How To Stock Your Home Pharmacy

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Today it’s all about how to stock your home pharmacy. There has been so much going on the past couple of years, I thought it would be good to update this post from a few years ago. My biggest concern is having a total grid down or other disaster affect us and not being able to get those medications we all take for granted. I’m probably way overstocked with some of the items I feel are especially important, but that’s how I roll.

I have really bad arthritis and I have to have some over-the-counter pain medication just to get through the day. Some illnesses, like colds, are tough to treat and they need to run their course, but then it doesn’t hurt to help soothe the symptoms sometimes.

When I use the term “pharmacy” I don’t actually mean a location where drugs are dispensed. I’m referring to that area in our home where we keep the medications we need to try and stave off illnesses, soothe those achy muscles, ward off the effects of allergies, and maybe a few prescriptions our doctor has prescribed.

There have been so many life-altering challenges the past few years that millions have had to deal with, and most were unexpected. We’ve seen floods, droughts, earthquakes, hurricanes, and so much more. The biggest issue I see is that most people are having to make due as best they can since they weren’t prepared in so many ways.

I hope most families have first aid kits at the very least, and this post will cross over into the first aid kit scenario. But today I want to primarily focus on those simple over-the-counter products we use most often. There are those meds we need to protect and nurture our own family members, and we may keep a few others when extended family visits so we can be attentive to their needs too, particularly with some different age-appropriate medications.

When you do pick up any of these products, please check the dates. We need to rotate them so they stay current with their designed benefits, so let’s get the freshest ones possible. I’m a big believer in essential oils so I will share some of those as well.

Please note, these will not cure anything, but they can curb many of the symptoms that make us feel so miserable.

You may be saying, “I never get sick, I will never use any of these.” I get it. You may be one of those, like my husband Mark, who seldom get sick with anything. Here’s the deal, millions of people worldwide put off having vital medications available when they are most needed.

When I think of the global health crisis we’ve been dealing with for months now, many people couldn’t make those purchases they needed, whether food or meds, since so many stores, were closed or the shelves were bare. Who would have thought we’d be faced with this situation? It sure is nice to be prepared for the unexpected. That’s when you’ll be very grateful for taking the time to stock your home pharmacy.

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Mark and I had dinner with some friends and we started talking about how our neighborhood needs some help getting prepared for a disaster or an unforeseen emergency.

We talked about the different streets in our neighborhood and who we know are prepared, which is a pretty shortlist, I’m sad to say. It’s the 90% unprepared and 10% prepared scenario. Can you imagine how many sick people will suffer if they don’t have the meds needed to stay as healthy as possible, reduce the symptoms that often come with illnesses, and make us feel more comfortable?

When others get sick, we may need to share our over-the-counter medications when necessary. If I was aware of a baby or toddler suffering I would hope I had appropriate items their mother could use.

What if an older couple in your neighborhood got diarrhea because of food poisoning? Now, picture all the stores and pharmacies closed for days, or weeks. They could get dehydrated very quickly. This is why I’m writing this post today. Let’s be prepared.

Check out your local stores, dollar discount-type stores, or box stores for the cheapest prices available, and yet have an expiration date that will work for you. Sometimes we just need a little nudge to remind us to stock up on those products we may need in the near future.

We can sleep at night knowing we don’t have to run to the store at midnight to purchase one or more of these items for ourselves or a neighbor.

How To Stock Your Home Pharmacy

How To Stock Your Home Pharmacy

Please keep in mind, these are only suggestions. I am not a doctor, nurse, or anyone in the medical field. These are listed to help us think about the items we MAY want to stock up on.

Fever Reducers

I realize fever is a good thing sometimes since it’s a sign our body is doing its best to fight infection. It’s when I can’t break a fever that I get worried. I’m not a doctor, I’m a mom and a grandma, this is just my opinion.

Allergy Medications

If you have ever had allergies, these may look familiar. You can see that I listed Benedryl first. I have used that for so many issues.

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Diarrhea Remedies/Constipation

Trust me, no one wants diarrhea when the sewer lines don’t work, right? This is another reason we need our own emergency toilet and the items listed below.

Cold and Flu

This year has been a tough one for colds and flu in our area. I love knowing I have the necessary items for anyone who stays at our home and comes down with a cold or the flu.

  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Sambucol (Black Elderberry products)
  • Nyquil
  • Tylenol Cold and Flu
  • Dimetapp
  • Dayquil
  • Mucinex
  • Vicks VapoCool
  • Nasal Sprays

Nausea Medication/Heartburn

Just giving you the heads up here. I was able to buy Meclizine at Costco cheaper than anywhere. It’s behind the pharmacy counter, and as I remember, it was $3.00 for 100 tablets.

  • Pepto Bismol
  • Kaopectate
  • Dramamine
  • Bonine
  • Meclizine
  • Tums
  • Rolaids

Skin Irritations

It’s all about making sure we are comfortable if and when our family needs the meds for support. I can’t imagine not having some Neosporin for small cuts and wounds. Please stock up according to your family’s needs.

  • Epsom Salt
  • Bag Balm
  • Stokolan Cream
  • Vaseline
  • Aspercreme
  • Coconut Oil
  • Lidocaine
  • Your favorite lotion or cream
  • My Doctor Suggests Gel
  • Anti-itch Cream
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Calamine Lotion
  • Neosporin
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Alcohol

Anti-Fungal Medications

It’s nice to have these in our stash because you never know when you may need them.

  • Monistat (vaginal yeast infections)
  • Athlete’s Foot
  • Diaper Fungal Infection

Essential Oils

Every essential oil company will have different names for its essential oils. I’m sharing the products from doTerra. This is one of my favorite Essential Oils Books you may like to have in your home. Essential Oils

My grandkids love Breathe, Peppermint, and Deep Blue.

  • Breathe
  • Deep Blue
  • Oregano
  • Wintergreen
  • OnGuard
  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree Oil (thanks Leanne for the reminder)

Final Word

I hope this post helps you think about and then take some action when it comes to how to stock your home pharmacy. So often we tend to put off those things that aren’t an immediate need rather than taking charge and doing what could make all the difference if emergencies come our way.

The media right now is all about the shortages we are facing at so many levels. Food, gas, natural gas, building materials, and more. Our supply chain is messed up, and who knows when things will get better, We are prepping for the future the best way we know how. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world. Linda

First Aid Kit by Linda

30 thoughts on “How To Stock Your Home Pharmacy

  • March 5, 2019 at 7:40 am

    Great list of OTC items to have on hand for emergencies. Nice to see a few items I hadn’t thought of to add to my stockpile – have added them to my shopping list now. 🙂
    For rehydrating folks, electrolyte packets are convenient, but will eventually expire (maybe…more on that later…) In addition to some of the packets I stock the ingredients for oral rehydration solution. The formula I use is really simple: 1/2 liter of water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/8 teaspoon of Morton’s Lite Salt (half regular salt and half potassium salt.) Stored separately the ingredients have an indefinite shelf life. When dry mixed, it’s best used within a year. When mixed into water it should be used within 24 hours for best effectiveness.
    There have been studies on expiration dates of medicine, both OTC and prescription and a surprising number of them are safe and effective more than a decade after the best by date. Liquid medicines are not as robust, so I tend to rotate them out early and often, but real pills I keep until needed.
    Here are few useful articles so folks can make their own judgements on when to toss out old medicines:
    Thanks for all the great prepping articles!

    • March 5, 2019 at 9:51 am

      Hi DmWalsh, thanks for the links!! I love it! It’s all about being prepared for the unexpected! Great comment! Linda

  • March 5, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Not only is this good for a disaster, it is good for convenience. Who wants to go out in the middle of the night, to find a store that is open, so you can overpay for some Tylenol at a convenience store.

    • March 5, 2019 at 9:53 am

      Hi Janet, I know the prices at those convenience stores are outrageous!! I never want to go out to find Tylenol at midnight either! Great comment! Linda

  • March 5, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks, Linda ~
    I have a pretty well stocked supply with OTC, natural (herbs, EOs) and other stock (rubber gloves, first aid items, etc.). I am probably not as stocked as you are but I feel pretty confident.

    One thing that I would add to your post: learn how to make home remedies. John at Learning Herbs has a great herbal remedy kit with just about everything one needs to learn how to make salves, syrups, teas/infusions, etc. I purchased one a few years ago (they run about $100) but teach the basics to make your own herbal medicines. For example: I learned how to make my own elderberry syrup – the dried berries were included along with bottle(s) to bottle the syrup once made. Now I keep the ingredients on hand all the time. I purchase dried elderberries from Mountain Rose Herbs out of Eugene Oregon and keep these along with the other items needed to make the syrup. I also keep the ingredients to make salves/balms so that I don’t have to rely on pharmaceuticals all the time. I do keep pain relievers, etc., from the drug store but they are a fairly minor part of my kit.

    I have also learned how to identify “weeds” that have beneficial properties. I have learned what those properties are and how I would be able to use them if/when an emergency occurs.

    We need to educate ourselves. I always believed that once you have an education, no one can take that away from you!!

    • March 6, 2019 at 5:34 am

      Hi Leanne, what a great comment!!! I buy Elderberry products, but I need to make them!! I also want to make my own salves! You’ve inspired me. I need to get with it! Love it! Linda

  • March 6, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Maybe the “My Doctor suggests Gel” should read as “Aloe Gel”?

      • March 6, 2019 at 12:34 pm

        What kind of “gel” do you think that the doctor suggests then? If you get Solarcaine or an equivalent of it then you get the Aloe Vera gel along with the Lidocaine.

  • March 8, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Great list, thank you. I agree with learning and growing more herbal remedies. I joined an herbalism subscription box that sends me a box full of recipes and supplies every other month to make my own salves, elderberry syrup, tinctures and more. It has a featured herb each month so I learn them one herb at a time. Best investment I have made in learning herbs and taking care of my family. It’s called ApotheBox.

    • March 8, 2019 at 9:46 am

      Hi Deanna, oh I have got to look into this group! I really want to make my own salves and Elderberry syrup. Great comment! Linda

  • September 12, 2019 at 10:26 am

    I know that I read this post back in March and commented but something that I missed: Tea Tree Oil – I have several bottles at this time – this is an essential oil that is ESSENTIAL in my preps!

    • September 12, 2019 at 10:51 am

      Hi Leanne I totally agree on this that! I will go add it to the post, thank you, girlfriend! Linda

  • October 4, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Great list, I need to get some of theses. Also good comments, will look into the herb lessons.
    Stockpile as much raw honey that you can. It doesn’t go bad. Honey can be used for many health issues. It stops coughs immediately and for a long time. Many kids don’t like cough syrup, but nobody turns down a spoon of honey! Also good as an antiseptic over a wound.

    • October 4, 2019 at 8:38 pm

      HI Laura, great comment! I stock a lot of raw honey! Great reminder, thank you so much! Linda

  • March 5, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    Acidophilus will cure yeast infections more quickly and effectively than Vagisil. It’s a natural supplement found in the vitamin section of your grocery store. It restores the balance of natural flora and the relief is nearly immediate. Have used it every time I’ve felt a problem developing and it has worked every time.

    • March 6, 2020 at 4:18 am

      HI Janet, thank you, this is a great tip!! I think there are so many natural supplements we can use. I love hearing personal experiences where something has helped someone just like you. I love it! Linda

      • March 6, 2020 at 7:57 am

        I suffered from yeast infections terribly and then was given acidophilus and it was like a miracle!! I just want to help everyone else who suffers from the same problem. It is amazing. Thanks for your great blog! 🙂

        • March 6, 2020 at 10:47 am

          Hi Janet, I love tips, we all learn from each other! Thank you! Linda

  • December 19, 2020 at 8:35 am

    Hi Linda. I don’t use Vaseline (petroleum jelly). I do make a non petroleum jelly. Olive oil, or coconut oil, or almond oil and bees wax. Melted and poured into a jar. I have put antibacterial essential oils in it as well. For the recipe, you can search the internet for it.

    • December 19, 2020 at 9:33 am

      Hi Deborah, WHAT? I need to do this, thank you, my friend! Linda

  • February 3, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    Linda, I also stock antibiotics in my medical supplies. For a person, dog, or cat, you have to have a prescription to obtain antibiotics. Fish are difficult to transport to the vet, so pet supply sites like will sell fish antibiotics with no script. I keep several bottles of amoxicillin (500 mg, one twice a day for 10 days) in my freezer to keep them fresh. I buy mine from for $29.99 for 100 pills. They offer several other kinds of antibiotics, so I keep a list of names, dosages for adults and children, and conditions the antibiotics treat in the bag with the antibiotics – you can look up the medication on the internet to find this information.

    • February 4, 2021 at 7:08 am

      Hi Peggy, thank you for the name of this company. I know a lot of people buy fish antibiotics, we have to be able to have access to antibiotics. Thank you!! Linda

  • January 10, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    If so, would you please share the dimensions of the bag? It’s discontinued here in the United States. I can’t find anything similar. I appreciate your help.

    • January 10, 2022 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Mazah, what bag are you talking about? Is it a bag to hold first aid supplies? I would buy whatever would work for your supplies. I just bought a new one and I need to buy smaller bottles to accommodate the first aid kit. That post is going live soon. Linda


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