Over-the-Counter Medications for Your Bug-Out Bag

You’ve probably read many articles about bug-out bags and what to put in them. If you included everything that everyone suggests, you’d need at least five suitcases. Last time I checked, it’s pretty difficult to lug five suitcases around.

Fortunately, most medications you might require after you’ve made your way out of Dodge are small and will fit easily in a bag. The difficulty might come in deciding which ones to include.

Obviously, your first priority should be the prescription meds you and your family members take on a regular basis. As I’ve suggested before, let your doctor know about your interest in preparedness and see if you can get him or her to keep your subscriptions filled three months in advance.

But what about over-the-counter meds? Which ones should you include and which can you live without? These are individual decisions, of course, and allergies need to be taken into consideration. But below is a list of 10 that most people will want to have handy. I’ve listed brand names, but you may prefer one of their competitors.

  • Tylenol. Good for headaches (and there will be plenty of those during a crisis), this acetaminophen med is a reliable pain and fever reducer.
  • Motrin or Advil. Also an anti-inflammatory drug, this ibuprofen med is great for pain and higher fevers.
  • Benadryl. Ideal for hives and itching from rashes, which is more likely to occur in the wild. Keeps swelling down to a minimum.
  • Hydrocortisone cream. Another good med for inflamed and itchy rashes, including those caused by eczema.
  • Imodium. If you’ve ever had diarrhea away from home, you might put this anti-diarrheal med at the top of your list. Also helps relieve cramping.
  • Neosporin. Helps prevent skin infections after you’ve been cut. Also effective following an insect bite or sting.
  • Lotrimin. Works against yeast and fungal infections, including athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch, etc.
  • Dramamine. Good for motion sickness, nausea, vomiting and some dizziness.
  • Sudafed. Relives congestion in the respiratory tracts and can treat mild asthma and bronchitis.
  • Zantac. Treats heartburn and ulcers, and can also relieve hives.


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