If you're in lockdown and wondering how to get hold of paracetamol and other essential health supplies, we've got you. In this article, we've pulled together some information about where you can buy things like paracetamol (that's acetaminophen to US readers) and flu treatments that could help ease the symptoms of coronavirus.
While you're reading through our suggestions it's important to note that there's currently no medicine that can specifically treat coronavirus (although coronavirus home test kits are coming to the UK soon, we're told). These medicines could help you feel better though, and it might be a good idea to stock up while you're still feeling healthy.
Coronavirus symptoms are typically similar to those you'd get with flu and other winter bugs like the common cold: a persistent cough, fever, and body aches. Some people will also experience breathing troubles.
Currently, paracetamol (rather than ibuprofen) is the painkiller the NHS recommends if you're suffering from coronavirus. The NHS tweeted (opens in new tab): "There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make #coronavirus worse. But until we have more info, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you."
In this article, you'll find links to basic paracetamol, tissues and other useful flu treatments that can help, whether you find yourself coming down with the symptoms of coronavirus or just a common cold. We have separate articles dedicated to where you can still get hold of hand sanitizer, toilet paper and thermometers.
Please be considerate of others when making a purchase and avoid stockpiling. Read on for quick links to retailers where you can buy paracetamol, tissues and more.
Important: Please make sure you read the enclosed leaflets provided with each medicine thoroughly. Use any medical products responsibly and make sure you’re aware of the recommended daily dosages: many of these products contain the same active ingredients, so make sure you don't accidentally double up.
Top places to buy paracetamol, cough and flu treatment
These are the places it's worth checking first, and information about what they're offering in terms of delivery right now.
- Chemist.co.uk (opens in new tab) – Cold, fever and flu treatments
- Tesco.com (opens in new tab) – Range of basic painkillers including paracetamol, available for delivery
- Pharmacy First UK (opens in new tab) – Still delivering, 10-14 day delivery period
- The Independent Pharmacy UK (opens in new tab) – Many items currently out of stock
- Amazon.com (opens in new tab) – Wide selection of strepsils, vitamins, and chest rubs
- Walmart.com (opens in new tab) – Cold and flu relief from $1.98
- Staples.com (opens in new tab) – Cleaning wipes, soaps and detergents
- Walgreens.com (opens in new tab) – Extra 15% off with code HEALTH15
Here are the places we'd usually recommend. At time of writing, there were issues with supply or delivery, but it might be worth double-checking.
- Superdrug UK (opens in new tab) – Most items 'click and collect' only; enter your location to see availability
- Boots UK (opens in new tab) – Long virtual queue to access the site
- Lloyds Pharmacy UK (opens in new tab) – Orders temporarily paused
- Waitrose.com (opens in new tab) – Delivery and 'click and collect' currently unavailable
Paracetamol and flu treatment in the UK
Paracetamol 500mg 32 Tablets | £3.49 at Pharmacy First (opens in new tab)
Paracetamol will offer basic but effective relief from flu-like symptoms. This 32-pack from Pharmacy First should cover you for a while. While these are unbranded tablets, they still contain the same amount of paracetamol as more well-known brands and are just as effective. Please make sure you read the enclosed leaflet included carefully before you take any medication.
Day and Night Nurse capsules | £7.51 at Pharmacy First (opens in new tab)
These Day & Night Nurse Capsules are designed to help relieve flu-like symptoms around the clock. Packs contain both non-drowsy, daytime capsules (yellow/orange) and night time capsules (green/white) capsules. Both contain paracetamol (check the label for details), and they're in stock at Pharmacy First.
Lemsip Max Cold & Flu sachets | £3.59 at Chemist.co.uk (opens in new tab)
These sachets, which include paracetamol, are a classic and convenient way to deal with flu-like symptoms such as aches and pains, congestion or fevers. Simply dissolve one of these sachets to some hot water to get an effective and simple treatment.
Anadin Extra (12 capsules) | £2 from Chemist.co.uk (opens in new tab)
Anadin Extra is designed to relieve pain and reduce high temperature and fever. It contains aspirin, paracetamol and caffeine.
Strepsils Strawberry Sugar-Free Lozenges: £4.69 at Superdrug (opens in new tab)
Strepsils are more convenient for on the move than a bottle of syrup mixture. They have a number of active ingredients, all aiming to reduce that tickly sensation in your throat and you get 36 in this sugar-free pack, making them great value.
KOOL'n'Soothe Gel Sheets: £5.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
These medical-free cold patches can be applied directly to the forehead to provide relief for headaches and fevers. In this pack you’ll get six patches, each providing long-lasting effect for up to eight hours.
Alive! Soft Jell Multivitamins: £14.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
These Alive! immune-support chewable gummies aim to boost your vitamin intake in a convenient form. They contain seven different vitamins and a berry flavour - all sourced from a blend of 26 fruits and vegetables.
Kleenex Balsam tissues 8-pack: £9.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
If you suffer from sensitive skin, go for these Kleenex balsam infused tissues. They aim to leave a soothing, protective coating of balsam on your skin, avoiding any dryness or soreness. Amazon currently still has this particular offer in stock - a 2-box bundle on some pocket-sized 8-packs, which is sure to last you a good while.
Nutravita Multivitamins & Minerals: £19.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
If you want something vegan-friendly, consider these multivitamins and minerals from Nutravita. Packed with 365 tablets and covering 26 different vitamins, this bottle contains a whole year's supply for under £20.
Superdrug soft tissues 12 pack: £1.50 at Superdrug (opens in new tab)
Superdrug is currently offering this 12-pack of tissues for just £1.50. It's a good option if you want some individually wrapped pocket-sized packs for convenience, rather than a large box of tissues.
Acetaminophen and flu treatment in the US
Theraflu Flu and Sore Throat Powder (6 packets) | $6.96 at Walmart (opens in new tab)
This apple cinnamon flavour flu powder is designed to dissolved in boiling water. It contains acetaminophen to helps reduce fevers (temporarily), and also tackles sore throats, minor aches and pains, headaches, congestion and more.
Halls Relief Cherry cough drops (80 drops) | $3.48 at Walmart (opens in new tab)
Ease a cough and sooth a sore throat with these cough drops. They contain menthol to help cool your nasal passages, and they're in stock at Walmart.
Vicks VapoDrops Cough Drops | $1.29 at Walgreens (opens in new tab)
One option for cough drops are these Vicks VapoDrops lozenges over at Walgreens. These aren't sugar-free but they contain Menthol, a powerful active ingredient that works to stop you from coughing. These drops are currently highly-rated on Walgreens, with many customers praising their effectiveness.
WellPatch Migraine Cooling Patches | $4.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
These cold-patches offer a medical-free aid for any headaches or fevers that may result from flu-like illnesses. You can apply these directly to your forehead in case of high temperatures and get up to 12-hours of relief. Worth considering as they are completely safe to use in conjunction with any other medication you might take.
Nutricost Vitamin C capsules | $19.95 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
While the jury is still out on the efficacy of Vitamin C supplements, taking them certainly won't hurt your recovery from any flu-like symptoms. These once a day gluten and GMO-free vitamin C supplements from Nutricost will give you 240 tablets - enough to last you well over half a year.
Tylenol 500mg Acetaminophen 24 tablets | $6.98 at Staples (opens in new tab)
Out of stock for delivery. Staples still has some Tylenol branded Acetaminophen tablets in stock currently. This basic box contains 24, 500mg tablets - which are for adults only. Please be sure to read the enclosed leaflet included carefully and make sure you’re using this product responsibly.
Puffs Plus Lotion Facial Tissues 3-pack | $7.49 at Staples (opens in new tab)
If you're picking up some boxes just for you, Staples still has some stock left on these Puffs Plus Lotion tissues. Each pack contains 116 sheets of lotion coated tissues - so you're getting over 300 tissues here, enough to last you for a long while.
General advice for flu treatment
If you're in the UK and thinking about buying medicine online, please take note that this should only be done through regulated vendors that meet the standards of the General Pharmaceutical Council. Fully licensed vendors will have a green distance selling logo on their website – which you can click to make sure that the vendor is operating legally. All of the merchants included in this article meet these criteria and are fully licensed.
Please also make sure you're reading any attached leaflet or medical information that is included with any medication you may buy online. It's important to note that many of these medicines contain the same active ingredients (paracetamol) and therefore should not be taken in conjunction with one another.
Found yourself coming down with the flu or flu-like symptoms? The UK national health service has laid out the steps that it believes are most effective when dealing with flu-like symptoms:
- Get plenty of rest and sleep
- Stay warm inside
- Take medication responsibly to deal with any aches or pains
- Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water
Note: It's extremely important to make sure you're also taking the necessary steps to self-isolate in the case of coronavirus. More information on self-isolating can be found here (opens in new tab).