Coughs & Colds
Sore throats, colds and chest infections are, in the majority of cases, caused by a virus and, therefore, antibiotics will make no difference.
Instead, follow these guidelines to help you get over your illness.
6 Handy Hints – for patients aged 12 and over
- Have regular (4-6 hourly) doses of soluble Paracetamol. These are best taken if dissolved in water or juice, gargled and then the liquid mixture is swallowed. This should help with any pain and/or feverish symptoms. Ibuprofen can be added for additional control of Pain, fever and inflammation. You should take 200mg to 400mg three times a day after food.
- Drink plenty of fluids, but not alcohol. Food is not necessary but it is not harmful.
- Go to bed if you feel too ill to be up and about.
- If your head feels blocked up, use steam to relieve some of the congestion. You can buy Olbas Oil, Menthol Crystals or Karvol Capsules and add to a small quantity of hot water in a bowl or sink. Put a towel over your head and inhale the steam for 10—15 minutes. This should enable you to blow your nose more freely. This is best done twice a day and afterwards you should wait 30 minutes before going outside.
- Get plenty of rest and do not take part in vigorous exercise or sport when you feel feverish. It is best to avoid swimming until you feel better.
- Many products are sold over the counter and often are quite costly. These remedies can often be substituted with inexpensive “home” remedies i.e. “Lemsip” can be substituted with a hot lemon drink and 2 Paracetamol.
Contact the surgery for an appointment to see the doctor or nurse if you show no sign of improvement after 5-7 days or if you have extreme difficulty swallowing. Most minor conditions improve spontaneously and are harmless.
If you have asthma and use a regular (brown) inhlaer, then double your regular dose whilst you have your cold and for 1 week afterwards. Use your reliever (blue) inhaler every 4 hours if needed.
Seek medical advice if you have to use your reliever inhaler during the night or if you find you are not getting relief for 4 hours between doses.
Remember you can contact the surgery for advice during our triage time. A clinician will be available Monday to Friday 8.00am – 3.00pm.