The UK's top GP has urged that the hormone replacement therapy (HRT) shortage is resolved as quickly as possible. 

With the warning that measures some women may take to access the medication could lead to "serious side-effects". 

Recently the supply shortages for the medicine used to treat the symptoms of menopause have seen women travel hundreds of miles in search of the medication. 

Now, in comments first reported by The Guardian, Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs said that issue is causing "distress" to many women. 

Saying: “It is really important that this is resolved as quickly as possible.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Pharmacy worker. (PA)Pharmacy worker. (PA)

Professor Marshall also added that: "While we appreciate the seriousness of the current situation and the frustrations women are experiencing, we urge them not to share HRT medication as this could lead to serious side-effects."

The news comes just a few days after the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) called on Health Secretary Sajid Javid to allow pharmacists to dispense substitute versions of prescription medicines.

Claire Anderson, the president of RPS, told The Guardian that current laws in England stipulate that community pharmacists must provide the exact product and amount of medication on the prescription.

If the type of HRT product is not available, a substitute cannot be given out without consulting the GP who prescribed the medicine.

Ms Anderson said: “At the moment pharmacists cannot amend prescriptions for HRT, so have to refer women back to their GPs when a medicine is not available.

“Enabling pharmacists to do so will save time for patients, pharmacists and doctors, as well as lessening the anxiety for women waiting for medicines.”

Recent figures suggest the number of HRT prescriptions in the UK has more than doubled in the last five years but stocks are running low, with one manufacturer of a commonly-used hormone replacement gel reporting supply problems.

Hormone therapy helps to combat menopausal symptoms, which include anxiety, joint pain, disturbed sleep and hot flushes.