East Calder Medical Practice

Self Help for Minor Ailments

Your local pharmacy should be the first point of contact for minor ailments.

When you are registered for the minor ailment service the pharmacist can give you advice and/or medicine for a minor illness or complaint. This treatment is free and can be given for complaints such as; allergies, cold sores, eczema, coughs/colds, conjunctivitis, constipation and many more. If you are unsure if the pharmacy can treat your complaint then please phone then first. Anyone is now eligiable to use this service.

  • Antibiotics only work on bacteria and have no effect on viruses. Unfortunately this means that antibiotics will not help common infections such as colds and flu.
  • Unnecessary antibiotics may be harmful to your health and cause side-effects, e.g. vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • By taking antibiotics when we don’t need them, the bacteria in our bodies build up a resistance against them.
  • The more antibiotics we take, the less effective antibiotics are becoming at fighting more serious infections like pneumonia and bacterial meningitis.
  • Drink plenty fluid, take paracetamol and try inhaling with steam and menthol crystals/olbas oil.
  • You should be on the mend after seven to ten days and usually better after two weeks.
  • We would want to see you if you are getting
  • worse instead of better after two weeks.
  • If you have a temperature and are aching a lot take paracetamol and/or ibuprofen and rest.
  • NB: In some people ibuprofen is not recommended so check the ibuprofen safety leaflet or discuss with the pharmacist or doctor if unsure.


  • Take plenty fluids, paracetamol and throat lozenges.
  • Most sore throats will settle over three to five days but if you have increasing difficulties swallowing fluids or saliva see the doctor.
  • Children may have a fever with no other symptoms and if they can be cooled down they will feel much better.
  • Remove their clothes down to their vest and pants and keep the room temperature down.
  • Use calpol/ junior paracetamol.
  • Sponge them with luke-warm water.
  • If there is no improvement in forty-eight hours see the doctor.
  • Avoid all foods for twelve to twenty four hours but drink plenty of fluids in small amounts regularly.
  • "Tummy colic" can be eased with paracetamol.
  • Contact the doctor if there is any of the following
    1. Blood in the diarrhoea.
    2. Repeated vomiting immediately after drinking fluids.
    3. The symptoms show no sign of improvement after three days.
  • This can be soothed by calamine lotion or, if it is extremely itchy by antihistamines like Piriton. (Available from chemists)
  • The rash is infectious until five days after the last batch of spots has appeared.