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Stocking Your Pharmacy: Medicines to Have at Home

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No home pharmacy is complete without medicine — and like how storm doors help weatherproof your home and prevent rain from getting in to keep your house safe. Having common medications on hand can help you be prepared to help yourself or others at home.

Before you head out to the drugstore, consider getting these common medicines for your home pharmacy.


The most common household medication that your home pharmacy shouldn’t miss is paracetamol. It reduces the high temperature when a person suffers from a fever. Paracetamol comes in tablet forms, available for adults and children — and liquid forms for infants. If you have kids at home, this medication is perhaps the most crucial to have at all times. It’s relatively safe when taken in standard doses but can be dangerous when over-consumed.

That’s why you must always check the dose for the person taking it and be careful not to surpass the maximum amount recommended.


This medication can ease seasonal allergies, hay fever, and common symptoms like watery eyes, excess sneezing, a runny nose, and itchiness — all of which are common. Also, you may use antihistamine to ease the pain and swelling from a bee sting or wasp sting. However, remember that this medication may cause drowsiness, which can be dangerous during the day. That’s why it’s advised to take antihistamines during bedtime.

There are different types of antihistamines, where one can cause less drowsiness while the other causes more. Additionally, you can buy this medication as a cream to rub on stings and bites directly.


This medication can help ease indigestion and heartburn. However, there are different types of antacids to choose from, such as magnesium hydroxide and sodium bicarbonate, so it’s best to always consult with your doctor before taking it. Antacids work by neutralizing the acid content in your stomach. It’s a medication that every household needs since indigestion and heartburn happen often.

However, if antacids aren’t enough, you can buy more potent medicines from your pharmacies to help reduce acid in your stomach. These include ranitidine and esomeprazole.

Variety of medicines

Antiseptic Cream

Antiseptic cream can be extremely useful in any household. That’s because if you use the cream on minor scrapes, bites, or cuts, it will prevent the affected areas from getting infected. The most commonly available antiseptic creams you can get at pharmacies or supermarkets are Savlon and Germolene.

Anti-inflammatory Painkillers

Anti-inflammatory painkillers are a particular type of painkillers used to reduce swelling. Although most of this painkiller needs a prescription, you can buy milder alternatives like ibuprofen at pharmacies or supermarkets. These are extremely helpful in addressing muscular sprains and aches, relieving period pain. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory painkillers come in tablet, soluble tablets, and liquid forms.

There are multiple brands of ibuprofen to choose from, but the dose advised varies per age. Plus, although these painkillers are relatively harmless, many anti-inflammatory painkillers can’t be used by specific individuals. For instance, if you had or currently have a stomach ulcer or duodenal ulcer, you’ll need to take them with precaution — usually with food since they can cause mild to severe irritation when taken on an empty stomach.

Overall, anti-inflammatory painkillers are must-haves for any home. After all, getting fevers, painful joints, and other related conditions are expected in households. However, if you’ve developed stomach pain or severe heartburn after taking ibuprofen, it’s best to stop them since they may further cause adverse effects. Before buying these painkillers, check with the pharmacist first.

Hydrocortisone Cream

This medication cream is a mild steroid cream often used to reduce inflammation. You can buy hydrocortisone cream in pharmacies to treat several conditions like skin conditions, such as dermatitis, insect stings, and eczema. However, keep in mind that you can’t use this cream on your face unless your doctor has specifically prescribed it for facial use.

Additionally, if you’re experiencing itching or skin dryness, a better alternative for hydrocortisone cream is emollient cream, efficiently soothing dry and itchy skin. This medication is a must-have if you have someone in your household that has sensitive skin.

Stomach Medications

Stomach or intestinal issues are relatively common. That’s why it’s best to include a good stool softener like Colace or a laxative like Milk of Magnesia in your home pharmacy. Although these are used to treat mild to moderate gastrointestinal issues, you can treat minor problems like diarrhea with gentler medicine like Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol.

If you, a family member, or a guest gets injured on your property, you can provide immediate care by having the right medicines on hand. Those mentioned are common medications you must have on hand, addressing several medical conditions and diseases — ensuring optimal health for everyone at home.

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