DOCTOR CALLING: A weekly column by the chairman of South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group KEVIN HILL
With winter halfway through and spring on the horizon, people across Lincolnshire are being reminded they can buy a wide range of medicines over the counter from their local pharmacy or supermarket, without the need for a prescription.
There are a number of common conditions, such as coughs and colds, upset stomach, headache and migraine, that can be treated with medication available over the counter at your local pharmacy.
As well as being able to sell you these medications, your local pharmacy is a fantastic source of help and advice, and will be able to guide you on the most appropriate medication for your condition, and you won’t need a prescription or an appointment.
In addition to highlighting the benefits of buying over the counter, South Lincolnshire CCG is keen to promote the benefits of self-care, as prevention of ill health is much better than having to find a cure.
By ensuring you have a range of essential medications at home you can look after yourself by treating common conditions in a timely manner and avoid unnecessary trips to your doctor or to A&E.
It’s wise to have a range of medicine cabinet essentials at home. For example, simple pain killers like paracetamol and ibuprofen, cough and cold medications, allergy medicines, and First Aid kits, all of which can be bought easily and cheaply from your local pharmacy.
If you have a long-term condition it is worthwhile ensuring you won’t run out of your medication.
Again, your local pharmacy will be able to advise you on the best over the counter medicines to suit you and any medication you may already be taking.
Don’t forget the NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk is also a great source of information, including where to find your local pharmacy.