The Medicine Cabinet

Even a minor illness can disrupt your life so BE PREPARED.

Be prepared for most common ailments by keeping a few useful medicines at home. This list is not exhaustive, but it will help you deal with most minor ailments.

Always follow the directions on medicine packets and information leaflets, and never exceed the stated dose. If you have further questions about any of these medicines or you want to buy them, ask your local pharmacist.

Regularly check the expiry dates. If a medicine is past its use-by date, don't use it or throw it away. Take it to your pharmacy, where it can be disposed of safely.

Always keep medicines out of the sight and reach of children. A high and lockable cupboard in a cool, dry place is ideal.

All of the medicines / equipment recommended below is available at your local pharmacist and does not cost much to buy over the counter.

A typical family medicine cabinet could contain:

General Items

Scissors, Tweezers, Thermometer, your GP and Out of Hours Doctor contact numbers.

Pain Killers - effective at relieving most minor aches and pains.

Aspirin (do not give to under 16s), painkiller and anti-inflammatory.
Paracetamol - good for headache, toothache, period pain, cold and flu and feverishness.
Ibuprofen (or nurofen) - for the relief of rheumatic and muscular pain, backache and neuralgia, period pain, migraine, dental pain, colds and flu.

Children are best with a paracetamol suspension (e.g. Calpol)

Dressings for cuts and grazes

Assorted Plasters, Sticky Tape, Cotton Wool, Antiseptic solution, Antiseptic cream, sterile gauze dressing.

Sprains and Strains

Tubigrip or crepe bandage

Eyewash Solution

Sterile water or 'Optrex'.

Allergies, insect bites and stings, sunburn

Antihistamine tablets for hayfever and mild food allergy relief.
Antihistamine cream for bites and stings.
Hydrocortisone Cream for bits and stings but also for mild to moderate eczema and itchy skin - not recommended for use on the face.
Insect repellent spray
UVA Protecting Sun Lotion
(at least factor 15)

Stomach Pain or indigestion

Loperamide (sold under the name Imodium) - Anti diarrhoea tablet. - Do not give to children under 12.

Antacids for indigestion, heartburn or trapped wind come as chewable tablets, tablets that dissolve in water, or in liquid form.

Oral Rehydration Salts - diarrhoea, fever and vomiting makes us lose fluids - these will help rehydrate you.

Cough Mixtures

Unfortunately there is little evidence that cough mixtures actually work - it is best to make yourself a soothing drink.

Mouth Ulcers Choline Salicylate Gel's such as Bonjela may help.