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Blog: The importance of having a fully stocked medicine cabinet

27 April 2017


Head of Medicines Optimisation at Bedfordshire Clinical Commission Group, Fiona Garnett writes of the importance of having a fully stocked medicine cabinet.

As a parent, it is important to me that I know what medication I have at home. As all parents know it’s never easy when your child is sick or injured.  Scrapes, allergies, fevers and coughs are easier to manage when you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet, it is a relief that you have medicines in place to make them or yourself feel better quicker, as well as help you avoid unnecessary trips to your local GP or hospital.

As many of you may know, along with your local GP, Bedfordshire CCG does not routinely support the prescribing of medication that is available to buy from local pharmacies or supermarkets for children or adults. It is, therefore, important that we all take a few moments to understand what is available over the counter and what one should have in their medicine cabinet.

With hot weather; the pollen count is expected to be high, stocking up on hay fever remedies, for example, this summer is essential. Pharmacists are well placed and easily accessible for advice on hay fever management and product selection.

A trip to your local pharmacy or supermarket may mean you don't have to spend time waiting to see your GP, it also means you can get on and start tackling symptoms. Self-care for common conditions can also help free up some of your GP's time, making it easier to get an appointment when you or others have a more serious condition. If you do attend your surgery your doctor may ask you to buy some common medicines over-the-counter (rather than on prescription) for treating minor ailments such as:

• Aches and pains

• Heartburn and indigestion

• Coughs and colds

• Hay fever and allergies

• Sore throat

• Upset stomach

• Athlete’s foot

• Skin rashes and dry skin

Once you have medicines at home I strongly recommend people check regularly that medicines are still okay to use. If medicines are past their use-by date, people shouldn’t take them. If you no longer need medications, get rid of them. You should return them to your local pharmacy for safe disposal and don’t forget to keep your medicines locked away and out of the reach of children.

For more information on other counter medicine and self-care please visit BCCG website at www.bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk/home/

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