Staying Prepared With OTC Products

Whether being prepared for disaster, a gift for newlyweds or a housewarming gift, there are a number of over-the-counter (OTC) products that should be in every home. Pharmacy staff usually have suggestions, and some kits may already be made up for purchase. Rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, bandages and antibiotic ointments are helpful for minor injuries. Having pain-relievers, antacids, antihistamines and hydrocortisone cream are useful for rashes and irritation and are great to have on hand for outdoor activities.


Essential pain killers

Whether dealing with a headache, muscular aches, or pain from an injury, over-the-counter pain medications can play an important role. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) address both pain and inflammation, while analgesics help with pain at the source. Topical options can also help. Medicated patches can be applied to the pain area, offering targeted relief.

Picking the right medication

Allergies affect more than 100 million people in the US, and OTC medications for this condition can be a real lifesaver. Antihistamines can help to reduce or eliminate symptoms such as congestion, coughing, wheezing, runny nose, rash, and itchy eyes. Nasal steroid sprays can also help with allergy symptoms, with many options now available without a prescription.

Managing cuts and burns

An occasional cut or burn is an unfortunate part of life. Having the right supplies on hand can help with the resulting pain and minimize the risk of infection or scarring. Antibiotic ointments can be applied directly to the cut or burn as directed. Aloe vera can also help treat burns. Bandages of various sizes are another essential product to keep in the home to stop the bleeding and keep the area clean. Once healed, OTC scar creams can minimize any residual scarring.

Cough and cold necessities

For most people, the dreaded common cold seems to strike at least once or twice a year. In many cases, respiratory infection symptoms can be treated with OTC medications. For a bothersome cough, expectorants and antitussives help break up mucous and disrupt the cough reflex. Cough drops are another great option to suppress an ongoing cough. For a runny nose, decongestants and medicated nasal sprays work best.

Pharmacists can help

Even without a prescription in hand, pharmacists remain an essential medication resource. These health professionals are knowledgeable about various OTC options and can usually point people in the right direction depending on the symptoms stated. Don’t hesitate to ask a pharmacist for help when seeking over-the-counter relief.

OTC your way

Although there are many situations where a visit to the doctor and a prescription are necessary, many common ailments can be treated by simply walking into a store and purchasing an OTC treatment. Always review any medications thoroughly to ensure the product is the correct choice for the problem at hand, and follow the instructions on the label for the best results.


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