Self-care is about keeping fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself, when a pharmacist can help, and when to get advice from your GP or another health professional.​

Self-care is recommended when you have a minor condition which doesn’t normally need medical care (from a doctor or nurse) or any treatment in order to get better.  In practice this means a person decides that they can manage their illness without seeing a doctor.​

Community pharmacies stock over the counter products for many short term, minor illnesses and conditions, including: ​

  • Cough and cold remedies ​
  • Painkillers (such as paracetamol) ​
  • Anti-inflammatories (such as ibuprofen) ​
  • Skin creams and washes ​
  • Antifungal treatments ​
  • Treatment for bites and stings ​
  • Diarrhoea treatments ​
  • Hay fever treatments, including tablets and nasal sprays ​
  • Indigestion remedies ​
  • Laxatives ​
  • Sore throat sprays and lozenges ​

You do not need a prescription from a GP to buy over the counter medicines. Find out more about what medicines and treatments you can buy without seeing your GP at your local pharmacy or supermarket

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