With Christmas less than a month away, now is the perfect time to review the contents of a medicine cabinet.

A properly stocked medicine cabinet can help to treat many common illnesses and ailments over the festive period.

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust is urging everyone to make sure these items are on hand and say it will save the worry if people need them over the coming months.

The trust is also advising that people make sure they have enough lateral flow tests at home to see them through the Christmas and new year period. These can be ordered from the Government at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society recommends including the following in a medicine cabinet:

  • A first-aid kit, including bandages, plasters, a thermometer, antiseptic, eyewash solution, sterile dressings, medical tape for dressings and tweezers;
  • Pain relief such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen for aches, pains and high temperatures;
  • Oral rehydration salts to replace lost minerals and fluid after a fever or vomiting and diarrhoea;
  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets to relieve symptoms of diarrhoea, although these will not help with the underlying cause;
  • Antihistamines which can help with allergies;
  • Indigestion relief remedies.

Paul Fieldhouse, clinical director of pharmacy at NCIC, is encouraging everyone to doublecheck their supplies ahead of the festive period.

He said: “Many of us get a minor illness from time to time over the winter period and you’ll be relieved of suffering if you have a properly stocked medicine cabinet that helps you get back on your feet quickly.

“It is worth checking the medicines you have at home to make sure they are still appropriate and still in date.

“Remember your pharmacist is an expert who can advise you about any medications you have been prescribed which might affect your choice of product.

“We want you to enjoy this season so pop in to your local pharmacy where we’re always on hand to help.

“Act now and save yourself that terrible feeling of having to drag yourself to the pharmacy when you’re feeling really poorly.

“Always be prepared.

“Having a good stock of lateral flow tests for your twice weekly testing is also crucial as you never know when you might need them.”