Trinity Salem Family Health Clinic

Over-the-Counter Essentials: What You Should Always Have in Your Medicine Cabinet

Oct 01, 2023
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Making sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked is an effort that can pay off when the time comes — and it always does. So, use this checklist to ensure you're prepared for whatever comes your way.

No matter the size of your household, a well-stocked medicine cabinet is essential for handling minor emergencies and medical concerns as they crop up — and they always crop up.

Trinity Salem Family Health Clinic, located in Waxahachie, Texas, focuses on general health and wellness for the entire family. Under the expert direction of nurse practitioner Yaminah Matthews, we ensure that your loved ones get the timely and expert they need for most general health concerns and minor injuries. 

When a problem arises that you can handle on your own, we want to ensure that you have the right tools for the job. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of over-the-counter (OTC) essentials for your medicine cabinet.

Minor cuts, scrapes, and burns

There are about 151 million emergency room visits annually in the United States, and cuts probably account for their fair share.

For minor cuts, it's crucial to have the following on hand:

  • Adhesive bandages
  • Gauze bandages
  • Tape
  • Antiseptic, such as alcohol wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment

This list item on the list is an important one. After you clean the cut and the bleeding stops, apply an antibiotic ointment immediately and cover the area. This step can prevent a potentially larger problem down the road — infection.

Pain relief

From headaches to a sore knee after a fall, having some OTC pain medications is always a good idea. We recommend something with acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen.

These can come in pill or liquid form, but they also come in creams that you can apply directly to the painful area.

Allergy relief

More than 100 million people in the US experience allergies yearly, so the odds are good that someone in your household may be part of this large group.

If you or a loved one has allergies, ensure you've got the medications we've recommended on hand, whether it's a decongestant or an antihistamine.

Bug bites and other itchy encounters

For routine bug bites, like mosquitos, and encounters with poison ivy or poison oak, it's always a good idea to have a topical cream that combats itchiness, such as hydrocortisone.

Upset stomach

If a family member eats something that doesn't agree with them or you have ongoing issues with acid reflux, having a few gastro-intestinal medications in your medicine cabinet is a great idea. These should include:

  • Antacids
  • Medications for diarrhea 
  • Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol® or Kaopectate®)
  • Charcoal tablets

The last item on our list, charcoal tablets, is suitable for soaking up something that doesn't agree with you in your digestive tract, and they can also be used as an emergency treatment for potential poisoning.

Battling colds and the flu

The flu and cold season is around the corner, so it's always a good idea to have appropriate medications. Please ensure that medications from last year haven’t expired, and if so, go out and get a new batch of cough suppressants and decongestants.

Non-medicine supplies

There are many great things to have in a medicine cabinet outside of medications, such as:

  • Tweezers for splinters
  • Eye wash cup
  • Wipes for cleaning
  • Compression bandages for minor sprains

If you spend some time updating your medicine cabinet, throwing out anything too old, and purchasing new supplies, you can make sure you're prepared for whatever little health issues come your way.

If you have more questions about what your household should have in its medicine cabinet, we're happy to help. Call our office or use the online booking tool. in Waxahachie, Texas, to get started.