Help yourself stay well this winter with a well-stocked medicine cabinet
GPs are urging people to be prepared this winter and ensure their medicine cabinets are fully stocked to help them keep well through any bad weather and illness.
Distington GP Dr Helen Horton said:
“The weather often means many of us are spending more time indoors and unfortunately feeling unwell with coughs, colds and other viruses, which can be picked up through family, friends and colleagues at work.
“It is well worth making sure that your medicine cabinet is well stocked with over the counter remedies to ease the symptoms of common winter illnesses.
“The usual winter illnesses can make you feel unwell, and often self-care and symptom treatment is all that is needed. It is useful to have a stock of pain killers and other medicines, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen stocked in your medicine cabinet to ease the symptoms. These medicines can be bought from local pharmacies and shops. You can look after yourself by making sure you rest and drink plenty of fluid.”
Patients are also reminded that your local pharmacy is a valuable resource for you and your family with medicine for minor ailments or illnesses and help and advice.
Pharmacists are experts in many aspects of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long-term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets. Your pharmacist will be able to advise if you need further medical attention.
Dr Horton added: “With the busy build up to the festive season we would recommend people plan ahead and if they need a repeat prescription over the Christmas period to make arrangements to get it in plenty of time before the Christmas period starts.”
Many people also suffer at this time of year with norovirus (or sickness bugs) and they are strongly advised not to visit anyone in hospital as they could be putting others at risk.
There is no treatment for norovirus but it’s important to keep yourself hydrated to prevent loss of fluids and practice good hand hygiene to help with prevention from the virus. If you have any children who have been ill with the virus keep them away from nursery or school for 48 hours after their last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting.
If you need medical advice you can call NHS 111 for free 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
More advice to help people stay well this winter can be found at: www.northcumbriaccg.nhs.uk/winter
The website www.nhs.uk provides winter health advice, information about how to treat everyday winter illnesses and, if needed, where to go to for help.
People in Cumbria are urged only to use 999 and A+E services only if it is a serious accident or life threatening illness.