NHS: You can get the answer - Direct

PUBLISHED: 12:16 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010

KEEPING a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home can help you treat many minor ailments that do not last long. Colds, coughs, indigestion and many other minor complaints can all be alleviated with medicines available over the counter. Your pharmacist can a

KEEPING a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home can help you treat many minor ailments that do not last long. Colds, coughs, indigestion and many other minor complaints can all be alleviated with medicines 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 persists or becomes more severe.

The NHS offers a whole host of different services and your local pharmacist is just one. Pharmacists offer qualified free health advice at any time, no appointment necessary. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses.

They can answer questions about prescribed and over the counter medicines and can advise on healthy eating, obesity and giving up smoking.

Some pharmacists have private areas where you can talk in confidence. They may suggest a visit to the GP for more serious symptoms.

An other service is NHS Direct, a 24-hour confidential telephone service enabling you to ring for nurse advice if you are feeling ill and are unsure what to do, or for health information on particular conditions such as diabetes and allergies. NHS Direct can also tell you where to find your nearest GP, pharmacist, or dentist.

You can call NHS Direct at any time day or night on 0845 4647.

Visit the NHS Direct online website Visit NHS Direct Online on the internet at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk for health advice and information for you and your family. There's a self-help guide to treating common health problems at home; an encyclopedia covering hundreds of illnesses and conditions; and a directory of local health services such as doctors, pharmacists and dentists.

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