What do I need in my medical cabinet over winter?

What do I need in my medical cabinet over winter?

None of us want to waste our Doctors’ time, and keeping your medical cabinet stocked up is one way you can avoid making unnecessary trips to your GP.

According to the NHS, visits to the doctor that could actually be self-treated cost the government around £2 billion every year. So Hhere are some suggestions on what might be useful to keep in your home for medical use over winter.

Dealing with aches and pains at home

The health service says minor aches and pains are among the most common complaints people visit their GP with that could be treated at home.

With this in mind, you should make sure you have plenty of the following tucked away (safely, in a cabinet) at home:

  • Aspirin
  • Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen

These three medicines should help you get through most things from headaches to menstrual pain, while they also have anti-inflammatory qualities to help treat conditions like arthritis or sprains.

However, there are limits on who can take this medication and how often it should be consumed. If in doubt, ask your pharmacist.

Diarrhoea and rehydration medication

According to government experts, the Norovirus - or winter vomiting bug - is the most common stomach virus in the UK, causing sickness and diarrhoea.

Anyone who thinks they may be experiencing this condition is recommended to avoid contact with others for up to 48 hours, so being able to deal with it at home is essential.

With this in mind, you should make sure you are stocked up on anti-diarrhoea medicine to slow down your gut's reaction. This remedy is also good to have in case you experience food poisoning, but be aware you shouldn't be giving this medication to under-12s.

Rehydration salts are also useful when experiencing diarrhoea, vomiting and fever, helping us to maintain fluid levels and keep essential minerals in our system.

What should I have in a first aid kit?

As well as these basic remedies, you should also keep a first aid kit in the house to help you deal with other minor incidents.

Your first aid kit should include things like:

  • Bandages
  • Plasters
  • A thermometer
  • Antiseptic

However, these aren't the only items you should be stocking - if you're stuck for what else might come in useful, speak to your pharmacist for advice.

What medication am I likely to need over the festive season?

Having access to indigestion tablets could be handy for this time of year, particularly with the numerous buffets and feasts of the festive season just around the corner. These can bring you relief from stomach pains, heartburn and trapped wind, to name but a few ailments you might encounter.

Finally, you might benefit from having some antihistamines in your medical cabinet, particularly if you're likely to experience discomfort from dust allergies after dragging the Christmas tree out of the loft. Just bear in mind that some forms of this medication may make you feel drowsy - so consult a professional if you're not sure whether or not it is suitable to use.

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