How to stock your home medicine cabinet

Find out what pharmacists say will help your you and your family if illness strikes over winter.
Photo of teddy with facemask by Kristine Wook on Unsplash

Reading people are being encouraged by local NHS services to check that their medicine and first-aid supplies are fully stocked at home over the winter.

“By having a fully-stocked medicine cabinet, you can keep on top of many minor illnesses and injuries and have to avoid waiting for help at A&E or with your local GP,” said David Dean, who represents pharmacists in the Thames Valley.

The NHS is sharing the short video, below, of a pharmacist at Grovelands Pharmacy, Reading, advising what you should have in your home medicine cabinet.

Advice from a Reading pharmacist.

People are also encouraged to visit local pharmacies to get advice with common winter ailments.


The public are advised to keep these items stocked up at home:

  • Pain relief – such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin; to help relive minor aches and pains, as well as symptoms of minor illnesses;
  • Oral rehydration salts – a high temperature, diarrhoea and being sick can cause you to become dehydrated by losing water and essential minerals. Oral rehydration salts help restore your body’s natural balance of fluid and minerals;
  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets – diarrhoea can be caused by food poisoning or a stomach virus and can happen without warning. Anti-diarrhoea remedies may not deal with underlying cause but can help control the symptoms;
  • Indigestion treatment – antacids can reduce stomach acidity and bring relief to stomach ache or heartburn;
  • A full First Aid Kit including bandages, plasters, a thermometer, antiseptic, eyewash solution, sterile dressings, medical tape, and tweezers.

You can find more information about the local 'Winter Ready' campaign run by the local NHS, on the Royal Berkshire Hospital website.

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