Many conditions get better on their own or can be treated successfully at home. Your pharmacist may be able to help you with this and advise about medicines you can buy over the counter.
Cold and Flu
Cold and flu are self-limiting viral illnesses, which cannot be treated with antibiotics. Treatment consists of taking recommended doses of Paracetamol and/or Ibuprofen for the temperature and aches and drinking plenty of fluids. If your symptoms worsen or if you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should contact the surgery.
Diarrhoea and Vomiting
Diarrhoea and vomiting may be caused by a viral infection or occasionally food poisoning and normally stop within 48 hours. Some children will vomit when they have a temperature. The best treatment is to rest and eat nothing for 24 hours, but drink plenty of fluids, little and often. Products like Dioralyte and Rehidrat, which can be made into a drink, are available from the chemist. As the stomach settles, try eating bread, toast, potatoes or plain biscuits before gradually returning to a normal diet. Diarrhoea and vomiting in small babies and young children should be treated with caution and the doctor/health visitor will be happy to advise you regarding treatment.
Backache, Sprains and Strains
Many acute strains and backaches will respond to a few days’ rest with Paracetamol and Ibuprofen taken for the pain. If the symptoms persist – make an appointment with the doctor.
You can download an app on your smartphone or tablet for further advice and suitable exercises:
Insect Bites and Stings
Most of these need no treatment. Antihistamine tablets can be obtained from the chemist without prescription and will relieve most symptoms. An ice pack is also helpful.
Sit in a chair (leaning forward with your mouth open) and pinch your nose just below the bone for about 10 minutes. Avoid hot drinks or hot food for 24 hours. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.