Ask your pharmacist for expert advice without an appointment. From sprains to stomach upsets, pharmacists are qualified to give advice.
Use the NHS Choices online directory for addresses and opening times of local pharmacists.
Although antibiotics do not work on colds, most coughs and sore throats, you can get plenty of advice from your pharmacist about over the counter medicines that can help relieve your symptoms.
NHS Direct gives a useful list of medicines to keep at home for first aid and minor ailments. Medicine Chest Online is a searchable directory of medicines and food supplements that are available over the counter from your pharmacist.
Advice about common ailments and symptoms is also available from the Best Treatments website or the Consumer Health Information Centre.
Safety of Medicines
Always store medicines in a cool, dry place, out of sight and reach of children. Keep all medicines in their original containers and carefully read the instructions before using. Always take the doses exactly as specified in the instructions.
Watch expiry dates - do not keep or use medicines past their sell-by date. Take all unwanted and out-of-date medicines back to the pharmacy, to stop medicines getting into the water supply or the wrong people getting hold of medicines you have thrown away.
Make sure you understand how many to take, when and for how long, any possible side effects and what to do if they affect you. Go to the Ask about Medicines website to check what you should ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about your medicine.
The Yellow Card Scheme website collects information from doctors and patients on suspected adverse drug reactions. Over 500,000 medicine safety reports have been made on prescription medicines, herbal remedies and over-the-counter medicines.
You can report your own suspected adverse drug reactions, view information for patients and download reports on medicines.