One thing that people who prepare for emergencies frequently overlook is medicine for “routine” medical problems. There are a couple of over the counter medications that I consider to be essential. When you are in a situation where medical care is not readily available, these medications can literally be lifesavers.

Acetaminophen: This one is good for pain and for control of fever.

Benadryl: This drug is good for allergic reactions, and also works well as a sedative and sleeping aid.

Ibuprofen: This is a non steroidal anti inflammatory. Anyone who has ever been in the military will tell you that this drug is used by them for everything from headaches to broken bones.

Immodium: Diarrhea is a killer because losing fluids and electrolytes can be dangerous. In a survival situation, take some as soon as the second incident of liquid bowel movement occurs.

Meclizine: This one is sold under many brand names. It’s good for mild nausea and can prevent vomiting. Like diarrhea, vomiting causes a loss of fluids and electrolytes that can be life threatening. It’s best to take this as soon as you feel queazy. If you wait until you are vomiting, it may be too late. Just remember that it can make you drowsy.

I’m sure that there are others I have forgotten. I am open to suggestions on what you may feel is essential.

Categories: Medical


E M Johnson · August 19, 2021 at 6:23 am

I suggest Systane eye drops. I think they are essential prep. I can suck up aches and pains in my body but shit in the eyes is a serious problemo

    it's just Boris · August 19, 2021 at 6:31 am

    Or more simply, sterile saline / eyewash. I keep a bottle in the car’s emergency kit as well.

it's just Boris · August 19, 2021 at 6:32 am

I would also add a decongestant … speaking as someone who’s had sinus issues all his life. They can raise your blood pressure, however, so be aware if you have hypertension.

Russell G. · August 19, 2021 at 6:58 am

On a little recent excursion in to a monster gash…that I could reach and repair.
No, not quikclot.

-Saline eye wash in the big bottles. Washing out bleeding wounds.
-Lidocaine/epi solution in spray pump bottle. Hemostasis. You will need to do that. I’m not kidding here. You need a clear field to work and glue. Look on ebay from the tat people.
-KY jelly. You can make antibiotic pastes with KY (methylcellulose) that keep in the refrigerator for the duration of your heal. Usually at a 1% concentration. Pick up your antibiotics from the usual fish, fin and feathers places. It’s not clear what the triple antibiotic stuff is doing these days. Roll your own with the right bug inhibitor.
-Good gel super glue. Same thing as Eastman surgical glue.
-Elastic bandages of the Mueller type and bandages, proper. Lots and lots and lots.
-3M Micropore tape. Lots. Accept no other.
-Kotex like pads. Don’t laugh. Those things were made to soak up blood. They can be cut to a reasonable size as long as you don’t get into the gel flakes.
-Good hand tools for the job. Ebay.
-If you want to get all 18th century, get suture supplies and/or staples.

Don Curton · August 19, 2021 at 7:40 am

I don’t know about life saving, but since I suffer from pretty severe acid reflux, I never travel anywhere without both a large bottle of Tums and my prescription medications.

Benadryl is very good, but I also like to carry a second decongestant. Living in South Texas is allergy central and most mornings it takes several hours to clear everything out to where I can breathe.

Also, some sort of aloe burn cream as well as sun screen. Again, South Texas survival against severe sunburn (which can be very serious).

All of this is reminding me that I probably need to make another pharmacy run before prices go up again.

TechieDude · August 19, 2021 at 8:25 am

No aspirin?

I have gut issues as well. I’d have some prevacid or equivalent, in case all hell breaks loose and I can’t get the prescription one I use.

Exile1981 · August 19, 2021 at 8:41 am

Petrocarbo salve – carbolic acid in a petroleum jelly.

Meletonin – in high stress situations you may need extra help falling asleep.

The worm meds – forget the name, the pills you take to kil pin worms and other parasites if your infected with them.

nick flandrey · August 19, 2021 at 9:20 am

lice kits
rat traps/poison/bait
DEET based insect repellent
insect bite itch reliever
hydrocortizone cream
burn gel and silvadene cream
whatever your females use for yeast infections, lots of it
poison ivy soap- ain’t gonna be no steroid shot to make you feel better when you get covered in that stuff.

rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, epsom salts
tooth emergency repair kits

steri strips and butterfly closures

WRT OTC, I went thru Costco and got pretty much 2 big bottles of every category. Don’t forget multivitamins. If your food is limited, supplements will be needed.

The list never ends.

And whatever you have on hand for wound management, it’s probably not enough. Think case quantity for that stuff.


(duluth trading of all places used to have a surgical tools kit, and some dental tools too)

AL in moss bluff · August 19, 2021 at 9:50 am

SSD. Silversulfadiazine cream if one can get it. Aka silvadine as mentioned above. Great stuff an can be used in eye injuries as well. Burns, road rash, any rash or wound. Also mentioned above is witch hazel. For me works good on itchy encounters. bees, ants, scorpion, stinging nettle… a little towel or gauze soaked in it an left covering area helps. And of course tampons for bullet holes. I’ve on!y used it on horses… Worked well.

AC47spooky · August 19, 2021 at 9:53 am

Thank you … informative post and informative replies. We have most of what is suggested but need to make sure there’s enough. Just got a couple bottles of eye drops.

I keep aspirin on hand and also Polysporin and tincture iodine – which seems hard to find. The Kotex for applying to wounds is one I hadn’t thought of at all – good to know. My wife has ibuprofen and acetaminophen – not sure about the Benadryl.

nick flandrey · August 19, 2021 at 10:15 am

Ace bandages and conformal wrap, aka vet wrap.

The netting/sleeve stuff that goes over bandages.

LOTS of sterile 2×2, 3×3, and 4×4 pads

Tegaderm — The really big waterproof dressings that are like chest seals

the skin prep liquid used before tape.

betadine soap

sam splint

finger splint/thumb splint


Bad Dancer · August 19, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Can’t agree enough with Imodium, stack it wide stack it deep, suspect water is not fun times in happy town when you have no other choice or aren’t 100% on the person who claims they followed instructions on water treatment.

To go along with that I’m pretty fond of Pedialyte when suffering from bowel and stomach upsets. Originally bought it in bulk to soak a pet bullfrog when he was getting on in years and it kept me out of the hospital during a bad case of food poisoning that had me praying for my death and then skyline’s in short order.

Two people in the care group have weak teeth and fillings so that temporary filling cap and pain reliever and various tooth pain meds go in the cabinets. Think dentek and similar.

Terry Hansen · August 19, 2021 at 1:05 pm

Bag Balm.

Beans · August 19, 2021 at 1:56 pm

Flonase and Pennsaid for allergy sufferers. Up the nose and in the eye. It will stop a good attack.

Vitamin D and B. And C if you can handle it.

And… Everclear. Use it like rubbing alcohol, but it doesn’t dry out the skin as much. Or just go with rubbing alcohol. Great way to help cool an overheating person, or help clear up a rash or a wet yeasty spot in those wet hidden areas.

Also, besides Epsom salt for soaking wounds, some good old dish s
oap. I prefer Dawn. Great way to clean and dry up all sorts of stuff from poison ivy to grease to oily skin. And you can use it for clothes washing.

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