There are less than three weeks to get ready for Christmas. That is why leading local GPs are reminding people to make sure they have stocked up on essential medicines at home and don’t get caught out during one of the busiest times of the year.

Stocking your medicine cabinet with Christmas essentials is relatively inexpensive. For just a few pounds you can buy medicines to help self-care and tackle minor conditions at home. Suggestions for some of the most useful and inexpensive items to have in your medicine are listed below:

General medication:

  • Painkillers like ibuprofen and paracetamol
  • Antihistamines for allergies
  • Diarrhoea relief
  • Constipation relief
  • Throat lozenges
  • Antacid/indigestion tablets
  • Sticking plasters/bandages for small cuts and scrapes

And for smaller children:

  • Calpol
  • Ibuprofen suspension

Always ensure anything already in your medicines cabinet are still okay to use. If any medicines are past their use-by-date, don’t use them and return them to your local pharmacy for disposal.

Don’t forget to take the time now and order your repeat prescriptions well in advance to ensure you have all the essential medication to see you through the Christmas period.

Dr Paddy Hannigan, a Stafford GP and Chair of Stafford and Surrounds CCG said: “It is important to plan ahead, stock up your medicine cabinets with plenty of time to spare so you can treat minor injuries and illnesses at home, avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor.

“Over the festive period, the quickest way to get help is from your local pharmacist, who should be your first point of call for advice and support. They have private consultation rooms without the need for an appointment if you have something personal you wish to discuss. Pharmacists can also give you expert advice on common illnesses including coughs, colds, aches and pains and they can answer questions about prescribed and over the counter medicines. “If you need urgent medical advice, but you’re not sure where to turn call NHS 111 a FREE telephone service which gives confidential health guidance and advice, 24 hours a day 365 days a year. They will also direct you to other local services where appropriate.”

For more information on all essential medicine must-haves visit the NHS Choices website.

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