Self Help

The following links will take you to the NHS Choices web-site where information on all conditions is available:


Medicine Chest

Below is a list of useful medicines and dressings with a description of their uses. All are quite cheap and worth stocking at home in readiness for minor illnesses.

Keep them in a box or cupboard with a lock or store them well out of the reach of children.

Soluble Aspirin Tablets:

For adults and children (over the age of 16 years). For headaches, toothache, colds and sore throats. Soluble Aspirin may also be used as a gargle for sore throats.

Paracetamol Tablets 500mg:

For the relief of pain and high temperatures in adults. Adult dose: take 2 tablets 4 times a day (Do not take more than 8 tablets in 24 hours)

Paracetamol Oral Suspension:

For relief of pain or high temperatures in young children from the age of 2 months.

Dose: according to age of child

Ibuprofen Tablets 200mg and 400mg:

For relief of pain, high temperatures and soft tissue swelling in adults.

Adult dose: 400mg 3 times a day, after food.

Ibuprofen Syrup:  

For relief of pain, fever and soft tissue swelling in young children

Dose: according to age of child


Please note that Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can be given along side each other, alternating from one to the other, e.g. one dose of Paracetamol then one dose of Ibuprofen. This combination of medication is safe for Adults and Children for the relief of pain, fever and swelling:


Paracetamol Tablets or Oral Suspension:

Ibuprofen Tablets or Oral Suspension:

4 times a day (over 12 months old)

3 times a day (over 12 months old)


Please note: Always read the instructions regarding recommended safe doses for children in relation to their age


Sedative Cough Linctus:

For dry coughs which are non-productive (without phlegm). Productive coughs may require an expectorant to assist with coughing up the phlegm.

Menthol Crystals:

Add to bowl of hot water to make a steam inhalation for treating catarrh and dry painful coughs.

Vapour Rub:

Again, may be used for steam inhalations. Also useful for children with snuffly noses or dry coughs. Rub on the chest and apply under the nose.

Sodium Chloride Nasal Drops:

For snuffly noses in children which have become dry and blocked.

Instil: 2 drops 3 times a day to each nostril

Ephedrine Nose Drops:

For runny noses in children over 1 year old.

Use before meal times and at night time (Do not use for more than 4 days)

Antiseptic Solution:  

Use one teaspoonful diluted in warm water for cleaning cuts and grazes.

Antiseptic Cream:

For treating septic spots, sores in the nose and to minor cuts and grazes.

Calamine Lotion:

For dabbing (not rubbing) on insect bites, stings and sunburn. Calamine lotion may also be used in Chickenpox to sooth painful, inflamed spots along with the use of Paracetamol.

Eurax Lotion / Cream:

Can be used as an alternative to Calamine lotion for the relief of itchiness and skin irritation (can be used from the age of 3 years of age)


First Aid Equipment:

Elastoplast Strip (cut to size) for minor cuts and grazes.

Cotton Wool: for cleaning minor cuts and grazes

Antiseptic Solution: (e.g. Savlon) used to clean minor cuts and grazes.

Gauze Swabs: for dry dressings for minor wounds

Melolin Dressings: can be used as an alternative to gauze swabs as these dressing have a non-stick film coating (shiny side to wound)

Sterri-strips: used to close minor cuts and lacerations.

Role of adhesive tape: to hold dressings and bandages in place

3inch, 4inch, 6inch Crepe Bandage: used to hold dressings in place and to give support to sprains and bruised joints.

Thermometer: used to take temperatures during a fever.

Tweezers: for removing splinters and thorns from the skin.

Sling (or Headscaf to use as a sling): used to support the shoulder or arm following an injury prior to seeking medical help, especially if a fracture is suspected.

Pair of Scissors: to cut elastoplast strip and other dressings / bandages.


Remember that your local chemist can give you advice about medicines.


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