We are keen to help patients self care for common ailments and hope that the following information will offer some useful advice.
Keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet at home can help you treat many minor ailments. Colds, coughs, indigestion and many other minor complaints can all be treated with medicines that are available over the counter.
Your pharmacist can advise on what you might find useful to keep in your medicine cabinet. Always follow the instructions on the medicine label and consult your doctor if the illness continues or becomes more severe.
Gastroenteritis is a common condition. The two main symptoms of gastroenteritis are diarrhoea and vomiting.
As gastroenteritis is highly infectious, it is important to take steps to prevent it spreading to other people. These include:
- washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water or an antibacterial hand wash after going to the toilet and before eating or preparing food
- cleaning the toilet, including the handle and the seat, with disinfectant after each bout of vomiting or diarrhoea.
- not sharing towels, cutlery or utensils with other members of your household
- Do not go to work, school or visit hospitals or other health care providers until you have been symptom free for 48 hours
There is usually no need to contact your GP if you have gastroenteritis. In most cases it goes away without treatment but it is important to make sure you drink plenty of fluids to reduce your risk of dehydration. If you need general advice please call 111.
However, you should arrange a telephone call with a GP if you:
- have been vomiting for longer than three days or have diarrhoea for more than a week
- show signs of dehydration
- have blood in your stools
- have recently been abroad
- have a weakened immune system caused by an underlying health condition or as a side effect of a medical treatment.