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How to use medicine-chest

Welcome to medicine-chest, a comprehensive directory of 'over the counter' (OTC) medicines and food supplements. The site is brought to you by PAGB (Proprietary Association of Great Britain) the trade association representing manufacturers of these products in the UK. You can find out more about PAGB at

Medicine-chest started life 8 years ago as a printed directory of OTC products available, and was distributed to GPs and pharmacists to help them advise their patients as to the best way to treat their symptoms. This new online version has been designed with the consumer in mind and gives individuals the opportunity to search for products suitable for particular symptoms. 

We hope you find the site useful and informative. Please take a few minutes to complete our questionnaire to let us know what you think about the site and how we can improve it. 

If you experience any difficulties in using the site, please email us at Please note that we cannot give health advice to individuals by email. For this, you should speak to your pharmacist, GP or practice nurse. You may also find our links page useful.

Using the search facility is easy. You can either move the cursor over the body figures to highlight the area where the symptoms are, or use the drop down arrows on the list of symptoms to the right of the body figures. Tick the boxes next to the symptoms you would like to search for and then click the “display products” button. For more detailed information on the products displayed, click on the product name or picture. You can print out the selected products and take them to your pharmacist where you can buy the product.

You can narrow or widen the search by using one or more of the following search modifiers:

  • Age – if you type in the age of the person the product is for (the patient), the search will only show you products suitable for persons of that age. This is particularly useful if you are searching for products suitable for children or infants.
  • Manufacturer – use this button to display products from a particular manufacturer
  • Product name – if you want to find out information about a product of which you already know the name, this search button allows you to go straight to that product
  • Legal Status - this will tell you how widely available the product is to buy.
    P medicines are only available from pharmacies where the pharmacist will give expert advice on its use.
    GSL medicines (General Safety List) can be sold more widely - for example in supermarkets, garage forecourts or convenience stores.
  • Active ingredient – if you know the name of the active ingredient of the product(s) you are looking for you can use this modifier to include or exclude products containing that ingredient. For example you might want to bring up a list of only those pain relievers that contain paracetamol as the active ingredient.

The information provided in MedicineChest is for guidance only. PAGB has made every effort to check and double-check that all the product information in the website is correct. It is however important that you read the label and/or patient information leaflet every time you take a medicine or health supplement for the first time and make sure that you follow the instructions. If you are unsure about anything – ask your pharmacist, GP or practice nurse – particularly if you are taking any other medication.

PAGB’s Consumer Health Information Centre (CHIC)– our educational service for consumers about self-medication, has produced a number of factsheets to help you build up a medicine chest of useful products that are handy to keep in the home for when minor illness occur. These are reproduced below. For more information about CHIC and the other CHIC campaigns, visit the website at

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Copyright © PAGB (Proprietary Association of Great Britain) - 2003 - All Rights Reserved. PAGB has made every effort to ensure the information contained in this site is as accurate and up to date as possible. However you should always read the label before you take a medicine for the first time as it is important that medicines are used correctly and according to the instructions. All OTC medicines are effective and safe when used properly. None of the information given in this directory should be construed to be advice or recommendation of a particular medicine. PAGB cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions.