​​​Is your medicine cabinet ready for the winter​


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Most common winter ailments, such as a cold, sore throat, cough, sinusitis or painful middle ear infection (earache), can't be treated with antibiotics.

The best thing to do is:

  • Rest 
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Have at least one hot meal a day to keep your energy levels up
  • Talk to your pharmacist for advice on getting any pain relief you need such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

What should I keep in my medicine cabinet at home?

Medicine or first aid What it's used for

Par​acetamol and ibuprofen
Effective at relieving most minor aches and pains such as headaches period pain, inflammation in arthritis and sprains.



Oral rehydration solution
Fever, diarrhoea and vomiting make us lose water and essential minerals, and can lead to dehydration. If you have these symptoms and can't continue your normal diet, oral rehydration salts can help to restore your body's natural balance of minerals and fluid and relieve discomfort and tiredness. They don't fight the underlying cause of your illness, such as a virus or bacteria.
Antacids (comes in chewable tablets, or tablets that dissolve in water, or in liquid form) We normally over indulge during the festive period and this can bring stomach ache, heartburn or trapped wind. A simple antacid will reduce stomach acidity and bring relief.

First aid kit:

  • Bandages
  • Plasters
  • Thermometer
  • Antiseptic
  • Eyewash solution
  • Sterile dressings
  • Medical tape
  • Tweezers


These are some of the main items that should be in your first aid kit.

If you have small children – you should keep a thermometer and children's paracetamol handy, and take with you if you take trips or breaks away. ​


If you have any queries, your local pharmacist can advise you further on which medicines you should have in your cabinet to help get you and your family through the winter season.

Take medicines as directed

If you've been prescribed antibiotics or any other medication, make sure you take them as directed and finish the course. If you have any concerns, please speak to either your pharmacist or your GP. 

Make sure you have repeat prescriptions

If you or someone your care for requires medicines regularly, make sure you order and collect repeat prescriptions in good time to ensure you or your family have enough medicine to last over the festive period. Many of the calls to out of hour's health services are for emergency repeat prescriptions when people have run out of the medication - a situation that could be avoided with some forethought and planning. By thinking ahead for your regular medication, you are helping our busy out of hour's doctors and nurses.​​