Essential Medicines For Home In Case Of an Emergency

Essential Medicines For Home

Minor illnesses and other mild aches are common which can be treated with over the counter drugs. So, it is important to keep a few medicines also called over the counter drugs at home in case of an emergency when you can’t get to a pharmacy. Always go through instructions labels carefully and follow those instructions, and store the medicines accordingly out of the reach of children. Your pharmacist is an ideal person who can give you more information about over-the-counter medicines which do not require a prescription from your physician. If the symptoms do not resolve or if it gets worse it is better to consult your doctor.

Essential Medicines For Home In Case Of an Emergency

Essential Medicines For Home In Case Of an Emergency

Minor illnesses are common among children. Most of the symptoms usually begin when pharmacies are closed or during the lockdown. Here are some important suggestions to be kept in mind for essential medicines that you can keep at home just in case they are needed during times of emergency.

Points To Remember

  •  Always read the packet label carefully as well as the leaflet inside the packet before taking medicine. These instructions are provided to know the method and dose of consuming medicine and who should not consume the medicine, and a possible list of side-effects are also provided.
  • Keep in mind that children will need a different dose from that of adults, and different dosing is done based on their age. Therefore, always read the label carefully for the correct dose.
  • All the medicines should be kept out of the reach of children.

OTC Drugs

These are the following list of drugs which can be kept at home without the need for prescription


Paracetamol helps to ease the pain. It also helps to reduce a high temperature (fever) of the body. This drug comes in tablet form as well for the use in adults and older children and in liquid form for young children and babies. They are also options of soluble tablets and melt-in-the-mouth type of tablets. For younger children, paracetamol is the most important medicine to keep at home all time. Normal dose of paracetamol is safe to use but is harmful if you take too much of it like avoiding overdosing. So, it is extremely important to know the right dosage before administration paracetamol. Do not exceed the maximum dose which is recommended on the packet.

Anti-inflammatory painkillers

These types of painkillers are used to reduce inflammation. Most of the anti-inflammatory drugs need a prescription but ibuprofen is available in pharmacies and supermarkets as over the counter drug. This drug helps in alleviating muscular aches and sprains and can also be used to relieve menstrual pain. Ibuprofen also helps to reduce fever. This drug comes in tablets, soluble tablet s, liquid forms and melt-in-the-mouth. There are various brands of ibuprofen available in the market. The dose is variable according to age.


This drug helps to ease the symptoms of hay fever and other seasonal allergies which includes hives (urticaria), itching, sneeze, runny nose and watering eyes. It can also be used to reduce the pain and swelling from bee stings or wasps.


Antacids are used to help with patients in case of indigestion and heartburn. There are different types of antacids available in the market which are as follows: sodium bicarbonate, magnesium hydroxide and magnesium trisilicate, aluminium. The function of antacids is to neutralise the acid content of the stomach. More powerful forms of antacids are available which reduce acid in the stomach are ranitidine and esomeprazole.

Hydrocortisone Cream

This cream is a milder form of steroid cream. Steroids basically reduce inflammation on the skin and inside the body as well. Hydrocortisone is bought from pharmacies which are used to treat inflammation of the skin (dermatitis), hyperpigmentation,  insect stings and eczema. This cream can show negative impact when used on the face, so it should not be used on the face unless prescribed by your dermatologist specifically for use on the face. Stop using this cream when symptoms resolve.

Antiseptic Cream

Antiseptic cream is useful to have at home because of its multipurpose use. You can use this on minor cuts, scrapes and insect bites, which are less likely to become infected. Most Common available antiseptic creams include Savlon, Soframycin and Germolene®.