Published Thu, 2012-02-16 14:22; updated 35 weeks ago.
As winter time approaches and temperatures start to fall, not only does the common cold make an unwelcome return, there’s also an increase in all kinds of minor mishaps and illness.
Now is a good time to think about the medicines you will need over the winter period.
The Christmas and New Year holidays are usually a very busy time for the National Health Service.
GP surgeries, dentists and pharmacies across the West Midlands may well be closed for short periods or working with different opening hours to normal, so it’s important to think about your medicines and plan what you will need.
From twisted ankles to sore throats thinking about what to keep in your medicines cabinet at home could mean you don’t need to make any unnecessary visits to your, doctor, pharmacy or hospital.
Always read the instructions and cautions on medicines, including those you buy over the counter before you decide to use them.
Never exceed the recommended dose and seek medical advice if symptoms persist.
If you are regularly prescribed medicines from your GP, it’s important to make sure you have enough to keep you going.
Make sure your repeat prescriptions will see you through the Christmas and New Year period but only order those medicines than you actually need.
If you do run out of regular medicines, then your usual pharmacist should be able to make a supply in an emergency.
Put in your repeat prescription requests early and ensure that you have booked in with your GP for any routine appointments well in advance, particularly if you have a problem with your medicines.
Below are some of the things that you should think about keeping in your medicines cabinet but ask your pharmacist for advice before buying any medicines.
Items for your medicines cabinet
Start by checking that any medicines that are already in your cabinet have not expired. Take any old, unwanted medicines back to your pharmacy for disposal.
- Paracetamol tablets (for adults) for aches and pains, fevers, sore throats and headaches. Paracetamol liquid for pain and fevers in children. Make sure you have the right strength for the age of your children
- Ibuprofen (tablets or liquid) – for pain and fever in adults and children.
- Measuring spoon and oral syringe for liquids for children
- A digital thermometer
- Indigestion remedies such as antacid liquids or tablets
- Oral rehydration sachets to replace fluids after episodes of diarrhoea or vomiting
- Decongestant tablets or spray, steam inhalations or vapour rubs for relief of cold symptoms and stuffiness
- Antihistamine tablets or liquid for itchy rashes and allergies
Your Home First Aid Kit
You can buy first aid kits in most pharmacies. Your first aid kit should be stored in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children.
- A list of emergency telephone numbers eg. doctor, local hospital
- Tweezers and sharp scissors
- A range of bandages, elastic bandages and dressings for minor cuts, sprains and bruises
- Absorbent, sterile gauze dressings in a range of shapes and sizes
- Individually wrapped antiseptic wipes or spray
- Plasters in a variety of shapes and sizes
- Sterile saline (or water) for cleaning wounds and as an eye bath
- An eye bath
- Triangular bandage
- Disposable sterile gloves
- Safety pins
- Sterile eye dressing
- Medical sticky tape
Due for review February 2013