18 Over the Counter Meds You Should Always Have On Hand

otcIt is very important to insure you have a good stock of the following OTC or over the counter, medications or treatments in the house, in your bug out bag, your get home bag. Many of these items should also be carried as part of your EDC (everyday carry).

Most likely there isn’t a person reading this that doesn’t have a bottle of aspirin or acetaminophen, most commonly known as Tylenol, in the house. Chances are you even have some ibuprofen which sells under the name of Advil or Motrin. We have this because from time to time we have all suffered some sort of ache and pain.

Do you have something in the house to handle an allergic reaction? What about something to handle a sudden bout of diarrhea?

Always be prepared with:

  • Aspirin – pain relief and fever reduction, some take it in small does for heart health
  • Acetaminophen – pain relief and fever reduction, many times used for dental pain, menstrual cramps
  • Ibuprofen – pain relief and fever reduction
  • Naproxen sodium – long-acting for pain relief and fever reduction
  • Extra Strength Excedrin – Great for migraine relief
  • Diphenhydramine hydrochloride – commonly known as Benadryl, an antihistamine – helps allergic reactions, bee stings, etc.
  • Loperamide HCl – Imodium anti-diarrhea medication
  • Bismuth Subsalicylate – commonly known as Pepto-Bismol – good for stomach upset and anti-diarrhea medication
  • Benzocaine – this one is for the ladies, commonly known as Vagisil, relieves feminine itching and burning
  • VaporRub – such as Vicks. Vapors help relieve coughing due to common cold. Can also relieve minor muscles aches and pains when rubbed on sore spot.
  • Antacid/Heartburn relief – such as Tums, Rolaids, Pepsid,
  • Cold/Flu Remedies – these could include cough syrup, cough drops, Dayquil/Nyquil and the like.
  • Liquid Bandage – also known as New Skin, handy for sealing up a cut in place of or in addition to band aids
  • Antibacterial ointment – to protect cuts, scraps & burns, Also can help with chapped skin.
  • Medicated First Aid Spray – to protect sooth cuts, scraps, sun burn.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – to clean out wounds
  • Isopropyl Alcohol – to clean out wounds, but it will sting
  • Sambucus Black Elder Berry Extract – natural remedy for flu symptoms

Of course if you have children in the house you will want to ensure all these OTC meds are out of their reach plus ensure you have children doses in the house as well.

Disclaimer: This article is the opinion of the writer, it is not meant to be used as medical advise. Always do your own research on any type of medication you have in the house or take to insure you are not allergic to it or that it won’t conflict with any other medication you or anyone in your house are taking. Before taking any medication consult with your health care professional.

Author: Prudence ~ VigilPrudence.com

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  1. I am new to this prepping situation. How in the heck do people come up with the money needed to purchase everything they need to get. I’ve been trying to buy extra food and water for long term storage and medical supplies but, quite honestly, I just can’t afford everything I hear we have to get in order to survive longterm.

    Can anyone tell me how to come up with everything needed when you live on very limited income. (Im retired, by the way)

    thanks for all of the imput and ideas



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    • Dear Diane,

      My husband and I are both retired and not wealthy by any means. We have put back a tote of first aid supplies and have everything, I think, but the blackberry stuff that is listed. A lot of this stuff is what we usually keep in the cupboard for our own use, or for our family. We have 3 daughters and 11 grandchildren, so someone is always needing something and we are the ones who usually have what they need.

      Another thing to think about is that we believe people will trade and barter, if times get rough, and we will all be able to fill someone else’s need.

      Also, I have started looking at homemade remedies and there isn’t much you can’t make from scratch, if you are willing to do so. Some of the best healing ointment I have ever purchased came from a local gal who makes it herself. It is phenominal! There is a lot online to help us. Look at diynatural.com

      Hope this helps.

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    • Hi Diane, Thank you so much for reading and your comment. Believe me, there are many people who are living on a limited income but yet are slowing getting prepared. Some people prepare for the extreme. The key to being prepared is to focus on your needs and what you are trying to prepare for. You don’t need to copy anyone, just get ideas. Sounds like you are on the right track by buying a little extra at a time, it will build up. Please keep watch for an upcoming article I plan to post on the very concerns you have brought up, I am sure it will help. Until then, just keep doing what you are doing. 🙂

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  2. My first thought was, ‘good grief’ I’m expected to have 18 different ‘remedies’ on hand. And then I read the list and I pretty much do have all these things ‘on hand’ Do not have liquid bandage or Vagisil, or the last one (Black Elder Berry extract)on the list. Surprised me that I pretty much do have them. And one more…a sinus/pain remedy. And Echinacea. Have not had a cold since 1991, and only once had the flu and that was in 1957.

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  3. I understand about a budget I work a part time job and my husband is disabled, – Make a list of now things that you would like to get or have, buy two if you can and What my family does is my sister and I are a team , I have some things at my house and she has stuff at her house, We both live in same small town and that way no one person is stuck with all the cost, Find a buddy to work with you on the prepping it helps

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  4. Y’all forgot potassium tabs or iodine which is most important to purify sketchy water and an antiseptic. If you have your bug out bag your most important survival item is pure water. You can live 3 days with no water before your body starts shutting down and 30 days without food. Impure water will cause vomiting and diarrhea which can kill u.

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