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Coughs & Colds

Many people suffer from a cough or cold during the winter and it’s nothing to worry about. Usually you’ll feel better within a few days, although coughs do tend to linger once the worst of the cold has gone. Most coughs or colds will go within a week or so.

    • A blocked or runny nose

    • A sore throat

    • Headaches

    • Muscle aches

    • Coughs

    • Sneezing

    • A raised temperature

    • Pressure in your ears and face

    • Loss of taste

    • Loss of smell

  • Most coughs and colds will be gone within a week or two. However, there are certain things you can do to help speed up this process.

    • Get plenty of rest

    • Keep warm

    • Drink plenty of clear fluids to avoid dehydration

    • Drink hot lemon and honey (not for babies under 1 year)


    Your pharmacist can also help you find medicine which can help you feel better.

    This includes:

    • Decongestant sprays or tablets

    • Painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen

    • Hot drinks, capsules and liquids such as Lemsip

    • Cough syrup

    • Cough medicine

    • Cough sweets

    Do be aware that some medicines are not suitable for babies, children and pregnant women. You should be careful not to use cough and cold medicine if you’re already taking painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol. Antibiotics aren’t usually prescribed for coughs or colds as they are ineffective. By visiting your pharmacist they can advise on these areas and the most suitable products for your need. 

    • Your symptoms don’t improve after three weeks or suddenly get worse

    • You develop a high temperature

    • You struggle to breathe

    • You’re concerned about a child’s symptoms

    • You feel very unwell

    • You have chest pain

    • You’re losing weight for no reason

    • You have swollen glands in your neck

    • You’re coughing up blood

    • You’re suffering from a long-term medical condition such as diabetes

    • You have a weakened immune system

Further resources

Learn more about colds here and coughs here.