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Medicine cabinet

It is vital to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet with remedies for treating common illnesses because taking over-the-counter medicines for conditions like the common cold is the best way to aid a speedy recovery. Make sure that you give yourself long enough for the medicine to work – 7 days is a good rule of thumb for most ailments you can self-treat. 

Medicine cabinet staples to keep at home:

  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen for pain relief (check the label or speak to your pharmacist to check it’s suitable for you)
  • Hayfever or allergy tablets to help allergies
  • Hydration sachets for diarrhoea
  • Sickness tablets to stop vomiting
  • Indigestion remedies such as an antacid
  • Mild laxative for constipation
  • A first aid kit
  • Medicines specifically for children, such as paracetamol in suspension

If you have given it sufficient time and are not seeing any improvement in your symptoms, or if your symptoms get worse, then get further advice by

NHS Inform also has advice on how to treat many of the more common seasonal illnesses. Here are some common conditions.

Symptom checker

NHS Inform also has an online symptom checker which you can use without leaving the house. These are called self-help guides and are a set of questions similar to those that your GP or a call handler from NHS 24 would ask to establish the seriousness of your health complaint. There are guides on common conditions such as abdominal pain, rashes, back ache, headaches and many more. You can find this by clicking on the box below.

NHS Inform self-help guides 

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Self Care

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Your GP Practice

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Mental Health

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NHS 24 and GP Out of Hours

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