Basic supplies and storage
Illnesses like coughs, colds and minor accidents can happen at any time, so it's a good idea to keep a small supply of simple remedies in your home.
Make sure your medicine cabinet contains important basic items like:
• paracetamol or ibuprofen
• something for stuffy noses such as a decongestant
• sachets of oral rehydration solution to prevent dehydration which may arise from diarrhoea or vomiting
• antiseptic solution
• anti-histamine: tablets or medicine, not the cream
• as well as a thermometer, a section of plasters and dressings, safety pins, tweezers and sharp scissors.
Keep your medicines in a secure, dry place, out of sight and reach of children or anyone who might take anything by mistake. Keep medicines in their original labelled container and don't store medicines which are past their expiry date. Your local pharmacist can dispose of them safely.
Medication concerns and reminders
If you’re worried about the side effects of medication you are taking, you can
- keep a list of the effects that you think are due to the medication and talk to you doctor or pharmacist about this.
- contact the NHS 111 Service who will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.
If you need help with remembering to take your medicines, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice. There are also a variety of medication management tools available.
New medicines and prescriptions
If you're prescribed a medicine to treat a long-term condition for the first time, you may be able to get extra help and advice about your medicine from your local pharmacist through a free scheme called the New Medicine Service (NMS).
If you are having problems with running out of your tablets or collecting your prescription, ask your local pharmacist if they offer a home delivery service. There are also many repeat prescription delivery services run by major pharmacies. Many of these let you order your repeat prescription online and will request your medicine from your GP and then deliver to your door.
Review your medicines as you get older
As you get older, the way medicines work in your body can change. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you sleepy or dizzy and can cause you to fall. Ask your GP, pharmacist or Community Matron to review all the medicines you take, even over-the-counter medicines.
Message in a bottle
The Message in a Bottle service encourages people living on their own to keep their basic personal and medical details in a small plastic bottle in the fridge. If the emergency services come to your home, they can quickly find vital information about your health. Bottles are funded by local Lions Clubs and are free to users. Ask your local GP surgery or pharmacy for details.