31 Over-the-Counter Meds You Need to Stockpile

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
By Paul Martin

SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

It’s easy to take the power of medicine for granted. We all grew up with the idea that you can just pop a pill and get rid of your cold and flu symptoms, but just a little over a century ago this was completely unheard of.

Back then, people had to live with their symptoms and could only hope they would get better. If you ever find yourself in a long-term disaster without OTC (over-the-counter) medications, you’ll quickly find out how rough it was for them.

The list below is not a comprehensive list of all the medical supplies you should stockpile. Rather, it’s a list of the most popular OTC medications that you can take orally (or in some cases, topically).

The medications listed below should take care of all the most common ailments such as allergies, arthritis, congestion, constipation, cough, cramps, diarrhea, dizziness, fever, headache, heartburn, nausea, sore throat, runny nose, vomiting, and more.

I listed them alphabetically by the most popular names (usually a brand name), but I also included the generic names in parentheses along with links to them on amazon.com since the generic versions are much cheaper and usually just as effective (most of them are made by Kirkland Signature, which I have found to be reliably good).

Before you say, “I hardly ever get sick, I’ll be fine,” keep in mind that during a major disaster you’ll be undergoing a lot of stress which will quickly weaken your immune system. If you get sick and are feeling miserable, you won’t be nearly as helpful to those who depend on you.

Also, since many other people will be stressed out and possibly sick, you could use some of your medicine for bartering.

But don’t just run to the store and start filling your cart with drugs. Stop and think about what you use most and least often. For example, I have a lot of antacids because I tend to get heartburn, but I only have a little bit of Dramamine because I rarely ever get nauseous, even when I’m sick.

Once you figure out which items you use most frequently, add them to your EDC kit, your bug out bag, and your regular first aid supplies.

It should also be noted that some of these items are slightly redundant. For example, Excedrin is just equal parts acetaminophen and aspirin, so you’ll have to decide whether to buy Excedrin or just make your own. As another example, there are many different things listed for digestive discomfort.

That’s because some things work for some people, and some don’t. Everybody is different. Figure out which products work best for you and your family, and stock up on those.

Also, don’t forget to note the expiration dates of your medications. Although they’ll last a while beyond the expiration dates, they will lose their potency over time, so you should keep track of what’s new and what’s old. Now on to the list (organized by the type of ailment they treat).

#1. Activated charcoal tablets. They are usually used in an incredibly large number of situations, from absorbing intestinal gas to reducing cholesterol, but it’s very very important that you have this in your emergency kit as an emergency medicine in intoxications. It can trap toxins and stop their absorption in the organism.

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