Preparing for Christmas

Put medicine cabinet essentials on your Christmas shopping list.

That’s the call from GPs at the NHS West Suffolk and NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk clinical commissioning groups to help you be prepared for the winter months.

With many of us out and about shopping for Christmas presents, this is an ideal time to pop into your local pharmacy and purchase those medicine cabinet essentials. By doing so, it means you can deal with minor illness and injury more easily at home.

Dr Imran Qureshi, a GP in Leiston and chairman of the clinical executive of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “I would encourage everyone to take a few moments out from their Christmas shopping and call into their local pharmacy.  The pharmacist will happily offer you advice on the best items to keep a stock of at home, so that you are prepared for when unexpected minor injury or illness occurs.

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “It’s all too easy to assume that you’ll never get ill, or never need to keep a stock of medicine at home. However, at this time of year there are lots of bugs circulating and coughs, colds and flu are much more common.

“It needn’t cost much to stock up on the medicine cabinet essentials. By having the right medicines at home it means you won’t have to make a mad dash to the pharmacy or end up inappropriately at your hospital’s A&E department.”

A well-stocked medicine cabinet should include:

  • Paracetamol tablets (for adults) – for headaches, fevers, colds, sore throats, aches and pains
  • Paracetamol mixture – for pain and fever in children
  • Ibuprofen (tablets or syrup) – for pain and fever in adults and children
  • Antihistamine (tablets or syrup) – for allergies, bites and itchy rashes
  • Rehydration medicine – to replace lost water and salts from diarrhoea
  • Cream or spray for insect bites or stings
  • Steam inhalations (or vapour rubs) – for relief of cold symptoms and stuffy noses
  • Antacid – for indigestion/upset stomach
  • Hydrocortisone cream – for itchy skin rashes and bites

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