Be prepared - stock up your medicine cabinet now!

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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 the NHS in the Black Country is to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet for times when you or your family are feeling under the weather.

Dr Anand Rischie, Chair of NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Having some medicines at home means peace of mind, and self-care is often the best remedy in many instances. Common ailments such as colds, sore throats and coughs rarely need to be treated with a visit to the GP.

“Resting, drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthily are usually enough to cure common winter ailments. 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. Ibuprofen can also reduce inflammation.

  • 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.

  • Sore throat remedies

  • Plasters and bandages – it always pays to be well-stocked in the event of minor cuts and scrapes.

  • 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. 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.

  • Children’s medicines – there is a huge variety available to treat a whole range of minor illnesses and conditions. Check sugar-free varieties if your child is taking one regularly.

The winter campaign to inform patients about the flu vaccine and the right NHS service to use for different conditions and illnesses is being run by the four clinical commissioning groups across the Black Country in association with the Black Country Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.