8 essentials your GP keeps in the cupboard over Christmas

I just don't want to go dashing out looking for a pharmacy or supermarket once I have left work and declared myself to be on holiday over Christmas.  Here are a few things that I will be keeping handy, and I am sharing them in case it might be helpful for anyone else.

1. Paracetamol - we've seen the first of the nasty flu-like illnesses this week so make sure you are prepared.  And children's versions can save a big hunt for an open pharmacy over the Christmas break - so worth stocking up

2. Zantac - this is great for the effects of overeating and also works well for hangovers.  Available over the counter and if you find that you are susceptible to a bit of indigestion after a large meal this is worth having in your cupboard

3. Some 6cm x 7cm 'Opsite Flexigrid' dressings.  This stuff is amazing.  It is like a second skin and looks like cling film that has been stuck on.  Peel off the backing and slap it on to superficial burns (instant pain relief) and also grazed knees.  It can stay on for 3-4 days and then tends to come off easily leaving a beautifully healed wound beneath.

4. A good supply of any regular medication.  Check any inhalers to make sure that you are well stocked up and make sure you are not about to run out of your regular medication.

5. A large bottle of alcohol hand gel may come in handy if you have a visitor with a cold.  Good hand washing is the best way of reducing your chances of catching colds and viral illnesses so sit it in an obvious place and hope that everyone will take the hint.

6. Some zinc tablets and a supply of vitamin C.  Studies have shown that taken regularly at the start of a cold these can ward off or modify the illness so I keep some handy.

7. A large pump dispenser of emollient to use on hands that have spent too long in the sink washing up. And a pair of decent washing up gloves if you are prone to hand eczema or chapped skin.

8. A supply of antihistamine tablets if you are going to visit someone with a dusty house or cats and you suffer from allergies.

And finally, the statistics tell us that Christmas is a time when close relationships are likely to come under pressure.  With that in mind, I might want to be able to reach for a book that might offer some insight and perhaps a word of advice.  I might pick Sarah Abell's 'Authentic Relationships from the Inside Out', or Marshall Rosenberg's 'Non-Violent Communication' knowing that being reflective can be very helpful at these moments.

We hope that you won't need any of these and that you have a restful and happy break over Christmas.  Everyone at the practice sends their very best wishes.


Dr Amanda Northridge



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