Prepare for the festive season and use your local pharmacy as the first port of call for healthcare needs.
People are being encouraged to stock up on commonly-used items and to check any repeat prescriptions they may need over the Christmas and New Year period, placing orders in plenty of time.
Emergency medicines any family may need include preparations for fever, sore throats and colds, as well as treatments for upset stomachs and headache tablets.
Joe McQuaid, a member of the Isle of Man Pharmacy Contractors’ Association, said: ‘When out shopping, call in to your local pharmacy and choose items to replenish your medicine cabinet. This could save you unnecessary trips when there are fewer shops open over the Christmas period.
‘If you’re not sure what products to choose, please discuss this with a pharmacist who will assist you.
‘As the cold winter nights set in there is no better time to stay protected from flu. Vaccinations offer the best protection and are also available from your local pharmacies.’
Pharmacies will be open across the Island throughout the holiday period and people are urged to think of visiting them first in all non-urgent cases. Full details are carried in local newspapers and are available online at gov.im/categories/health-and-wellbeing/pharmacy/pharmacy-rota/ – cut out or print and keep handy in case they’re needed.
Maria Bell, pharmaceutical adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care, said: ‘Remember that your local pharmacist is a highly-trained clinical member of the healthcare team. They can offer advice on all manner of issues, whether it is an acute illness or long-term condition.
‘Also, there is a limited number of items which can be supplied free of charge, if you are exempt from prescription charges, without having to see your GP as part of the minor ailments scheme.
‘It is always wise to check if a pharmacist can help you first by a quick phone call.’
Addresses and contact numbers for all the Island’s pharmacists is available at gov.im/categories/health-and-wellbeing/pharmacy
If an issue is more serious, people should call their GP, contact the Manx Emergency Doctors Service on 650355 or visit the accident and emergency department at Noble’s Hospital.