This is my friendly reminder about the 35 OTC medications you should store now. There are so many disruptions in our general supply chain that I felt it was important to update this post and keep this issue in front of my readers. While you might not have given too much thought in the past about stocking up on medicine for a disaster, now might be the time to rethink that decision.
Just consider a traumatic event that cuts you off from going to the local pharmacy, a retail store with OTC medications, the doctor, the dentist, or even making a trip to the massage therapist for much-needed treatment.
That could mean no prescriptions, no (much-needed) root canal, and tense achy muscles. Talk about a world of discomfort and pain. Stockpiling several over-the-counter medications before a crisis were to happen, seems to make pretty good sense to me.
Here’s a look at 35 OTC medications you should consider storing that could be used to help fight pain, nausea, earache, and more. Please keep in mind that I’m not anyone skilled in the medical field, so I highly recommend you consult with your medical professional for any drug interactions you may experience if you start using ANY of these meds.
Please remember I am not a doctor, nurse, or anyone in the medical field. Please consult with your medical professional to make sure your OTC medications are compatible with your prescriptions and or health issues you may have.
I have a PRINTABLE for you below! This PAGE 1 image looks like a “tiny” printable which may help you!
35 OTC Medications You Should Store
Top List of OTC Medicines You Should Store:
Aspirin is not only a fever and headache reducer, but it also reduces toothaches, some swelling, and the inflammation that causes muscles to ache. Be careful not to give aspirin to young children with a fever, severe health challenges like Reye’s syndrome can occur. Also, be aware that aspirin is a blood thinner and overuse can cause bleeding issues.
Tylenol is similar to aspirin in taking care of most pain or discomfort. You can even grind it into a powder and rub it on irritated skin for relief. Make sure you use the recommended dosing. Note that there are doses for different ages, so get some that will cover the needs of your whole family, including children.
Aleve will rid you of most aches and pains and also help reduce fevers and headaches. It even works on menstrual cramps and arthritis. While it might be similar to the previous two pain relievers, its benefits tend to have a longer-lasting effect.
While it might work better on headaches, Advil is believed to work more effectively on pain, fever, and inflammation. You don’t want to use any medicines past their expiration date.
Excedrin works great on migraines and tension headaches, along with reducing fevers and colds. It even works on nasal congestion.
After a crisis happens, taking a trip to the dentist might not be an option. Orajel is a numbing medication that will help reduce toothaches, and minor gum irritation and also helps with sore throats and canker sores. It can really come in handy until you can get professional help.
Keep in mind, if there is any chance that the oral pain could be an abscess, be sure to take the person to a dentist, if they are open, or an ER if not. With the jawbone so close to the brain, any infection in that area of the body needs immediate attention!
7. Tums or Rolaids
Tums and Rolaids will work to provide minor relief from heartburn and upset stomach by lowering stomach acid buildup. Be sure and test out various brands to determine the brand that seems to work best for you and your family before you stock up on several packages.
When you’re faced with tummy issues during an emergency, this antidiarrheal drug is one you can’t go without. Pepto-Bismol works on stomach issues, including diarrhea, heartburn, stomach discomfort, gas, and nausea.
9. Pepcid AC
Pepcid AC works on preventing reoccurring stomach ulcers. It also covers heartburn and helps relieve gastroesophageal reflux disease, and is proven to work much more quickly than other similar meds.
Another useful stomach reliever to have on hand would be Nexium. Not only will it fight stomach discomfort, ulcers, and heartburn, but it can help heal acid damage to the stomach and the esophagus.
Another medication that helps fight diarrhea, Imodium will decrease the number of bowel movements and watery stool. You really have to be careful that you or a loved one doesn’t get dehydrated from throwing up and having diarrhea at the same time.
We’ve had family members end up in the hospital after “going” at both ends for a few days. Like the adage says, “drink lots of liquids.”
12. Milk of Magnesia
If you’re suffering from constipation, Milk of Magnesia works as a laxative by adding water to your intestines and taking away discomfort. It also works on sour stomachs and heartburn.
The last stomach aid we discuss is not least on our list, Alka-Seltzer. This medication fights a number of problems, including stomach aches, inflammation, indigestion, pain, fevers, and even hangovers.
Mark swears by Alka Seltzer. His stomach can’t take raw onions or garlic, so if he has issues he does the “plop, plop, fizz, fizz” Alka Seltzer treatment.
Cold and Flu
Catching a cold or fever during or after a crisis without anything to fight it can be a real problem. Dayquil fights a number of symptoms, including cough, stuffy nose, fever, flu-like symptoms, body aches, and headaches.
15. Mucinex DM
If you’re having a rough time sleeping from all the coughing and mucus build-up in your throat, Mucinex DM could become the remedy you’re looking for.
Robitussin helps relieve constant coughing by reducing chest congestion. For diabetics, it sounds like you have Diabetic-Tussin. The brand called Halls has sugar-free lozenges that could provide some relief.
17. Sudafed or Sudafed PE
Sudafed PE provides short-term relief for nasal congestion, while having pain-relieving benefits at the same time. It helps with the common cold and respiratory allergies.
You can get Sudafed behind the pharmacy counter by showing your driver’s license. They will ask you for your phone number as well, here in Utah. I believe you can get four packages per year per driver’s license here in Utah. Be sure to check this out in your location so you won’t be surprised at the store.
Nyquil works similarly to Dayquil by fighting the same symptoms, yet causes drowsiness and helps you sleep at night. Be cautious with any medications that indicate they can prompt sleep. You shouldn’t drive or run machines and equipment while using this medication.
Struggling with sneezing, a runny nose, or itchy and watery eyes? Zyrtec is an antihistamine that will work on all of those for much-needed relief. It’s also great for reducing rashes, like hives.
Claritin is another allergy relief medication that works similarly to Zyrtec. It really depends on the patient to find which one works better than the other.
Benadryl fights symptoms such as rashes, sneezing or a runny nose, and itchy and watery eyes. It can also be taken to prevent vomiting, nausea, and dizziness. Benadryl is critical to have on hand for emergencies. Mark takes 1/2 a pill each morning to eliminate the urge to scratch patches on his stomach. Some people indicate it can cause drowsiness.
Allegra is another antihistamine that works in most minor allergy cases.
Aspercreme will help treat minor aches and pains in your muscles and joints.
If you are suffering from a yeast infection, ringworm, jock itch, or athlete’s foot, Lotrimin may provide the relief you’re looking for.
25. Cortizone 10
Cortizone 10 works great on bug bites, poison ivy, allergies, rash, and even eczema, by reducing the swelling, redness, and itching that may occur.
26. Neosporin, Bacitracin, or Polysporin
Everyone should have this type of medication in their med inventory to prepare for a catastrophe. If you’re suffering from a minor burn, wound, or cut, Neosporin will help keep bacteria from causing infections. It is suggested that for long-term use you steer clear of Neosporin and try one of the other two based on its contents.
27. Charcoal Tablets
Charcoal tablets help filter out undigested toxins and poisons that might have been ingested.
Anxiety, stress, and insomnia more than likely will keep you awake after a devastating crisis. Having a stockpile of melatonin, or other sleeping aids, can help you get the rest you desperately need and help you make better decisions.
29. Potassium Iodide Tablets
If there were ever a radiation emergency, potassium iodide tablets could help the thyroid from taking on excessive radioactive iodine.
During a crisis situation, you want to ensure your body is getting all the electrolytes needed for your body to function properly. Electrolyte Powder This also ties into the discussion earlier about dehydration. Some of your body functions can shut down if you’ve lost a lot of your electrolytes.
Dramamine will provide relief from nausea, vomiting, or motion sickness.
You never know when you’re going to need something to stop significant bleeding. QuikClot might just save your life or reduce the bleeding until you get professional medical help. QuikClot If there is any way to get the person affected by the puncture or severe cut to the hospital after you’ve administered the necessary first aid treatments, do it.
Although technically not an over-the-counter medication, multivitamins will make sure you’re body is getting the right nutrients and minerals needed when you’re probably not eating the most nutritious food after an emergency. As we age, we need to consider supplementing our body’s nutrients with a variety of vitamins and minerals. Ask your doctor for advice regarding the most critical ones to take.
34. Epsom Salt
Epsom Salt is another useful item to have, to reduce stress and relax the body. It sounds like the perfect solution to put in your next bath water after a crisis. Epsom Salt Many of my readers soak their feet in Epsom Salt to find relief for very sore feet.
35. Rubbing Alcohol
I remember using it for cleaning pierced ears, disinfecting dishrags and sponges, and using it as a hand sanitizer.
Some Other Items to Consider:
36. Hydrogen Peroxide
You can use it to disinfect your toothbrushes and mouthguards. It’s great for disinfecting your nail or pedicure tools.
37. Diaper Rash
It’s critical we stock some diaper rash cream. We may not need it, but someone in an emergency center may. Diaper Rash Cream
This is good for arthritis, according to a reader. Here is more information on it. What is Voltaren
39. Temparin Lost Filling Repair
This is a TEMPORARY fix until you can see a dentist
40. Calamine Lotion
This works great for so many skin rashes
41. Garlic Capsules and Red Yeast Rice Capsules
These are used for cholesterol without the side effects of statins.
Things to Keep in Mind About OTC Medicines
- Read the back of the label for active ingredients.
- Make sure you store medicines appropriately.
- Keep out of the reach of young children.
- Seek proper health care when needed, and talk to a doctor or pharmacist.
- If you have a significant medical condition, seek help from your doctor as soon as it’s safe to do so.
- Drug interactions affect people differently.
- Know there could be an increased risk of side effects.
Stock Your Home Pharmacy
- Electrolyte Drip Drop
- Cough Lozenges
- Vicks VapoRub
- Bag Balm
- Dr. Bronner’s Soap
- Hand Sanitizer
- Tooth Brushes and Toothpaste
- First Aid Supplies
- Survival Medical Handbook
- Non-latex Gloves
- Antibacterial Bar Soap
- Bars of Soap
- Lip Balm
- Nasal Spray
- Essential Oils
- Allergy Medications
- Infant Fever Reducer Medications
- Child Fever Reducer Medications
- Zanfel (Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac Wash)
These are many of the over-the-counter medications that you’ll want to have stored away in case of an emergency. Just be aware to rotate out your supplies to keep your medical stock from going out of date.
If you can think of any other medications that provide relief during various types of emergencies, tell us about them. These are my favorite 35 OTC medications you should store if you use them. Note that I added a few more important items for a total of 41. May God bless this world, Linda