and by stabilising the cholesterol that has already been deposited so that it doesn’t chip off and cause a blockage. Our liver produces cholesterol so often we need to take cholesterol-lowering medication as well as maintaining a healthy diet.


Some natural supplements can help with heart health. Fish oil supplements are recommended for people at increased risk of heart disease who do not eat oily fish. Examples of people who may be at increased risk include those who have previously had a heart attack, have high blood pressure, smoke or are overweight.

If you are worried about your heart health consult your doctor or healthcare professional. The clinical team at Remadee will also be able to help you with any questions about your medication and help with the right choice of supplements for yourself.

The information contained on this site is not intended to be a replacement for medical advice or advice in relation to the health or care of any person. The information is generalised and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional clinical advice. If you have any questions relating to the information you should seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner. The information is derived from a number of sources. Remadee has endeavoured to ensure that all information is from reliable and reputable sources.


Heart Foundation website: www.heartfoundation.org.nz

NZ Primary Care Handbook 2012

Diabetes can be a scary topic for most people, and chances are you know someone who has some form of diabetes. Diabetes is very manageable – either by altering your diet, taking medication or injecting insulin. This needn’t be scary, and is so important for your health.

Diabetes is when you have too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. Most of the food we eat is converted into glucose and travels through our bloodstream to the parts of our body that need energy. To help the glucose get out of the bloodstream and into the cells of the body that need energy, we produce insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and it keeps the blood glucose level in the normal range. When you have diabetes, the body is not making enough insulin to use-up the glucose, which means the cells don’t get the energy they need. Often the signs of diabetes and the consequences of poor diabetic control are not visible and this is the scary part. Poor diabetic control can lead to kidney, heart, circulation and sight problems to name a few.

There are two types of diabetes – type I and type II.

Type I Diabetes

The pancreas stops making insulin. Generally, if you get diabetes at a very young age, usually it is Type I diabetes and you require daily injections of insulin.

Type II Diabetes

The pancreas gradually reduces the amount of insulin it is making. This can be hereditary, related to your lifestyle or poor diet. This type of diabetes is often managed by altering your diet to start with, along with medications that stimulate your body to produce more insulin and/or increase the body’s response to insulin.

Taking Control

Blood glucose testing is an important part of diabetic control, however, this can become a chore. Speak with your Remadee team today about why it is so important to keep on top of your blood glucose levels. Your Remadee team is here to help with blood glucose meters, free batteries and explaining your medication (diabetic or otherwise).

There are many different medications that people can take – either prescribed by a doctor or obtained from the pharmacy. All medications have risks and benefits and it is important to be aware of these so that you can get the most out of your medication and ensure you are taking it correctly. Pharmacists are the medication experts, and at Remadee we have a clinical team available to answer all your medication queries.

Ideally, when you start a new medication you should be given the answers to the following questions:

  • What is my medicine called?
  • What is it for?
  • When and how do I take it?
  • What impact does driving have on this medication?
  • What happens if I stop this medicine?
  • What side effects do I need to be aware of?

Multiple Medications

Often people take several medications and it is important to check that the combination can be taken safely together (including any herbal preparations). Using the same pharmacy consistently helps as they will keep a record of all your regular medications. If you are unsure, ask one of our pharmacists.

Medicine Use Review

If you have recently been in the hospital, prescribed a new medication from your GP or a Specialist or if your medications are all running out at different times, this is a good time to come into the pharmacy for a Medicine Use Review. A Medicine Use Review is a one-on-one consult with our Clinical Pharmacist where you can ask any questions about your medicine, and a time to check that you are taking things correctly (including your vitamins etc).

Breast Cancer

October 13, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among New Zealand women and the third most common cancer in New Zealand. It causes 600 deaths every year1.

What is it and how is it caused?

Cancer occurs when some of the cells in the body start to grow out of control. These cells form a lump called a tumour2. Some breast cancers grow slowly and some grow much faster.

Some women are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer because they have family members who have had it. However, most women who develop breast cancer have not had any relatives with the disease.

Risk factors2

  • Being female
  • Getting older (females)
  • Previous history of breast cancer
  • Increased number of abnormal cells in the breast ducts
  • Family history of breast cancer

Symptoms of breast cancer2

  • Lump or lumpiness
  • Thickening of the tissue
  • Nipple changes, such as skin dimpling
  • Blood-stained discharge from the nipple
  • Rash on nipple, or rash and/or redness on breast
  • Painful area


  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone treatment

The treatments used depend on the type and size of breast cancer, whether or not it has spread and certain patient factors which you can discuss with your doctor.



  1. Ministry of Health. Accessed 14/09/17 from: http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/breast-cancer
  2. Health Navigator. Accessed 14/09/17 from: https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/health-a-z/b/breast-cancer/

Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand men and the second most common cancer in men worldwide1,2. It occurs more commonly in men over the age of 50 years, although causes more problems if it occurs at a younger age. If caught early, prostate cancer can be well managed and is usually cured2.

What is the prostate and what does it do?

Only found in men; the prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland located just below the bladder. It produces one of the components of semen.

What is a PSA blood test?

PSA = prostate specific antigen which is measured by a blood test. The prostate gland makes PSA. Higher than normal levels of PSA can be caused by: an infection of the prostate gland; an enlarged prostate (not cancer) or by prostate cancer. It is used as a screening tool.

What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?

Family history plays a role, so if you had a brother, father or close family member that has had prostate cancer, you are at greater risk.

There’s no absolute way to prevent prostate cancer, however eating healthy, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy weight and not smoking may help2.

What are the signs and symptoms of prostate problems?

Early on in prostate cancer there are no symptoms, which is why it is important to get your PSA level checked by your doctor. Once the cancer grows, the following problems may occur:

-Going to the toilet more often

-Poor urine follow

-Trouble starting or stopping peeing

-Getting up often in the night to pee

However, these symptoms can also be a result of an enlarged prostate which is often not cancerous3. Your doctor will confirm a diagnosis.


Prostate cancer can be treated. Finding it early and getting treatment can save lives, however not all prostate cancer needs to be treated3. The choice of treatment depends on informed patient decisions after they have been given information about the potential advantages and disadvantages associated with each approach, along with personal preferences1.


  1. UpToDate
  2. Health Navigator. https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/health-a-z/p/prostate-cancer/
  3. Ministry of Health. Accessed 14/09/2017 from http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/prostate-cancer

Can you afford to take a week off work sick?If the answer is no then perhaps it is time for you to get your seasonal flu vaccination.

The flu is more than just a ‘bad cold’. Although there are similar symptoms the flu is usually much more severe. These symptoms can include, a cough, headache, fever or chills, body aches and pains, fatigue and generally feeling run down and miserable. The flu is a serious illness that can result in hospitalisation and sometimes death. Even if you don’t end up in hospital, the flu can keep you in bed for a week or more. This can not only prevent you from working but also from other commitments.

The flu can affect anyone no matter how healthy. Although those with underlying health conditions are more at risk. As we are unable to predict year to year how severe the flu season may be it is important to ensure effective protection is maintained. Seasonal flu vaccinations are recognised as being the single most effective way of reducing the impact of the flu. For those in high risk groups including over 65 year olds and pregnant women the vaccination is free, and for others it is a cheap price to pay to prevent you having to take a week off work.

So is it time for you to get your seasonal flu vaccination? If so head into Hillcrest Pharmacy and we will get you sorted this flu season.

Vaccine Injection

What is Cholesterol

Cholesterol, we all have it, in fact it is needed for good health. However more is certainly not better in terms of cholesterol. So how does our body make cholesterol? We get fats from our diet, liver enzymes process these fats into essential components used by our bodies, including cholesterol. For some of us our bodies make too much cholesterol due to either a high fat content in our diet or/and an overactive enzyme system for the processing of fats in our liver. These excess fats and cholesterol circulate in our blood and are oxidised in much the same way metal is oxidised as rust. This ‘rusty fat’ deposits in our arteries causing them to clog up, increasing the risk for heart attacks, strokes and other health problems.

Cholesterol Lowering Medication – Statins

The more fats in our blood the more rusty fat deposits in our arteries and the more risk. By lowering the blood fat and cholesterol we can slow down the rate of rusty fat deposits. The most common and effective way of lowering cholesterol is with a group of drugs called Statins. Statins include Pravastatin®, Simvastatin®, Atorvastatin®, and Rosuvastatin®. Statins reduce the cholesterol made in our livers by blocking the enzyme that makes cholesterol. This means there is less cholesterol or fat in your blood stream, that then won’t react with oxygen and the ‘rusty fat’ will not deposit in your artery walls.

Statins are well researched and have the best outcomes for lowering cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by about 40%. Some people may experience side effects, these can be managed and the benefits of Statins strongly outweigh any side effects. If you’re on Statins and are experiencing side effects talk with us at Hillcrest Pharmacy and we will work with you to help combat these.

Lifestyles changes to help

Statins are the number one therapy for the treatment of high cholesterol. Lifestyle changes can also aid in reducing cholesterol. These are mainly:

  • Weight loss if overweight
  • Stopping smoking.


High cholesterol is risky, however, the good news is it can be managed. If you are worried about your cholesterol or want to know more come and see us at Hillcrest Pharmacy.

The information contained on this site is not intended to be a replacement for medical advice or advice in relation to the health or care of any person. The information is generalised and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional clinical advice. If you have any questions relating to the information you should seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner. The information is derived from a number of sources. Hillcrest Pharmacy has endeavoured to ensure that all information is from reliable and reputable sources.

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