NHS Leeds West Clinical Commissioning Group is advising patients not to leave it too late to order or collect repeat prescriptions over Christmas and New Year.
With the festive season upon us, the health body is reminding people that their local pharmacy or GP practice may only be open for a reduced period or closed over the bank holiday period. This means it is important that anyone with a long-term condition, needing regular medication, is prepared for this by having enough medicines to cover this period.
Dr Simon Stockill, GP and NHS Leeds West CCG’s Medical Director, said: “Running out of medicine over the festive period could have serious consequences for some patients and also has a knock on effect on other services. This is because many people will turn to A&E for their treatment because they have not got their medicines with them. It is important that people make arrangements to pick up repeat prescription so that they can enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.”
The CCG is also advising that people check their medicine cabinets so that they are prepared for winter.
Minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, headaches and diarrhoea can spoil festive gatherings but a well-stocked medicine cabinet can reduce the disruption they cause.
The CCG is encouraging people to check expiry dates on medicine they have at home and any medicine past its use-by should be taken to a pharmacy to be disposed of safely. Before taking any medication people should always read the information leaflet that comes with any medicine and keep it out of reach of children and young people.
If anyone needs non-prescription medicines, such as paracetamol or an antacid, and is unable to find an open pharmacy then places like a supermarket, newsagent or petrol station may stock a basic range of over-the-counter medicines and often have longer opening hours than high-street pharmacies.
People should have the following medicines at home for common health conditions:
- Pain relief – paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets are effective painkillers that can help the odd headache, any minor aches or pains (such as a pulled muscle) and ease fever or cold / flu symptoms. Ibuprofen is also an anti-inflammatory. Remember, if you take ibuprofen, take it with, or after, food and not on an empty stomach.
- Indigestion – for stomach ache, heartburn or trapped wind, antacids will bring relief. They come as chewable tablets, tablets that dissolve in water or in liquid form.
- Diarrhoea – the anti-diarrhoeal remedy, loperamide, can help control the unpleasant symptoms of diarrhoea. Don’t give anti-diarrhoeal medicine to children under 12 because they may have undesirable side effects. Speak to your GP or pharmacist for advice about a child with these symptoms.
- Upset stomach and dehydration – oral rehydration salt sachets can help prevent dehydration from bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea. They help restore the body’s balance of minerals and fluids.
- Blocked nose – menthol and eucalyptus inhalations ease the nasal congestion that comes with coughs and colds.
A home first-aid kit can help people treat minor cuts, sprains and bruises as well as reducing the risk of infection in open cuts.
- Plasters (various sizes),
- Tweezers – for removing splinters
- Antiseptic – can be used to clean cuts before they’re dressed (bandaged) and most can treat a range of conditions including insect stings, ulcers and pimples. You can get antiseptics as creams, sprays or wipes. Alcohol-free antiseptic wipes are useful to clean cuts.
- Surgical tape and a few dressings – useful for treating minor scrapes and cuts.
- Thermometer – digital thermometers that you put in your mouth produce very accurate readings; a thermometer placed under the arm is a good way to read a baby or young child’s temperature
- Eyewash solution – this will help wash out grit or dirt in the eyes
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