Medicine cabinet essentials: are you fully stocked?

Keeping fully stocked with these medicine cabinet essentials can help to ease symptoms straightaway and aid a faster recovery over the colder months.
A pharmacist on the phone giving advice. Visit your local pharmacist for help with common winter illness

A fully stocked medicine cabinet with all the essentials is a simple but significant way to help you, your family, and your local NHS.

Its not always necessary to see a GP for common ailments, such as coughs and colds, as the symptoms of these can be eased with the help of a well stocked medicine cabinet. Pharmacists can offer free help and advice on many minor illnesses, such as colds, coughs or fever, and will recommend the most effective medications to safely treat symptoms at home without the need to see a doctor. These over-the-counter treatments are available in high street stores and supermarkets and are often cheaper than prescriptions.

You should make an appointment to see your GP if you have an illness or injury that will not go away, such as persistent vomiting, ear pain, stomach ache or backache.

Essentials for a medicine cabinet include:

  • ibuprofen
  • paracetamol
  • antiseptic cream
  • antihistamine
  • indigestion treatment
  • thermometer
  • anti-diarrhoea medicine
  • oral rehydration salt sachets
  • plasters

These items are available to buy without a prescription at a small cost from a pharmacy, supermarket and other stores.

Calling NHS 111 or speaking to a local pharmacist is also a good way to get healthcare advice and treatment without the need to book an appointment. Help is free, plus if you are unsure whether you need to see a doctor you can just ask for their advice.

The NHS has more advice on stocking your medicine cabinet and how you can self care.

Your pharmacist can help you

Don’t forget your local pharmacist can help with many ailments, such as coughs, colds, asthma, eczema, hay fever, and period pain.

They can give advice or, where appropriate, medicines that can help clear up the problem.

Instead of booking an appointment with your GP, you can see your local pharmacist any time – just walk in.

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