First aid: 6 must-have items in your medicine cabinet

Don’t wait until someone is sick, injured or injured to stock up on essential over-the-counter medications and supplies.

What to keep in your medicine cabinet

It’s always good to have all of these essentials on hand when building a medical cabinet.


In the medicine cabinet there should definitely be painkillers

An over-the-counter pain reliever can be helpful when someone has a headache or suffers from menstrual cramps or a pulled muscle.

The main categories of analgesics are aimed at reducing fever and relieving pain.

The most common over-the-counter pain relievers are aspirin, anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen and naproxen), and acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Remember that taking too many painkillers long-term can lead to various complications, including stomach irritation and even liver failure.


cough medicine

Cough medicines are commonly used to treat someone with an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI).

These medications are often divided into categories such as dry cough or wet cough.

Cough medicines often work after a few days, but if symptoms last longer than a week or are accompanied by fever, it is best to see a doctor.

The condition may be a sign of bronchitis or pneumonia, requiring further medical attention.

Cold medicine

Cold medications often contain a pain reliever, cough suppressant, and expectorant to help loosen mucus buildup.

Taking these drugs makes it easier for the person to cough them up.

Allergy medications take center stage in the medicine cabinet

Antihistamines are a class of drugs used to treat allergy symptoms, such as hay fever, hives, and reactions due to insect bites or stings and even exposure to allergens from the pollen.

These drugs are also effective in treating various conditions such as colds, stomach problems, anxiety, etc.

Digestive Aids

There are three types of home drug treatment for digestive problems.

These include

  • Tums or Rolaids for mild, foodborne heartburn. These medications do not provide long-term relief, but contain fast-release formulas that help control faster.
  • Mylanta or Maalox for people who regularly suffer from heartburn. These are long lasting than quick release chews like tums or Rolaids.
  • Zantac or Prevacid to keep the stomach from producing too much acid long term.

Ointments and creams

Several topical medications are available for burning, itchy, or irritated skin.

Don’t fall for several first aid myths, including putting things in your skin.

Some ointments and creams include:

  • Calamine lotion to relieve itching
  • Benadryl topical cream to relieve symptoms of skin irritation. These block histamine, which is a common culprit behind the itchy sensation.
  • Low potency topical steroids but still work well with itchy and irritated skin.

Other tips and tricks

When building a medicine cabinet, it is recommended to keep an inventory of its expiration dates.

A new prescription will require a list of its expiration date (or last day of refill).

For seniors living at home who regularly take medication, make sure all of their medications and dosages are correct, including the best time to take them.

Some medications can have side effects when taken the wrong way, which can be unhealthy for older people.

For small children in the house, make sure no medications are in their line of sight.

Keep the medicine cabinet out of reach and use childproof containers.

It’s also best to use medications like children’s decongestants or cough medicine to avoid accidental mix-ups.

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