Over-The-Counter Medications


Please Help the NHS to Use Resources Sensibly

Your GP or nurse will not generally give you a prescription for over the counter medicines for a range of minor health concerns.

The team of health professionals at your local pharmacy can offer help and clinical advice to manage minor health concerns and if your symptoms suggest it’s more serious, they’ll ensure you get the care you need.

The below conditions should first be addressed with over-the-counter medications which can be purchased at your local pharmacy/chemist:

  • Acute Sore Throat
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Coughs, colds and nasal congestion
  • Cradle cap
  • Dandruff
  • Diarrhoea (adults)
  • Dry eyes/sore tired eyes
  • Ear wax
  • Excessive sweating
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Head lice
  • Indigestion and heartburn
  • Infant colic
  • Infrequent cold sores of the lip
  • Infrequent constipation
  • Infrequent migraine
  • Insect bites and stings

  • Mild cystitis
  • Mild dry skin or irritant dermatitis
  • Mild to moderate hayfever
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nappy rash
  • Minor pain, discomfort and fever (i.e. aches and sprains, headaches, period pains, back pain)
  • Oral thrush 
  • Prevention of tooth decay
  • Ring worm
  • Athletes foot
  • Sunburn and sun protection
  • Teething/mild toothache
  • Threadworms
  • Travel sickness
  • Warts and Verrucaes
  • Mild acne
  • Mild burns and scalds

Did you know?


In 2022-23 NHS Kent & Medway spent over £2.5million on medications for minor pain relief, discomfort and fever.

Minor pain relief such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are freely available to purchase at supermarkets, convenience stores and local pharmacy and do not require a prescription.