The Essentials of a Proper Medicine Cabinet

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It’s good to have the right medicine on hand when you need it.

Having family members in medical professions has impressed upon me the importance of preventative care. Not just getting regular checkups at your primary physician (though you should do that), but also keeping a stock of simple medical supplies on hand at home in the event of illness or injury. You don’t want to have to drive over to the pharmacy when you’re already delirious with a fever; it’s no fun for you, and it’s certainly no fun for the people around you.


There are a few kinds of generic meds you should keep on hand, either under the sink in the bathroom or in a medicine cabinet (preferably somewhere out of reach of children, if applicable). For example, simple painkillers like Tylenol or Advil. Advil can help to remedy various aches and pains, and can also be used as a sleep aid if you’re sick with something that makes it harder to fall asleep. They can also be used to keep certain symptoms under control so you can get more specialized meds.

Allergy meds like Claritin are also helpful. Obviously, their most practical application is in the spring to fight pollen allergies, but antihistamines are also helpful with other kinds of allergic reactions like rashes and bug bites. Speaking of, you should also have a tube of antibacterial ointment like Neosporin available for dressing injuries and soothing rashes and burns.

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If you have a more specific affliction like a cold, it might not hurt to have some decongestants like Mucinex handy. Guaifenesin medicines help to loosen mucus from your brachial passages and make your coughs and sneezes more productive in actually getting the gunk out, instead of just swirling it around in there. Just make sure not to take this stuff unless you actually have a gunky throat. Had to learn that lesson the hard way.

Beyond these basics, if there are any other conditions you put up with regularly, whether it be heartburn, dry eyes, muscle cramps, or whatever else, you should take the initiative and stock up. You’ll be glad you have stuff on hand when you wake up with a splitting headache and a runny nose.