Medicine Chest

Here 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 older children. Good for headaches, colds, sore throats and painful bruises.

Paracetamol Mixture

For relief of pain or fever in young children.

Sedative Cough Linctus

For dry or painful coughs – but not coughs caused by common colds.

Menthol Crystals

Add to hot water to make steam inhalations for treating catarrh and dry or painful coughs.

Vapour Rub

Again, for steam inhalations. Also useful for children with stuffy noses or dry coughs. Rub on the chest and nose.

Ephedrine Nose Drops

For runny noses in children over one year old. Use before meals and at night but not for more than four days.

Antiseptic Solution

One teaspoon diluted in warm water for cleaning cuts and grazes.

Antiseptic Cream

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

Calamine Lotion

For dabbing (not rubbing) on insect bites and stings and sunburn.

Dressing Strips

For minor cuts.

3″ Wide Crepe Bandage

To keep dressings in place. To support sprained or bruised joints.

Cotton Wool

For cleaning cuts and grazes.


For fevers.


For removing splinters.

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

Safety With You Medication

Read the instructions carefully and give or take the right dose. If you are unsure get your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to go through the instructions with you. Complete the course of medication even if you feel better. If in doubt, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Don’t give your medication to someone else or take theirs. What suits them may not suit you and could be dangerous. Some drugs don’t go well with others.

If you are not sure why you are being given medication, don’t understand what the medication is supposed to do or have had problems with the same medication before – Say something, don’t just accept your prescription. It could be dangerous.

If you notice any side effects tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist, don’t ignore them. If you are pregnant always check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about any medication you may be taking or thinking of taking.

If your prescription says don’t drink alcohol, drive or operate machinery then Don’t. It could be dangerous.

Don’t keep any unused medication of any sort. Some medications have a “sell-by” date and could be harmful if taken outside that date. Take them back to your pharmacist or destroy them yourself.

Keep all medicines out of the way of children. Store them safely in a lockable cupboard if possible.

Never mix tablets in the same container or transfer tablets/capsules from one container to another. Never take medication from an unlabelled container. Mistakes can be made. Some medication, particularly asthma inhalers, may need to be stored in dry conditions. Some medications need to be stored in the refrigerator, heat may lessen their effect. Some medications such as eye drops and children’s antibiotics must be thrown away once opened for a period of time.

Treat All Medicines With Respect.

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