Press releases

Stock up your medicine cabinet while Christmas shopping

The local NHS is urging shoppers in Nottingham City to stock up their medicine cabinet while they buy their Christmas presents.


Many people are affected by minor illnesses and ailments at this time of year, often brought on by festive over-indulging, but a well-stocked medicine cabinet can help. In most cases minor illnesses and injuries do not need a visit to A&E but can be better treated more quickly elsewhere, or at home.

Your local pharmacist can offer you free, qualified health advice with no appointment necessary. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses and answer questions about prescribed and over-the-counter medicines.

All year round, pharmacists can also advise on healthy eating, obesity and giving up smoking and almost all have private consultation areas where you can talk in confidence.

So, before you head out to do your last bit of Christmas shopping, check your medicine cabinet and make sure you have the following basics to get you through the festive season:

  • Your usual painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Cold and flu remedies
  • Anti-diarrhoea medicine
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Indigestion remedies
  • Plasters
  • Bandages
  • Thermometer
  • Tissues

Always make sure you read the leaflets for any medications before taking them and bear in mind that many cold and flu medications contain painkillers such as paracetamol and should not be taken in conjunction with some other treatments.

If you are already taking other medication, check first with your pharmacist to make sure the medicines are right for you.

Check any medicines already in your cabinet are still okay to use. If any medicines are past their use-by date, don’t take them and ask your local pharmacist for advice on how to dispose of them safely.

Hugh Porter, Clinical Chair at NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The last thing anyone wants over the holidays is to be ill. Unfortunately, every winter, colds, flu, stomach bugs and other ailments are all too common. We’re sure that most people would much prefer to avoid a trip to the GP or A&E if they possibly can, especially over the holidays.

“By being prepared for winter and stocking up on medicine cabinet essentials, many people can treat minor illnesses at home, avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor.”

If it’s not an emergency, don’t go to A&E or ring 999. Help the NHS during these busy times by making sure you ‘choose well’ and consider using other parts of the NHS. For minor but urgent ailments call NHS 111; for less urgent problems speak to a pharmacist or your GP. If you need treatment, consider using a walk-in centre or minor injuries unit.

Details of Nottingham City pharmacies open on the Christmas and New Year bank holidays can be found at

Published: 19 December 2014