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Be prepared - Stock up your medicine cabinet

It always pays to be prepared – especially over the winter period when the weather can prevent us getting out and about.

That’s why the advice from North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group is to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet for times when you or your family are feeling under the weather.

Dr Rakesh Pathak, Clinical Lead for Unplanned Care and GP at the CCG said: “Having home remedies to hand means peace of mind, and “self-care” is often the best remedy in many instances. Common ailments such as colds, sore throats and coughs do not always need to be treated with a visit to the GP and antibiotics.

“Instead, the best cure is plenty of rest, keeping warm and a having a good medicine cabinet.”

Stock up now with the following:

• Pain relief – paracetamol and ibuprofen are the most common painkillers and are available in tablet and liquid form. Aspirin and ibuprofen also reduce inflammation. Please note: aspirin should not be given to anyone under the age of 16.
• Anti-diarrhoea medicine – make sure you drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquid for the first 24 hours when symptoms appear in order to keep hydrated. Your pharmacist can also recommend rehydration drinks.
• Sore throat remedies – ask your pharmacist about sprays to ease soreness. Adults can also gargle with soluble aspirin to ease the pain.
• Cough remedies – ask your pharmacist about different types of linctus which will aid different types of coughs, i.e. dry and tickly or loose.
• Plasters and bandages – it always pays to be well-stocked in the event of minor cuts and scrapes. Ask your pharmacist about anti-allergy plasters.
• Thermometer – this can be useful if someone in the family develops a cold or if a young child becomes ill. As a general rule a temperature of over 37.5 (99.5F) is a fever.
• Antihistamines – these are useful for allergies and runny noses. Ask your pharmacist about the types available. Some antihistamines cause drowsiness and are not recommended if you are driving or operating machinery.
• Antiseptic cream – this is a medicine cabinet essential in the event or cuts and scrapes, as well as bites and stings (which are rarer in winter but can still occur.)
• Laxatives – constipation can occur at any time. Ask your pharmacist about the types available (tablets or sachets) and which ones are suitable for children or the elderly.
• Children’s medicines – there is a huge variety available to treat a whole range of minor illnesses and conditions. Ask your pharmacist about sugar-free varieties if your child is taking one regularly.

For further winter health advice, visit the NHS Choices website.

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