When treating minor illnesses and ailments, there are plenty of effective medicines that can be bought over the counter from the chemist or supermarket. And your local pharmacist is also on hand for self-care tips and advice on the correct medication to take. ‘If your symptoms suggest that there is something more serious, pharmacists will then raise a red flag and say whether you need to see a GP,’ says Shirin Alwash, pharmacy manager and Royal Pharmaceutical Society ambassador. Here are some essential facts to remember when self-medicating.
YOUR MEDICINE CUPBOARD
1 Sensible storage
‘Storing your medicines properly ensures that they work as they should,’ says Shirin. It’s best to keep them in a dry cupboard, away from light and moisture and out of reach from children. Also, don’t be tempted to chuck away the original container or packaging as these have the important info on how to take them.
2 Check the date
Just like food, medicines have a shelf life. Check the expiration date on the packet or bottle and don’t use a medicine beyond this date because it may not be as safe or effective. ‘Most people don’t realise that out-of-date medicines, either opened or unopened, can be returned to a pharmacy for safe disposal,’ advises Shirin.
3 ANY ALTERNATIVES?
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