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Be prepared - stock up your medicine cabinet now!

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People in Birmingham and Solihull are being urged to prepare for winter illnesses and ailments by stocking up their medicine cabinet during the weekly shop.

Dr Richard Mendelsohn, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “Having some medicines at home means peace of mind and self-care is often the best remedy in many instances.

“Common illnesses such as colds, sore throats and coughs do not need to be treated with a visit to the GP. Instead, the best cure is plenty of rest, keeping warm and having a good supply of common over-the-counter medicines.

“Speak to your pharmacist if you’re unsure about taking any medication, especially in combination with any prescribed medicines. You can also call 111 for non-emergency advice and support.”

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. Your pharmacist can also recommend rehydration drinks.
  • Sore throat remedies – ask your pharmacist about sprays to ease soreness.
  • 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. 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 for more advice.

Local pharmacy opening hours over the Christmas and New Year period for Birmingham and Solihull are available here.  

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