Prepper Medical Supplies: OTC Meds

To be ready for any type of emergency, whether it's hunkering down, bugging out, or the common cold, you should keep these prepper OTC meds on hand.

To be ready for any emergency, whether it’s hunkering down, bugging out, or the dreaded common cold, you should keep an assortment of prepper medical supplies on hand. One surefire way to make a bad situation worse is feeling under the weather, so having supplies to treat the symptoms of common ailments will make things go more smoothly.

This article isn’t about handling the bubonic plague or gunshot wounds without professional medical care. It isn’t about dealing with sucking chest wounds or inserting nasopharyngeal airways or dealing with traumatic injuries.

It’s simply about making life more comfortable for yourself and the people you love by having some prepper OTC medications on hand. So, what prepper OTC meds do you need to help you manage illness and injury? Read on.

Some Important Safety Warnings About Prepper OTC Meds

It’s essential that you follow a few simple rules.

  • Follow the instructions. Don’t give your patient a higher dose of medication than is recommended. Just because it’s available over the counter doesn’t mean it can’t be harmful.
  • Know what other medications the sick person is taking. Be aware of any drug interactions between your prepper OTC meds and prescription meds.
  • Put a clock on it. If someone is ill or in pain, be sure to mark down the time you gave them their dose and get the next dose to them on time. It’s far easier to maintain symptom and pain relief than to start from scratch and get rid of symptoms or pain.
  • Never treat waterborne illness with anti-diarrheals. If you suspect someone may be suffering from waterborne illness, never treat them with Immodium or anything that stops diarrhea. Their body is trying to get rid of whatever is making them sick, and stopping that process can prolong the illness or even cause death in extreme circumstances.

Know When to Seek Professional Medical Attention

The suggestions in this article are just for symptom management. Sometimes you may need more help than your prepper OTC meds can provide. If your patient is suffering from any of the following, seek medical attention if at all possible:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain, sudden arm or jaw pain
  • Severe pain that makes it difficult to speak in complete sentences
  • Bleeding that can’t be stopped
  • Fever with convulsions
  • Blood in the urine, stool, vomit, or sputum
  • Fainting
  • Head injuries
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
  • High fever that does not reduce with medication
  • Sudden confusion

Use your noggin, and don’t overestimate your medical abilities and knowledge. The following lists are not comprehensive, but you can use them as a starting point and focus on the things most likely to strike your family. Be sure to get children’s versions if you have little ones in the house.

Digestive Issues

  • Anti-nausea medication
  • Anti-diarrheal medication
  • Heartburn relief
  • Electrolytes (to prevent dehydration during and after digestive problems)
  • Gas and bloating relief

Upper Respiratory Issues  Keep a varietyu of allergy medication on hand

  • Cold and Flu Medicine
  • Decongestant
  • Cough suppressant
  • Expectorant
  • Saline nasal spray
  • Menthol vapor rub

Pain Relief

  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Heating pad
  • Ice packs
  • Topical pain relief cream or gel

Allergy Relief

  • Seasonal allergy medication
  • Benadryl
  • Hydrocortisone cream

Skin Issues

  • Calamine lotion
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Antifungal cream
  • Burn care gel
  • Aloe vera
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Witch Hazel

Wound Care  Have a variety of bandages and wound care items available

Women’s Health Issues

Miscellaneous Prepper OTC Meds and Supplies

Prepper OTC Meds Alone Are Not Enough

You don’t have to be a doctor to treat the symptoms of the common cold or a stomach bug at home, but it helps to have some knowledge. Taking First Aid classes is a great start. Ask lots of questions when you go to the doctor and take notes of what you’ve learned. Keep some handy reference guides on hand in physical format. Here are some suggestions:

Again, it’s imperative that you use common sense and seek advanced care if a severe injury or illness is present. If you feel like you’re in over your head, you probably are.

Basic Diagnostic Tools

As a parent, I’m always surprised when someone says they don’t own a thermometer. Just in case you fall into that category, here are some basic diagnostic tools you may want to have on hand.

Of course, keep a good stash of batteries on hand for some of these items.

What Prepper OTC Meds Do You Keep on Hand?

Do you have all the items on our prepper OTC meds list? What are you missing? What would you suggest that we add to our list? Let’s discuss it in the comments.

Additional Resources:

Prepper Medical Supplies: OTC Meds

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Ash Duncan

Ash Duncan and family live on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they enjoy hiking with their dogs, spending time outdoors, and watching apocalyptic movies.

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  1. Richard on June 3, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    Some of my loved ones rely on prescription drugs like thyroid medications that you can only get a months supply at a time. And people can get really whacked and even die, for example, if they don’t have a functional thyroid and rely on the medication for that. This applies to other medications as well. Do you know if currently you can buy them internationally and if so, do you have any leads? Any other ideas? Thanks for all you do!! Richard

    • Brian Duff on June 3, 2022 at 6:39 pm

      Richard – Thanks for your great feedback and question. I don’t know about the international market. I’d recommend talking with your doctor and ask what options are available. You can also look on forums for “ex-patriots” who are US citizens living/working abroad. During my time overseas as an ex-pat, I found many helpful options. Good luck and let me know how it goes. ~Brian

  2. Rob in Kentucky on September 15, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    Povidone-iodine (Betadine) 10%. It kills 100% of micro-organisms in the laboratory, it’s 100% safe.

  3. Ozarks Hillbilly on November 21, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    Vetracine spray works wonders on animals and although not FDA approved (like I buy their BS) it also does great on humans! Iā€™ve used it many time with excellent results on minor and major cuts and abrasions. No stinging or tissue damage and almost no scarring!

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