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As a prepper you know the necessity of stocking up on all essentials and this goes beyond food and water. We all get sick and injured from time to time and having a stockpile of over the counter medication can help to alleviate everyday ailments which can strike when you least expect it.
If SHTF you want to make sure you have everything ready to go including your medication store.
There are certain OTC medicines that you should always have on hand to be able to quickly and effectively treat yourself and family members.
We will look at some of the medications you should stock up on to make sure you are covered.
What Type Of Ailments Could You Need To Treat With OTC Meds
Certain illnesses can take you by surprise and having some medication on hand to treat them can help you feel better without needing to take a trip to see a doctor or an emergency room. Some common symptoms you may need to manage with OTC medication:
- Body aches and pains
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Runny noses/li>
- Blocked sinuses
- Skin irritations
Consider Your Families Unique Medical Needs
When it comes to putting together your medical stock, keep in mind your family’s specific requirements. If anyone has allergies it is important to stock enough medication that can suit their specialized needs.
If you have a family member that suffers regularly from a condition that does not require chronic medication then you should have sufficient stock for their needs.
An example is someone that suffers from seasonal allergies so you may need extra medication during the change of season. Having the correct OTC medication for different aged family members.
For example if you have young children make sure you have the correct type of medication for their ages and that you know the correct dosages to administer.
If a family member suffers from pain regularly like a sore neck or back you may need more pain relievers on hand. Besides over the counter medication some family members may have chronic conditions that require prescription medication.
You may not be able to stockpile much more than a few months of prescription medication due to regulations but if you can keep these essential meds on hand it would be ideal.
Proper Storage And Medication Shelf Life
If you are planning on stockpiling medication it is essential to store it safely and prevent it from going bad prematurely.
In general exposure to heat, sunlight, wet or damp conditions will denature medication or make it ineffective. The best area is somewhere dark, dry at lower temperatures to make sure the medication stays in its original state.
All medication has a shelf life or an expiry date. While some medication can still be effective past its use by date it is better to use it before that date to be on the safe side.
Keeping this in mind it makes no sense to stockpile too much medication as you may not be able to use it before the expiry date and then it will all be wasted.
OTC Medicines To Stock Up On
Pain Relievers and Anti-Inflammatories
Ibuprofen (Example: Motrin or Advil)
Both a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory, ibuprofen can be used to treat a range of issues mainly aches and pains like headaches, menstrual cramps and back pain. It is also very effective at reducing fevers as well.
Acetaminophen (Example: Tylenol)
An OTC pain-reliever that is not an anti-inflammatory drug, this one does not irritate the stomach like ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen. It is effective for fever reduction and pain relief. This is a good option to stock for family members that cannot take ibuprofen.
Naproxen (Example: Aleve)
A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug effective in relieving pain, fever, and inflammation, Like ibuprofen but longer lasting up to 12 hours.
Aspirin (Example: Bayer, Ecotrin)
Used to reduce fever, control pain and to reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also be used as a blood thinner in low doses to prevent blood clots, heart attacks, and stroke.
It is important to avoid giving Aspirin to children under the age of 12 with fever as this is dangerous.
Allergy Or Antihistamine Medications
Diphenhydramine ( Example: Benadryl)
This antihistamine is commonly used to relieve symptoms from allergies, respiratory infections and hay fever. It can also treat nausea, hives and itching.
Fexofenadine Hydrochloride (Example: Allegra)
An antihistamine commonly used to relieve allergy symptoms. Often used together with pseudoephedrine for rapid relief of allergy symptoms.
Loperamide (Example: Imodium)
Used to control diarrhea and ease intestinal cramps. Diarrhea can rapidly lead to dehydration meaning this medication is a great selection to stock to prevent this.
Polyethylene Glycol 3350 (Example: MiraLAX)
An osmotic laxative used to soften stool and to assist with treatment of constipation. Bowel discomfort and constipation can increase with stress so after SHTF you could likely struggle with these types of issues.
Glycerin suppositories can assist with easing constipation very quickly. Having a few options for this type of relief is always a good idea.
Meclizine (Example: Bonine, Dramamine)
An antiemetic drug relieves nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, and vertigo symptoms. Also helpful for anxiety and insomnia treatment in some people. A good option to have on hand to manage nausea effectively.
Colds And Flu Treatment
Pseudoephedrine (Example: Sudafed)
A decongestant that can relieve congestion of the upper and lower respiratory tract. Helpful for relieving common cold symptoms, flu, bronchitis, hay fever and allergies.
It is important to note this type of medication is restricted in terms of quantities so you may not be able to stock very much of it.
These are just some of the OTC medications that could be useful to keep stocked up should disaster strike. Covering the most common ailments and their treatment will usually be sufficient.
Trying to stock medication for every eventuality is not practical and will likely waste a lot of money when the medication expires before you can use it.
Make sure you are logical when putting together your OTC medical kit considering your families specific needs along the way and you will have the perfect medication stash to look after your family when times get tough.