Back to news

While stocking up for Christmas, don't forget your medicine cupboard!


The time of year is upon us when many are out and about, busy shopping for presents, planning parties and get-togethers and preparing for Christmas dinner.

But while you've been out stocking up on the essentials, have you thought about the must-haves for your medicine cabinet?

For many the festive season brings a chance to visit or host family and friends – but it's not just you that does the rounds; viruses do too.

Flu, colds and winter vomiting bugs are not the sort of gifts people want at Christmas, so if you're feeling unwell, stay at home and get better before visiting friends and relatives. Older people and those with long term conditions such as asthma or other respiratory problems can get very poorly if they catch a cold or flu so think about them.

Your local pharmacist can offer you free, qualified 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. They may also be able to provide you with an emergency supply if you run out of your regular medicines.

So, before your festive schedule gets too hectic, check your medicine cabinet and make sure that you have the following basics to get you through the holidays including:

  • Painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin
  • Cold and flu remedies
  • Anti-diarrhoea medicine
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Indigestion remedies
  • Plasters
  • Bandages
  • Thermometer

It is also important to make sure you have enough stock of your regular prescription medicines.

And if you are unwell, use our new website and app to help you find the best place for treatment.

You can also use the Health Help Now website and app which can be downloaded for free at  or by searching in your smart phone app store for Health Help Now.  It will help you check symptoms and shows which nearby services are open.  Importantly, it will help you know when to go to A&E, and when not to.

Advice is also available from your pharmacist, GP or by calling NHS 111.​