By Ed Biado
What’s in your medicine cabinet? Is there actually medicine in it? In theory, a medicine cabinet should contain over-the-counter drugs that can be used to treat minor conditions and injuries. But since it is a humid place being at close proximity to the shower and bath, it’s not the ideal place for your pills. The perfect “medicine cabinet” is a cool, dark and dry closet. And here are the meds that you should keep in it:
1. Analgesics – Aspirin, mefenamic acid and ibuprofen are among the most common pain relievers in the market. Every home should have a stash of painkillers for the occasional headache, other minor pains and symptoms like fever.
2. Topical analgesics – Relieving muscle and joint pains, analgesics in cream or gel form are also available. They’re usually a combination of methyl salicylate and menthol.
3. Antacids – For the acidic or heartburn-prone, counteracting stomach hyperacidity is as easy as popping an antacid. Or have those soluble sodium bicarbonates that you can drink with water.
4. Bowel stabilizers – Loperamide, an over-the-counter solution to diarrhea, is your best bet against the almost always unexpected nasty-nasty (usually caused by gastroenteritis or inflammatory bowel disease). You never know when you’re gonna have loose bowels, so it’s wise to have some stock.
5. Laxatives – The total opposite of LBM is constipation. Therefore, laxatives are also important.
6. Cough syrups – Typically expectorants, cough syrups ease the respiratory tract of mucus buildup. For simple coughs with no symptoms, guaifenesin should do the trick. But for more serious cases, visit your friendly neighborhood physician.
7. Decongestants – Nasal congestion (clogged nose, runny nose, postnasal drip and other associated symptoms) are easily treated with decongestants. Most of the ones in the market also contain antihistamines and analgesics.
8. Anti-allergens – The most effective anti-allergy medications are histamine blockers. Allergic reactions sometimes occur unexpectedly because we don’t know everything we’re allergic to. Taking a tab the moment it gets uncomfortable will save us the trouble of sneezing for hours.
9. Skin treatments – Itchy and/or prickly skin, fungal infection and other mild skin conditions are common among kids who spend too much time in the sun and the outdoors. Parents should always have a tube of anti-inflammatory ointments and creams readily available.
10. Prescription meds – Obviously, if any member of your household is on a prescription, it would totally be irresponsible to not adhere to doctor’s orders. Never neglect the prescription.