Ask your pharmacist about coughs and colds this winter

People in the Black Country are being reminded to make their local pharmacy the first port of call for coughs and colds this winter.

Cold symptoms are the same in both adults and children and often come on gradually.

They include coughing, a sore throat, headaches and a raised temperature.

There’s no cure for coughs or colds, but to help you get better more quickly you should rest and sleep, and drink plenty of fluids.

Try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities.

For most people, a cold or cough will get better on its own within a couple of weeks of the symptoms starting, without any specific treatment.

However, there are medicines that can be bought over the counter at a local pharmacy to help to ease your symptoms and make you feel more comfortable, such as painkillers, cough syrups or decongestant sprays. Stephen Noble, local pharmacist and Chief Officer of the Dudley Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said:

“Coughs and colds are among the most common reasons for people feeling poorly over the winter period, but these minor ailments don’t have to lead to a visit to your GP or out-of-hours services.

“Most coughs and colds clear up on their own, but some can be quite unpleasant and persistent, taking a while to go away.

“Pharmacists are trained professionals who can provide advice and recommend treatments to help reduce the discomfort of minor illnesses, so you should always make your local pharmacy the first place to go for help with coughs or colds.

“As well as getting the right medication from your pharmacist if you need it, there are simple precautions you can take to reduce your risk of catching a cough or cold during winter.

“This includes washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap, not sharing towels or household items with someone who has a cough or cold-like symptoms and cleaning surfaces regularly to keep them free of germs.”

Patients registered with GP practices in the Black Country can also make use of the Pharmacy First service. This service provides people who are exempt from prescription charges with free over-the-counter medicines, so they do not need to see a GP to receive the medication on prescription.


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