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    39 Over-The-Counter Medications to Stockpile Just In Case

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    39 Over-The-Counter Medications to Stockpile Just In Case

    Have you noticed how easily supply chains are interrupted? Imported items are increasingly hard to get, especially products imported from China. Many of our over-the-counter medications are imported from China, so it stands to reason that they may become tough to find in the coming weeks and months. Combine that with staff shortages, store closings, and natural disasters, and it may become impossible to get to a pharmacy when you need it most. 

    You’ll want to provide for all your family’s needs, including medications, in any kind of emergency. Keeping a supply of over-the-counter medicines will help keep your family healthier in any situation.  

    In this article, we’ll look at 39 popular over-the-counter medications that you’ll want to stockpile. We’ll also talk about choosing remedies based on your family’s specific needs and how long the over-the-counter medication will last. But first, we’ll take a quick look at why we need to stockpile over-the-counter medicines. 

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    Why Do We Need to Stockpile Over the Counter Medication? 

    We need to stockpile over-the-counter medication for several reasons. First, if you live on a homestead, you might not be anywhere near a pharmacy when you aren’t feeling well and need some quick relief. Second, you also might want to be prepared for emergencies and natural disasters when getting out just isn’t possible.

    And lastly, you’ll want to be prepared ahead of time if supply chains collapse and we can’t get our preferred medications when we need them. But when you stockpile medication, how long will it last? 

    How Long Will OTC Medication Last? 

    If you’re going to be stockpiling medication, you need to know how long it will last. According to a paper on the NCBI website, solid medications, such as tablets or pills, may still be safe and potent anywhere from 5 to 10 years past their expiration date. 

    When you stockpile medication, be sure to rotate it as much as possible by using up older medicine first and replacing your stash with new medication. But always do your own research to find out what is safe for you and your family

    What Are Your Family’s Special Needs? 

    Another thing to consider when stockpiling medication is your family’s specific needs. For example, you may have a child allergic to certain medicines. So you may need to keep children’s versions of medications on hand. Or you might just have preferences for certain types of treatment, such as Advil rather than Tylenol.

    You should also consider whether your family is prone to certain troubles, such as upset stomachs or skin infections. Once you’ve figured out what your family needs, you can begin to stockpile some or all of the following medications. 

    Over-the-Counter Medications to Stockpile

    Allergy Relief 

    • AllegraOne of the newer allergy medicines, this OTC version is great for seasonal, indoor, and pet allergies. 
    • Benadryl Benadryl is a tried-and-true medication for all kinds of troubles, specifically allergy-related. It will treat seasonal allergies, rashes, hives, and other allergic reactions. In addition, Benadryl is known to help you fall asleep so that it can help on those sleepless nights, as well. 
    • Claritin You may want to stock up on Claritin to soothe those seasonal allergies.  
    • Zyrtec For indoor and outdoor allergies with symptoms such as itchy eyes and a runny nose, you may want to stock up on Zyrtec. 

    Cold and Flu 

    • Airborne This vitamin-packed supplement is good to have on hand during cold and flu season to boost your immunity to prevent and even shorten the length of cold and flu symptoms. 
    • Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold and Flu If you prefer to take a liquid medication, these tablets for cold and flu symptoms can be dropped into a glass of water to relieve your congestion, headache, and body aches. 
    • Dayquil This combination medication treats stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, and cough and won’t make you sleepy. 
    • Elderberry Syrup Elderberry syrup may not have a long shelf-life, but it will help boost your immune system and could shorten the length of your cold and flu symptoms. 
    • Mucinex Mucinex is typically used to treat chest congestion. It is an expectorant and works by thinning your mucus. 
    • Nyquil This medication is used to treat cold, flu, and allergy symptoms, and it will help you fall asleep faster. 
    • Sudafed These small red pills can be used to treat nasal and sinus congestion due to colds and allergies. 
    • Vick’s VapoRub This salve can be rubbed on the chest and feet to treat cough and muscle aches associated with colds and flu. 

    First Aid

    • Bacitracin This is another type of antibiotic ointment to treat and prevent minor skin infections. 
    • Burn Cream An over-the-counter burn cream can help reduce the pain and discomfort from mild burns.  
    • Neosporin This ointment is used to prevent skin infection in minor wounds. Keep this on hand to make sure small problems don’t become big ones. 
    • QuickClot QuickClot is a particular type of gauze impregnated with a clotting factor. It will help stop bleeding much faster than pressure alone. 
    Assorted Over the Counter Medications

    Mouth Issues 

    • Orajel for canker sores If you tend to get canker sores, you know how much pain and difficulty they cause. Stock up on Orajel specifically made to treat this issue.  
    • Orajel for tooth pain For mild tooth pain when you can’t get to the dentist, Orajel will help by numbing the pain. 

    Pain Relief 

    • Advil Ibuprofen, or Advil, is an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, and fever reducer.  
    • Aleve Aleve will relieve pain, inflammation, and fever, as well. It can be combined with Tylenol but not Advil.  
    • Aspirin Aspirin is less powerful than the other pain relievers but also can act as a blood thinner. However, be careful because it can cause adverse reactions in children, especially if they have the flu. 
    • Epsom Salts For muscle aches and soreness, a soak in some Epsom salts often does the trick. It can also relieve sunburn and stress and make splinters easier to remove. In addition, a small amount can be ingested with water to relieve constipation. 
    • Excedrin For the mother of all headaches or migraines, there is Excedrin, which is generally a combination of Tylenol, Aspirin, and Caffeine. 
    • Icy Hot or Aspercream For muscle pain, soreness, or arthritis pain, you may want something like Icy Hot, BenGay, Tiger Balm, or Aspercream. These are topical pain relievers and work well when you don’t want to take something like Tylenol.
    • Tylenol Tylenol, or acetaminophen, is easy on the stomach and relieves pain and fever. 

    Skin Problems 

    • Benadryl Cream Rashes, hives, bug bites, and bee stings can cause miserable itching. Benadryl cream is an antihistamine cream that will relieve this symptom. 
    • Calamine Lotion Calamine lotion will treat a variety of bug bites, poison ivy rashes, and other itchy problems.
    • Hydrocortisone Cream Hydrocortisone cream is a mild steroid cream that can relieve itchiness and speed healing. 
    • Lotrimin Athletes’ foot and jock itch can be a real problem, especially when it is difficult to get regular showers and baths. Make sure you have some of this on hand to treat fungal infections. 

    Sleep Issues 

    • Tylenol PM Tylenol PM is an invaluable tool to help you get some rest when you need it for minor sleeplessness associated with aches and pains. 
    • Unisom Sleep is always important, and for trouble sleeping, you might want to stock up on this over-the-counter sleep aid. 

    Stomach and Digestive Problems 

    • Imodium Imodium is a medication used to treat diarrhea. It may also reduce vomiting.  
    • MiraLAX Keep MiraLAX on hand to treat bouts of constipation. 
    • Pepto-Bismol Available in liquid and tablet form, you’ll want to consider the pink stuff for nausea, heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion, and diarrhea. It’s handy to have on hand since it treats a variety of symptoms. 
    • Tums Tums are a go-to for indigestion problems, especially gas and heartburn. As a bonus, they can be used as a calcium supplement. 
    • Zantac For bad acid indigestion and heartburn, you may need something stronger than Tums, such as Zantac. 

    Miscellaneous Medications to Consider 

    • Monistat For women, yeast infections can cause a lot of misery. So keep a stash of Monistat around for just this problem.  
    • Potassium Iodide Keep a supply of potassium iodide on hand for radiation emergencies. It is used to protect the thyroid from radiation. 
    • Saline Solution Saline can be used to clean wounds, relieve dry eyes, rinse contacts, and irrigate nasal passages. 
    • VitaminsIn an emergency or disaster situation, vitamins may be hard to come by. However, keep a stash on hand to keep your body healthy and more resistant to disease and illness. 

    Ultimately, only you can decide which medications are best for you and your family to stock up on. Of course, you’ll want to consult with your family physician and pharmacist to help you make the best decisions. 

    Always store medication in a cool, dry place away from heat and light. Rotate your stock as often as possible, so you always have the freshest medicines on hand. When possible, choose medications that have multiple applications. And be sure to do your research on expiration dates, drug interactions, and possible side effects. 

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      2 thoughts on “39 Over-The-Counter Medications to Stockpile Just In Case”

      1. Interesting. Everything you mentioned, I WOULD NOT stock. Because many of those over the counter items are not so healthy. I prefer the naturopathic route now.


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