King Edward Street Surgery

9 King Edward Street, Oxford, OX1 4JA

Tel:  01865 242657 


 Fax: 01865 200983

Out of Hours – Dial 111      Emergency Ambulance – Dial 999

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The Medicine Chest
Healthy Living
Childhood Ailments
Holiday Health
Preparing for Pregnancy


The Family Medicine Chest

Here is a list of useful medicines and dressings with a description of their uses. All are quite cheap and worth stocking at home in readiness for minor illnesses.

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Paracetamol Tablets 500mg
For reduction of temperature and relief of pain take two tablets up to four times a day to a maximum of 8 tablets in each 24 hours.

Ibuprofen Tablets 200mg (Not for asthmatics)
For reduction of temperature and pain relief take two tablets three times a day after food.

Soluble Aspirin Tablets
Good for headaches, colds, sore throats (gargle with the solution), and pains in general. Aspirin should NOT be given to children under 16.

Paracetamol Mixture

For relief of pain or fever in young children.

Cough Linctus
For cough relief but remember it doesn’t cure anything.

Menthol Crystals
Add to hot water to make steam inhalations for treating catarrh and dry or painful coughs.

Antiseptic Solution
One teaspoon diluted in warm water for cleaning cuts and grazes.

Antiseptic Cream

For treating septic spots, sores in the nose and grazes.

Calamine Lotion

For dabbing (not rubbing) on insect bites, stings and sunburn.

Dressing Strips

For minor cuts.

3″ Wide Crepe Bandage

To keep dressings in place. To support sprained or bruised joints.

Cotton Wool

For cleaning cuts and grazes.

For fevers.

For removing splinters.


Healthy Living

It’s easy to take your health for granted.
By following a healthy lifestyle you can reduce the risk of getting seriously ill. You will feel better and it will help improve your immune system.


In small quantities, alcohol can actually be beneficial to health. In large quantities, on a regular basis, it can have a very serious negative effect on health. At one extreme it can kill. CIRRHOSIS of the liver, for instance, is killing an increasing number of people (in 2010, 350 people in England under the age of 30 died from alcoholic liver disease), as are drivers who are over the limit.

  • An accepted safe limit is 21 units a week for men and 14 units for women, a unit being approximately a 125ml glass of wine, half a pint of beer or a single measure of spirit

  • This recommended maximum presumes that the consumption is spread throughout the week and not consumed all at once in a ‘binge’


  • Over 100,000 people die each year in the UK from smoking-related diseases

  • Every cigarette you smoke can shorten your life by an average of five and a half minutes

  • Babies of smokers are, on average, 200 grams smaller than those of non smokers

  • Smokers smell and taste awful!

How To Give Up

Stopping smoking is all about motivation. Without the real desire to give up you are unable to succeed. You must want to give up rather than feel you should give up.

  • Set a date a week or so in the future when you intend to stop

  • Tell all your friends, relations and work colleagues that you’re giving up on that day and ask for their support and encouragement. If at all possible, find someone to give up with you

  • When the big day comes, plan it carefully with plenty to keep you occupied. Avoid situations where the desire to smoke will be strongest such as whilst drinking

  • Finally, carefully put the money you would have spent on cigarettes on one side, each day, to save up for some special treat as a reward

If you’ve tried everything and failed but are still keen to give up, seek help from our practice nurse who is an experienced smoking cessation adviser.


If your diet is lacking, your body has ways of letting you know, for example, you may be overweight or underweight or you may have a spotty complexion or constipation. Ultimately, a bad diet can lead to serious problems such as heart disease.

  • A good diet helps fight off disease and makes you look and feel good


Eight Ways to Keep Healthy

Blood Pressure
Has yours been checked in the past five years?

Some people are overweight – others are “undertall”. Chances are you weigh more than you should.

More and more people are giving up smoking. There are various programmes available to help you give up.

Regular exercise has both physical and mental benefits.


Tension and anxiety can be helped by self-help books, a psychologist or counsellor. We recommend ‘Manage Your Mind’ by Gillian Butler and Professor Tony Hope published by OUP.


Can make a good servant but a bad master.

Cervical Smears
We recommend women between the age of 25 and 50 should have regular three yearly cervical smears. Women aged between 50 and 60 should have smears taken every five years provided their previous three yearly smears have been normal.

Tetanus Prevention
If you have had five vaccinations in your lifetime you do not need anymore unless you are specifically exposed to risk.

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Childhood Ailments

On the first day a rash appears as small red patches about 3-4mm across. Within a few hours, small blisters appear in the centre of these patches. During the next three or four days further patches will appear and the earlier ones will turn ‘crusty’ and fall off.

  • Calamine lotion may be applied to soothe the often severe itching

  • Cool baths may also help

  • The most infectious period is from two or three days before the rash appears and up to five days after this date. Children may return to school as soon as the last ‘crusts’ have dropped off.

German Measles (Rubella)

The rash appears during the first day and usually covers the body, arms and legs in small pink patches about 2-4mm across and doesn’t itch. No other symptoms are usually present apart from occasional aching joints.

  • It is infectious from two days before the rash appears, until the rash disappears in about four or five days from that date

  • The only danger is to unborn babies and, therefore, it is important that all contacts are informed in order that anyone who may be pregnant can contact their doctor

  • Immunisation can prevent this disease

The rash is blotchy and red and appears on the face and body around the fourth day of illness. It is at its most infectious from two or three days before the rash appears until eight to ten days after that date

  • Immunisation can prevent this disease

This is a rare illness that is most common in babies, children under four years and teenagers, and requires urgent attention. It is important to be aware of the symptoms which we have listed below.

Signs and symptoms in BABIES and VERY YOUNG CHILDREN are:

  • Difficulty waking * A high pitched cry that is different from a normal cry

  • Repeated vomiting * Refusing feeds

  • Pale or blotchy skin, especially with red or blue/black bruises that don’t go white when you press on them

  • Tight or bulging soft spot on the top of your baby’s head

If you are in any doubt contact your doctor immediately.

Signs and symptoms in OLDER CHILDREN and ADULTS are:

  • A high temperature * A constant headache

  • Vomiting * Drowsiness or confusion

  • Dislike of bright lights * Stiffness of the neck (moving their chin to the chest will be particularly painful)

  • A rash of red/blue spots or bruises that don’t go white when pressed with a tumbler

If you are in any doubt contact your doctor immediately.

Symptoms are: Swelling of the gland in front of one ear often followed, after a couple of days by swelling in front of the other ear.

  • It is infectious from two or three days before the swelling appears until eight to ten days after that date

  • If the pain is severe you should consult your doctor

  • Immunisation can prevent this disease

How To Look After A Child With A Temperature
A child will develop a fever because of an infection. Usually the child will get over such an infection without the need for antibiotics. Most childhood infections are caused by viruses and these do not respond to antibiotics. The following advice will help to bring your child’s temperature down and make them feel better.

  1. Always keep a supply of paracetamol syrup (Calpol, Disprol) at home. If you wait until you need it, there will be none close at hand.

  2. If your child feels hot or appears unwell –

    1. Give the maximum dose of paracetamol stated for a child of that age.

    2. Dress your child in cool clothes. A lot of heat is lost through a child’s head, so leave it uncovered. Cool down the room by opening doors and windows.

    3. Give your child plenty of cool drinks as fluid is lost with a fever. If they are reluctant to drink, encourage small amounts from a favourite cup. Ice lollies are often acceptable and appear to be a treat.

    4. Sponging your child down with a tepid flannel will make them feel better as well as bringing their temperature down. Using tepid water is more effective than using cold water.

    5. Repeat the dose of paracetamol every four hours as necessary, up to the maximum daily dose stated.

    6. A child with a fever is likely to be restless at night. Offer cool drinks and sponge them down if they wake.

    7. If your child does not improve after giving paracetamol and sponging, or appears particularly ill, call the doctor.

  3. Very rarely, a child under five years will have a convulsion with a high temperature. They will shake all over and become very still. It usually subsides in less than five minutes. Lie the child on their side and stay with them while it lasts. If there is another adult in the house, ask them to phone a doctor.

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Holiday Health
It is always a wise precaution to pack some essential items in case of illness on holiday.
Do choose medicines according to your needs and the country you are visiting.
If you take prescription medicines regularly remember to pack then too.

Holiday Kit
  • Paracetamol
  • Travel sickness tablets
  • Plasters
  • Anti-diarrhoeal, e.g. Imodium
  • High factor sunscreen; calamine lotion


  • Always check whether you need any immunisations or malarial tablets before you travel
  • Seek advice well in advance in case you need a course of injections

Other Essentials To Pack

  • Anti-malarials
  • Water purification tablets
  • Insect repellent
  • Condoms/ other contraceptives

Medical Insurance

  • Arrange medical insurance
  • You will need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to receive healthcare that becomes necessary during your visit to an EEA country or Switzerland.

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Preparing For Pregnancy
If you are planning to start a family you must, of course, cease contraception. If you are taking the pill you should change to a barrier method for a period of at least three months. This is to allow for the normal hormone levels and egg production cycle to re-establish itself.

If you smoke, both you and your partner should stop. A woman who smokes during pregnancy stands a 30% greater risk of miscarrying or losing the baby at birth due to a variety of complications.

You should also ensure that your alcohol consumption is kept to an absolute minimum if you are unable to abstain totally.

Both partners should give attention to their diet with particular regard to choosing fresh unrefined foods but avoid unpasteurized milk and cheeses.

Ask your doctor to check if you are immune from rubella (German measles) if not, he will arrange immunisation. In such a case you should continue with a barrier method of birth control for a period of at least two months whilst the vaccine takes effect.

Unless you’ve had one during recent months it is advisable to arrange for a smear test to ensure you have a healthy cervix prior to becoming pregnant.

Problems in Conceiving
One in ten couples experiences some degree of difficulty in conceiving. This difficulty may equally be caused by a problem concerning either partner. The causes of infertility are wide and varied but most can be helped with treatment. Good pre-conceptual care will lessen the need for such treatment.


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Page last updated on 02 August 2013