With Christmas fast approaching, now is the perfect time to review the contents of your medicine cabinet and to get your repeat prescriptions ordered as soon as possible.
A properly stocked medicine cabinet can help you treat many common illnesses and ailments over the cold winter months.
Health professionals in Lancashire and South Cumbria are urging everyone to make sure they have these items on hand:
- A first-aid kit, including bandages, plasters, a thermometer, antiseptic, eyewash solution, sterile dressings, medical tape for dressings and tweezers
- Pain relief such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen for aches, pains and high temperatures
- Oral rehydration salts to replace lost minerals and fluid after a fever or vomiting and diarrhoea
- Anti-diarrhoea tablets to relieve symptoms of diarrhoea, although these will not help with the underlying cause
- Antihistamines which can help with allergies
- Indigestion relief remedies
It can cost less than £10 to fill your cabinet with recommended medicines and be prepared if you or a loved one fall ill.
If you or someone you care for requires medicines regularly, it’s important to make sure you order and collect repeat prescriptions in good time to ensure you or your family have enough medicine to last over the Christmas holiday period, including bank holidays.
Dr Andy Knox, Director of Population Health and Engagement for Bay Health and Care Partners in Morecambe Bay said: “When you’re getting ready for the festive period it’s important not to forget about winter health necessities like ordering and collecting repeat prescriptions to cover the holiday period.
“Many of us get a minor illness from time to time, especially when the temperature drops so it’s always best to have a properly stocked medicine cabinet with supplies that can help you get back on your feet quicker.
“I’d recommend having a quick check of the products that you already have in as you’ll need to make sure they are the right ones for you and that they’re still in date.
“If you need further advice, just pop down to see your local pharmacist who will be able to advise on any medications you’ve already been prescribed as this might affect your choice of product.
“Having a properly stocked medicine cabinet prevents you from having to go out to the pharmacy when you’re feeling poorly.”
Ordering and collecting prescriptions can take several days, which is why people are being urged to plan ahead. It’s important to order repeat prescriptions at least a week in advance so that the festive season can be enjoyed in good health.
Anyone concerned they may not have enough medication to cover the Christmas period should contact their GP surgery or local pharmacy in plenty of time to arrange a repeat prescription.
For more advice on keeping you, your family and your community well this winter, please visit our Keep Well This Winter webpage.
For further information about stocking your medicine cabinet, visit the NHS England website.