Your Family Medicine Cabinet

Even a minor illness and ailments – such as colds, headaches and diarrhoea – can disrupt your life. Be prepared for most common ailments by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home.

  • Keep all medicines in a box or cupboard with a lock or store them well out of reach of children
  • The following list is not exhaustive but will help you to cope with most minor illness
  • A description of their uses is included for each item
  • All are quite cheap and available from your local chemist
  • Remember that your local chemist can give you advice about medicines

medicine cabinet

 

Antihistamines

  • These are useful for dealing with allergies and insect bites
  • They're also helpful if you have hay fever
  • Comes in cream or tablet form
 

Anti-diarrhoea tablets

  • Quickly control the unpleasant symptoms of diarrhoea

Warning: Do not give to children under 12

 

Antiseptics

  • Antiseptic solutions can be used for cleaning cuts and grazes
  • One teaspoon can be diluted in warm water prior to use
  • Antiseptic cream is useful for treating septic spots, sores in the nose and grazes
 

Aspirin

  • Soluble tablets for adults and older children
  • Typical uses: headaches, colds, sore throats, minor aches and pains and menstrual cramps
  • Warning: Not suitable for children under 16
 

Calamine Lotion

  • For dabbing on insect bites, stings and sunburn
  • Useful for relief of itching in chicken pox
 

Cough Linctus

  • Simple linctus or sedative cough linctus
  • For dry or painful coughs - but not caused by the common cold
 

Dioralyte Rehydration Sachets

  • These contain essential salts and glucose
  • Helpful to replace lost fluid and salts in cases of vomitting and diarrhoea
 

Dressings and Cotton Wool

  • Plasters and dressing strips can be used for minor cuts
  • Three inch wide crepe bandage can be used to keep dressings in place and to support sprained or bruised joints
  • Cotton wool is useful for cleaning cuts and grazes
 

Ephedrine Nose Drops

  • Useful for runny noses in children over 1 year old
  • Use before meals and at night but not for more than 4 days
 

Ibuprofen

  • Tablets for adults and older children
  • Syrup for younger children
  • Typical uses: headaches, colds, sore throats, minor aches and pains and menstrual cramps
  • Warning: May cause indigestion and occasionally may aggravate asthma 
 

Menthol Crystals

  • Add to hot water to make steam inhalations
  • Useful for treating catarrh and dry or painful coughs
 

Paracetamol

  • Tablets for adults and older children
  • Mixture for younger children
  • Useful for pain relief and lowering temperatures
  • Typical uses: headaches, colds, sore throats, minor aches and pains and menstrual cramps
 

Thermometer

  • Useful to estimate temperatures
  • May give readings in centigrade, fahrenheit, colour change or visual scale
  • Different readings may be obtained from different sites (mouth, ear, armpit)
 

Tweezers

  • Useful for removing foreign bodies such as splinters
 

Vapour Rub

  • For use with steam inhalations
  • Also useful for children with stuffy noses or dry coughs
  • Rub on the chest and nose  

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