While you’re Christmas shopping, stock up your medicine cabinet

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This is the time of year when a lot of us are busy shopping for presents, planning get-togethers and holiday travel. While you’re out, why not also think about stocking up on medicine cabinet essentials to make sure you’re prepared for the winter?

There are a lot of bugs circulating at this time of year. People often turn up at hospitals with minor illnesses and injuries that could often be better treated more quickly elsewhere, or at home.

Your local pharmacist can offer you free health advice at any time, and no appointment is necessary. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses and answer questions about prescribed and over the counter medicines.

All year round, pharmacists can also advise on healthy eating, obesity and giving up smoking and have private areas where you can talk in confidence.

So, before the holiday schedule gets too hectic, check your medicine cabinet and make sure you have the following basics:

  • Your usual painkillers
  • Cold and flu remedies
  • Anti-diarrhoea medicine
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Indigestion remedies
  • Plasters
  • Bandages
  • Thermometer
  • Tissues

If you are already taking other medication, check first with your pharmacist to make sure the medicines are right for you.

Check any medicines already in your medicines cabinet are still okay to use. If any medicines are past their use-by date, don’t take them and return them to your local pharmacy for safe disposal.

If you need repeat prescriptions for your regular medicines, ensure that you order these in plenty of time. Check opening times for your GP surgery and remember to collect your prescription before the holiday period.

Valuing your health and well-being

Paula Wilkinson, Chief Pharmacist for Mid Essex CCG, said: “By being prepared for winter and stocking up on medicine cabinet essentials, a lot of people could treat minor illnesses at home, avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor.

The last thing anyone wants in the run-up to Christmas is to be ill. Unfortunately, every winter, colds, flu, stomach bugs and other ailments are all too common, which is why we are urging people to stock up on their medicine cabinet essentials. Online advice on managing common ailments can be found here