Show you care. Prepare.

No one likes being unwell over the festive season, but a little preparation can stop illness from spoiling any fun.

When you prepare for winter, you are not just helping yourself and your loved ones, you’re helping the NHS too.

To prepare for winter:

Do

  • stock up on over-the-counter remedies for common seasonal illnesses
  • find out how to get an emergency supply of any medicines you take
  • use our self-help guides if you have a cough, sore throat or the flu
  • check when your GP and pharmacy are open over the festive season

Don't

  • do not get too much medicine as it can go out of date

Check you have medicines at home

One way to prepare this winter is to make sure you have some over-the-counter remedies for common seasonal illnesses. Your pharmacist can advise you on the best medicines for you and your family.

Good things to have include:

  • paracetamol and ibuprofen for pain relief (check the label or speak to your pharmacist to check it's suitable for you)
  • anti-histamines to help allergies
  • anti-diarrhoeals for diarrhoea
  • indigestion remedies such as an antacid
  • mild laxatives for constipation
  • a first aid kit which includes plasters, bandages and antiseptic wipes for cuts and scrapes
  • medicines specifically for children (your pharmacist can advise on the most suitable ones to keep in the house)

Remember to always follow the advice on the pack and do not get too much as medicines go out of date.

Accessing medicines

If you do run out of your regular medicine, and your GP practice is closed, there are ways to get an emergency supply.

Use our self-help guide for advice if you're having difficulty getting the medicine you need.

How to get medicines if you run out

Managing common winter illnesses

Use our self-help guides to manage common winter illnesses such as flu, sore throat, diarrhoea and many more.

NHS inform self-help guides (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVY49VbtHAg)

Non-urgent advice: Phone 111 or speak to you GP or pharmacist if:

  • your symptoms are severe or persist

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland

If you have a minor illness, a pharmacist can give you advice and provide non-prescription medicines free of charge if you are registered with a GP practice in Scotland or you live in Scotland.

Health information

You’ll find more self-care advice and general health information within the following sections on NHS inform:

If you’re well but have a question about your health or local NHS services you can contact us by phone or webchat

Check your GP practice and pharmacy opening times

Over the holiday season, your GP practice and pharmacy opening hours are likely to be different from normal.

It’s important to know this information so you can make sure you order and collect any repeat prescriptions you may need in plenty of time.

Use our service directory to find out when these services will be open.