• Ronnie Shalev, MD

Is Your Medicine Cabinet Stocked With The Right Supplies?

From my experience in working in the ER, most people don’t have the basics in their medicine cabinets. There are some very important staples you should have. Read below to find out my Top 10 Medicine Cabinet Essentials.

Must haves for your medicine cabinet!

10. Thermometer

This seems pretty basic, but you’d be surprised at how many people come to the ER with a complaint of having a fever, but have never actually checked their temperature. If you think you might have a fever, then check your temperature. Most doctors consider a temperature greater than 100.4F as a fever.

9. ACE Wrap

This is an elastic bandage that is great for strains and sprains. Remember to ice, elevate, and wrap your injuries!

8. Band Aids & Wound Care Supplies

Cuts and scrapes happen frequently, usually at the least convenient time. Imagine you are slicing onions for Thanksgiving dinner or have guests coming over for a BBQ, this is usually when an accident happens! Prepare ahead of time by stocking your cabinet with a bandage or band aid.

7. QR Quick Relief

This is perfect for those cuts and scrapes that just won't stop bleeding! Sprinkle this clotting powder on top of any bleeding wound and it forms a clot immediately. It really works wonders!

6. Dramamine (Dimenhydrinate)

Have you ever felt woozy, dizzy, or had motion sickness? This over-the-counter medicine not only treats your symptoms but also helps prevent motion sickness symptoms from starting.

5. Pepcid (Famotidine)

Indigestion keeping you up at night and making you miserable? Fret no more! Your symptoms should improve 45 minutes after taking this pill. What’s even more amazing is that you don’t need a prescription to buy this medicine. Remember, having your medicine cabinet stocked ahead of time with this medicine will help you treat your symptoms at home, especially before or after eating spicy food.

4. Imodium (Loperamide)

This is an anti-diarrheal medication that is over-the counter. No need to suffer with diarrhea, just take 2 tablets when your diarrhea starts, then one more tablet after your next episode of diarrhea (that is if you have another one). You can repeat the last step one more time. Remember that you can only take 4 tablets per day. If your diarrhea continues and does not improve, even after taking this medication, then I recommend you make an appointment with your doctor.

3. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)

Sudden allergic reactions are very scary. This is the right medicine to keep in your medicine cabinet for when you have an allergic reaction to food, soaps, detergent, or a new medication. Signs of an allergic reaction include rash, itching, tongue/lip tingling. Benadryl is also great for seasonal allergies that are causing watery, puffy eyes and a runny nose. If your tongue or throat start swelling, take Benadryl and then go to the ER immediately.

2. Tylenol (Acetaminophen)

This is a pain reliever and fever reducer that isn’t utilized enough. If you have a fever, don’t be miserable. Take Tylenol to treat your fever. When something hurts, don't suffer with pain, take a Tylenol. I see many patients who come to the ER hurting and haven’t taken a pain reliever. There is no medical reason to suffer and not to treat your pain!

1. Motrin (Ibuprofen)

This is a pain reliever, fever reducer, and anti-inflammatory medicine. It works wonders on everything from mild discomfort, sprains, back pain, headaches, and even fever. Advil is another brand name of Ibuprofen. Keep this medicine stocked because you never know what is going to hurt next or when!

Don’t forget that when you have children living with you at your home to have the liquid version of Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen and Benadryl.

Bonus Essential: When you have babies or small kids in the home, remember that they don’t know how to blow their noses! Keep nasal saline spray and nasal suction bulb available, especially during flu season!

-Dr. Ronnie Shalev is a board certified emergency medicine physician and the Chief Medical Officer at MediBookr