Top 30 Over-the-Counter Meds to Stockpile

Curtis Lee
By Curtis Lee February 2, 2017 12:15

Top 30 Over-the-Counter Meds to Stockpile

In an extreme and long-term survival situation, many items we take for granted today will be highly prized. If you made a list of items that most survivalists and preppers try to stockpile, near the top would be ammo, food and life-critical prescription drugs. Slightly lower on the list, but no less in demand, are over-the-counter medications.

#1. Activated charcoal tablets. They are usually used in an incredibly large number of situations, from absorbing intestinal gas to reducing cholesterol, but it’s very very important that you have this in your emergency kit as an emergency medicine in intoxications. It can trap toxins and stop their absorption in the organism.

Pain Relievers

#2: Acetylsalicylic acid (Also known as: Aspirin)

Aspirin can be used to treat pain, lower fever, reduce inflammation and reduce the chances of having a stroke or heart attack. Aspirin can also be used in conjunction with other over-the-counter medications to increase the other medication’s effectiveness. You can actually make natural aspirin at home. 

#3: Acetaminophen (Also known as: Tylenol)

Acetaminophen is used to relieve pain, including headaches and lower fever. It can also be used with other medications, such as decongestants and opioids (pain killers) to produce a synergistic effect. Research indicates acetaminophen is safe for pregnant women to take.

#4: Ibuprofen (Also known as: Motrin and Advil)

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, which means it’s great for treating pain caused by or related to inflammation. As a result, ibuprofen can be used to treat ailments such as high fever, arthritis and joint pains. Despite its benefits, pregnant women should not take ibuprofen, but there are other powerful natural anti-inflammatory and pain relief agents.

#5: Benzocaine (Also known as: Orajel)

Benzocaine is a topical pain reliever, often used for treating toothaches and sore throats. Benzocaine can be found in a gel, lozenge or spray form.

#6: Naproxen (Also known as: Aleve)

Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, similar to ibuprofen and used to treat similar ailments, including headaches, inflammation, high fever and joint pain. One of the advantages of naproxen is that it lasts longer than acetaminophen and ibuprofen and is better at reducing inflammation than ibuprofen. However, naproxen isn’t as effective as acetaminophen or ibuprofen in some people.

Digestive Treatments and Relief

#7: Magnesium sulphate (Also known as: Epsom salt and magnesium sulfate)

Magnesium sulphate can be used internally as a laxative and externally as a wound cleaner. It can also help ease sore muscles.

#8: Alka-Seltzer 

Alka-Seltzer serves as an antacid as well as a pain reliever. Alka-Seltzer contains aspirin, which reduces pain, as well as citric acid and sodium bicarbonate, to create an antacid when mixed with water.

#9: Loperamide (Also known as: Imodium)

Loperamide is very important because it helps reduce the severity of diarrhea. Diarrhea is a serious threat to a person’s health in a survival situation, since it can quickly lead to dehydration. Here you can find 5 homemade remedies for diarrhea

#10: Bismuth sub-salicylate (Also known as: Pepto-Bismol)

Bismuth sub-salicylate is a great medication for treating a wide variety of gastrointestinal ailments, such as heartburn, diarrhea, nausea and indigestion.

#11: Calcium carbonate (Also known as: Tums)

Calcium carbonate serves as an antacid and is used to treat heartburn, acid reflux and indigestion. Calcium carbonate can also be used as a calcium supplement

#12: Ranitidine (Also known as: Zantac)

For those who suffer from chronic heartburn, ulcers or acid reflux disease, ranitidine is a much-needed medication. Ranitidine works by reducing the amount of stomach acid the body produces.

#13: Famotidine (Also known as: Pepcid)

Famotidine reduces the amount of stomach acid the body makes. This in turn helps reduce the discomfort from heartburn, ulcers and acid reflux disease.

#14: Cimetidine (Also known as: Tagamet)

Cimetidine is a stomach acid reducer used to treat heartburn, acid reflux disease and ulcers.

Related: This Common Household Item Is One Of The Most Useful Survival Assets

#15: Esomeprazole (Also known as: Nexium)

Esomeprazole is yet another stomach acid reducer and can be used to treat ulcers, heartburn and acid reflux disease.

#16: Bisacodyl (Also known as: Dulcolax and Durolax)

When a laxative is required, bisacodyl will be nice to have on hand. Bisacodyl is often taken in pill form and is used to treat constipation.

#17: Maalox (Also known as: Milk of magnesia)

Maalox serves as an antacid by helping neutralize stomach acid. Maalox’s primary ingredient is magnesium hydroxide, which is often included in other types of antacids. Maalox can be found in liquid, capsule and chewable tablet form.

Skin and Allergy

#18: Hydrocortisone cream (Also known as: Cortizone 10)

Hydrocortisone cream is used to relieve the itching, swelling, pain and soreness of skin conditions, such as rashes. The active ingredient is hydrocortisone, which is a topical corticosteroid. Hydrocortisone cream can be used to treat bug bites, eczema, poison ivy/oak exposure and other skin conditions.

 #19: Diphenhydramine (Also known as: Benadryl)

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that helps reduce the discomfort caused by allergies. Depending on the individual, it can also be used to treat motion sickness, nausea and trouble sleeping, since it causes drowsiness.

#20: Loratadine (Also known as: Claritin)

Loratadine is used to treat allergies, such as hives and hay fever. Since it is a second generation antihistamine, it has the advantage of not causing drowsiness – an important aspect of a medication during a survival situation.

#21: Fexofenadine (Also known as: Allegra)

Like Loratadine, Fexofenadine is a second generation antihistamine used to relive the symptoms of allergies without causing drowsiness.

#22: Cetirizine (Also known as: Zyrtec)

Cetirizine is an antihistamine commonly used to treat hay fever and other allergies. Because it’s a second generation antihistamine, the effects of drowsiness are much reduced.

Cough, Cold and Decongestant

#23: Cough suppressant (Also known as: Muxinex, Robitussin, NyQuil, Theraflue, Vicks and Dimetapp)

There are many cough suppressants available, many of which have other active ingredients, such as guaifenesin to provide additional cough, mucus and cold relief. The primary active ingredient in a cough suppressant is dextromethorphan. Here are some natural remedies for treating colds, sinusitis, migraines and much more.

Related: How I Make My Own Cough Mixture

#24: Pseudoephedrine (Also known as: Sudafed)

Pseudoephedrine is the primary active ingredient in strong decongestant medications. It is often used to treat symptoms of the common cold and sinus infections.

Medical/First Aid/Trauma

#25: Burn Jel (Also known as: Water Jel)

Burn Jel is used to treat burns, including sunburns. The active ingredient is lidocaine, which helps numb the skin and underlying tissue. Another way to treat burns and many other infections is homemade colloidal silver.

#26: Clotting sponge or bandage (Also known as: QuickClot)

QuickClot is a brand name for a bandages and sponges that stop bleeding as quickly as possible by applying a clotting agent to the wound. This is a great, unusual item you shave have in your first aid kit. Here are 10 more uncommon first aid items.

#27: Neosporin (Neosporin is an antibiotic cream that contains the following three antibiotics: bacitracin, polymyxin B and neomycin. Neosporin will help prevent an infection of a minor skin wound, such as a small cut or scrape.)


#28: Dimenhydrinate (Also known as: Dramamine)

Dimenhydrinate is used to relieve the symptoms of motion sickness, including nausea and dizziness.

#29: Clotrimazole (Also known as: Canesten and Lotrimin)

Clotrimazole is often sold in cream form as an antifungal medication. It is commonly used to treat jock itch, yeast infections, thrush and athlete’s foot.

#30: Multivitamins 

Multivitamins may not be considered by many as a medication, but in a survival situation, getting proper nutrients from food may not be possible. Therefore, individuals can supplement their diet with multivitamin pills to prevent malnutrition.

You may also like:

Where to Buy Survival Antibiotics without Prescription?

If You Are too Weak to Prep then You Need to Watch This (video)

How to Make the Most Powerful Natural Antibiotic

The Only 4 Antibiotics You’ll Need when SHTF

14 Powerful Natural Remedies For A Sinus Infection

Curtis Lee
By Curtis Lee February 2, 2017 12:15
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  1. left coast chuck February 2, 17:34

    After using neosporin since it first came on the market, I have developed an allergy to it. My dermatologist recommended polysporin as an alternative. I am not allergic to polysporin. He told me that many people have an allergy to neosporin. I have probably used it for fifty years without a problem. He also said that sometimes after years of use one can develop an allergy to a product.
    A friend of mine who is a dentist said he had a patient whom he had treated for years with penicillin and suddenly the patient developed an allergy to penicillin.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Jecksbay February 2, 18:27

    Good, helpful article.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Elechim February 3, 00:58

    I do my best to stockpile things I will need in my home. Our electricity goes out about 3 times a year and since we have a well, so does our water. This is a nice list to go from. I have a mini-store in my basement and will be adding many of these items that I don’t have to it.

    Reply to this comment
    • City Chick May 26, 15:45

      I too have a little grocery store in the basement! My mother taught me Five Rules Of Thumb! 1. How to rotate cans, 2. always have two of everything in the cupboard,, 3. Get your normal groceries alongside your bulk buys 4.;when stocking up get enough for 4-6 weeks, 5.:only bulk buy items when they’re on sale. Pandemic? No problem!

      Reply to this comment
  4. swilkins February 3, 02:17

    I don’t think I’d bother with the Cimetidine. There are plenty of other acid inhibitors, and of all of them, this would be the least useful due to it’s inter-reaction with many other medications. I would also add guaifenesin, as you need the expectorant properties. Alka-Seltzer is just a combo of some of the others, but consider adding vitamins of all kinds.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Lois February 3, 06:10

    If you have diabetis pack your meds. People in hurricane Katrina did not. Don’t ask me why they did not.

    Reply to this comment
    • Steve January 19, 02:02

      You can’t pack meds ( Diabetes meds ) unless you just happen to just received your 90 day supply. The insurance companies won’t allow a prescription to filled “just in case the SHTF. If you’re not due for a re-fill on your meds, you won’t receive any. You may be able to pay for the meds “out of pocket” if you have extra money around and re-fills coming. And some types of insulin must be kept refrigerated.

      Reply to this comment
  6. nene22 February 3, 12:54

    Every woman should have something to cure a urinary tract infection.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Jeanine February 3, 23:12

    How long past the expiration date can you safely use the medicines?

    Reply to this comment
    • Crystal February 4, 00:33

      Some up to seven yrs.There is an EXCELLENT BOOK written by stan deyos wife holly on , where you can get the dare to compare book, its 622 pages of invaluable info and almost a whole.chapter is dedicated to the real expiration of meds .most from 2 to five yrs as an.avg .check out their site, so much info it will blow your mind.sprry for typos on my phone guys, tell them in the comments crystal lane sent you 🙂

      Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 16, 04:16

      No one can say for certain how long medicines retain their efficacy. Generally, pills last longer than liquids or gel caps. BUT so much depends upon the temperature and humidity at which the medicines were stored that someone trying to make a blanket statement as to how long a particular medicine is effective, is like me predicting who is going to win a basketball game a week from now. Most manufacturers try to put the surest date on the package. Even there, they assume that the particular medicine has been stored at average temperatures and humidity ranges. If you are storing medicine in Mississippi in August, its life is going to be shortened. Medicine stored in a temperature and humdity controlled clean room probably has a shelf life long past its printed date. In most cases it isn’t that the medicine becomes “bad” or dangerous to take, it is more a case of it losing its effectiveness. You take long expired aspirin and it doesn’t help your headache. You take long expired Imodium and your diarrhea doesn’t go away. I would only take advice about medicine from a licensed pharmacist and only then if the advice was couched in terms of probability. Anyone who speaks in absolutes just doesn’t know what he or she is talking about. Unfortunately, there are many self-styled “experts” in the field of survival. Some of them know what they are talking about and some of them don’t know “sic ’em” from “come here.” You have to exercise your experience and common sense. I would avoid anyone who speaks in absolutes. Meaningful advice should be couched as, “Well, this worked for me in this situation.” Advice such as, “You must do thus and so to avoid . . .” is quite possibly bogus. Some advice is just plain old common sense. “You must drink sufficient water to avoid dehydration which will lead to death if not ameliorated.” Well, duh. I hope you didn’t pay good money for that advice. Sometimes advice can point out a danger we didn’t realize existed. I developed hypothermia one August evening in SoCal because there was a cool breeze coming off the ocean and I was in sweat soaked clothing. In less than half an hour I was shivering violently and my teeth were chattering. Even after a long hot shower certain portions of my body were still cold to the touch. Hypothermia? It’s Southern California. It’s the 15th of August. Come on, get real. Nobody gets hypothermia in SoCal in August. Wrong, Little Ant. I thought I was going to die before the auto club got there to unlock my car which had all my warm clothing safely locked up with my key inside the car. That taught me a valuable lesson. So when I say to you, “You can get . . .” it’s based on experience. That’s the stuff to buy into, not someone’s absolute statement when they have had no experience or training in the subject. With regard to training, view it carefully. We have all taken courses that were absolutely worthless as well as courses that we felt were worth way more than we paid for them. So has the guy who is telling you he has taken X, Y and Z courses and that makes him an expert. We have all said, “Well, the book said . . .” as real life smacked us right between the eyes. Keep your eyes and ears open and evaluate everything you see and hear.

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      • Spike April 21, 00:21

        Why would you believe what a Pharmacist thinks about expired meds? They are taught to throw things away after the expiration dates. I’ve talked to many medical people about this and none of them claim to know anything other than it is probably good longer than than expiration date states. Most say maybe a year and you should throw it away.

        I’d put more faith in forums where people report their personal experiences.

        Tetracycline does become harmful in time. That is the only drug I’ve heard of that becomes harmful. Most of them just lose their effectiveness gradually over time but won’t hurt you.

        Reply to this comment
    • Magi April 20, 19:19

      I think a more important question is which medications become dangerous/lethal to take as they age and at what point do they become dangerous.

      Loss of effectiveness is bad but survivable, medication that becomes poison is deadly!


      Reply to this comment
  8. Crystal February 4, 00:29

    I am an RN and God has been pushing me to prep for two yrs and little by little I keep putting things away.It was nice to see someone who writes about prepping all the time thought of almost the same list as more use for a tampon.I didnt see on your other article is it can be used to plug a gunshot wound pretty effectively .just an idea.and clear duct tape is priceless for everything from chesttubes to slings to making a tent lol.I love duct tape.also a pr of sharp scissors is a must and a couple small bottles of unopened saline which you can make , also hydrogen peroxide is excellent and a good kave a b complex for depression or people detoxing. Also magnesium supplememt is a natural miscle.relaxant .God blessfpr all you do.I started my site with just part ofa crazy testimony God downloaded into my spirit, and now im having problems.with the subscriber button Im.also going to have a community health page and an intercessor corner for anyone who needs prayer thats my goalby the end.of the month….wish I knew computers like wpund care .lol

    Reply to this comment
    • Annie March 4, 02:26

      Please forward your e-mail address I would like to follow and add you to my prayers and solicit yours as well TYVM
      – Annie 🙂

      Reply to this comment
    • Lynn July 25, 17:52

      add me, Thanks

      Reply to this comment
    • Timo October 19, 15:17

      Hi Crystal. My mother was a nurse and I have nothing but wonderful memories of her “healing” every creature that we would bring to her! Would like to get in touch with your website when you have it up and running. Your knowledge is priceless when it comes to prepping.

      Reply to this comment
    • Stef December 7, 16:33

      Please add me to your list.

      Reply to this comment
  9. JJ February 4, 17:04

    For heartburn, indigestion, better to store crystallized ginger–instant relief for me every time.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Coban February 11, 16:58

    There are a lot of old Indian cures I got stung by a nest of yellow jackets and my mom made a paste of egg yoke and salt and applied it to the sting areas it pulled out the stingers and for upset stomach with diarrhea she mixed up cornstarch and sugar with water and it would stop the problem within ten to fifteen minutes these are good things to know about

    Reply to this comment
    • Chuck February 17, 19:40

      Please reply: how much corn starch and sugar.

      Reply to this comment
    • RJ April 22, 17:11

      I had a tooth pulled when I was a kid and a couple days later, during the weekend, it hadn’t stopped bleeding. We couldn’t reach the dentist, so my mom called an old lady who knew a lot of natural remedies and she said to boil the inner bark of the Red Oak tree in enough water to cover it. Then rinse my mouth with it every 5-10 minutes. Within 30 minutes it had stopped bleeding. It had the same effect as a green persimmon, it puffered up my mouth, which caused the gums to come together and start mending. Best I can remember, there were several strips of bark with enough water to cover it…

      Reply to this comment
  11. Gary March 1, 18:41

    Onew thing I would include as number 31 is Vicks.

    Reply to this comment
  12. ShuShu March 16, 16:42

    I’m a pharmacist and trained holistic practitioner. It would be nice to see a list of more natural products that are not toxic as many of these pharmaceuticals are.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Stuff that matters April 2, 06:49

    My mother gave us nutmeg for diarrhea. It’s useful for several issues BUT DO NOT TAKE IF PREGNANT as it may cause miscarriage due to excess bleeding.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Wannabe July 25, 15:57

    Be careful about number nine, can stop you up for days at a time. Took some years ago while in the mountains of Albania and didn’t have a bm in four days. Oh my when it finally did hit look out

    Reply to this comment
  15. Pat P July 25, 18:22

    Alum is an excellent blood clotting agent in an emergency. Have used it many times.

    Reply to this comment
    • Graywolf12 October 19, 15:16

      I keep “Quick clot” on hand at all times to stop the bleeding when I cut a dogs claw too short. Once used it in a wire tear on my hand. Worked great. I can not own a dog without black nails. I wish they were all white, no short cuts and bleeding.

      Reply to this comment
  16. Timo October 19, 15:13

    I so enjoy this site and all the individuals who post here. What wonderful folks you all are. I am relatively new to prepping however, I am very familiar with colloidal silver. For me personally, I cannot say enough amazing things about silver. It can be purchased in bottled form but the best and by far the most economical way to acquire it is to purchase a colloidal silver generator. Only downside is that you will need an electrical source. I have used colloidal silver for the past fifteen years. When I begin to experience the onset of a cold, flu, indigestion and the like this stuff has reduced considerably the discomfort and duration. It is also a marvelous topical treatment for disinfecting wounds of every sort. It has been around for a very long time and of course big pharma will not allow colloidal silver manufacturers to promote its “curative” properties. I was told that the early pioneers used to place a silver dollar in their water barrels as they crossed the country. They did not understand the mechanics but learned that the water would stay fresher and free of pathogens. My best to all of you.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Fizzlecat October 19, 19:26

    Be careful with some OTC meds: Never give aspirin to a child or teenager with a viral fever. It could cause a serious, sometimes deadly reaction called Reye syndrome. I came off Nexium after years with GERD,due to reports that long term use is damaging to the kidneys, and you become dependent on it. Believe me it was HARD coming off that stuff- like I’d swallowed a volcano! My doc suggested Zantac 150 twice a day, because of a minimum of side effects, and it has done well. Also as a note, most over the counter sleep aides are only the same components as Tylenol or Advil with Benedryl mixed in. You can get that lots cheaper buying store brands separately. The mention of many people becoming allergic to the neomycin in Neosporin is true. Bacitracin or Polysporin would be better to have on hand. For female urinary tract infections, have some AZO or similar on hand- decreases pain and bladder spasms, and they also make pills with cranberry extract- it helps acidify the urine making it harder for bacteria to flourish. It would also be easier than storing cranberry juice in a crisis. Increased water intake is essential too. Make sure you have a good method of making water safe. Antifungal creams for athlete’s foot are also good for those “heat rashes” between skin folds when the weather is hot! Naproxyn is WONDERFUL for treating menstrual cramps! I’m an RN as well, and teach in a community college. We order our supplies from a company called “Pocket Nurse.” They have all types of medical and emergency supplies, as well as typical patient care supplies at reasonable prices. I am going to open a personal account with them, so that I can begin ordering supplies for my family.

    Reply to this comment
    • spike January 25, 16:25

      I realize we’ve been warned about children taking aspirin and Reye Syndrome for decades but my generation only had aspirin and I never heard of a single local case of Reye Syndrome in a youth/child.

      Reply to this comment
    • Joe January 24, 08:49

      Instead of pushing big harma for women who need less synthetic drugs why dont you teach them that cramps are not normal. It means they are out of balance. Tell them to do yoni steaming and treat the root cause instead. Find a good pelvic womb therapist to adjust them. Teach them to track their ovulation and stop perpetuating the cycle of synthetic drugs to mask issues that have a way to be remedied. How can you say you are a nurse and then dont even help the person find a solution to the problem but instead start pushing meds on them that cause more damage? Strange way of helping someone who needs help. Look up Look up some herbs for balancing hormones. Look at diet. Look at what theyre putting into their body. Look at cortisol levels. Look at balancing out their hips and go see a chiro. Go get some acupuncture. Stop with the drugs. Geez. There are literally off the top of my head a dozen nonpharmaceutical options of far better options than a pill some drug company is making money from. Id rather a garlic farmer make money. Or someone grow their own herbs or buy them from an apothecary. There are plenty around. Teach people how you use herbs and remedy your own body. We all cant go shopping at a store in times of need. We can grow our own herbs and dry them. Learn how to do that. Lord. God made all of these plants to help us. Go take a trip to Costa Rica and see how many things grow all over to remedy simple and complex issues. Then go look up your own agricultural zone and start planting or start stocking up dried herbs. Vacuum seal those not drugs. Store herbs and oils not synthetic garbage that gives people cancer and lord knows what else.

      Reply to this comment
  18. Paranoid Peter October 23, 04:47

    A lot of those OTC meds could be replaced with Iodine, Baking Soda and Vitamin C these seem to have take care of most not so serious problems.

    Reply to this comment
  19. LEFTY January 17, 17:40


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  20. Stuff that matters January 18, 04:10

    My own experience with milk thistle is that it is effective in lowering liver enzymes. My ALT has been rising since at least 2011 (and probably longer). The normal range is 0 to 33u/L. My highest reading was 62u/L a few years ago and I was diagnosed with NAFLD. After taking milk thistle since that time I am now in the high normal range at 29u/L. I expect that number to be consistently lower over time. ALT goes hand in hand with AST and, coincidentally, that formerly high reading for AST has gone down from 58u/L to 30u/L. My doctor had no medical advice to give me for my condition so I found and tried Milk Thistle. Luckily, it works!

    Reply to this comment
  21. Chuck July 1, 02:15

    Terrible list. Most of these things expire rather quickly.

    Reply to this comment
    • john November 24, 17:29

      99% of drugs do not EXPIRE

      5…..10….15 YEARS


      Reply to this comment
    • Elly February 20, 21:27

      I have kept both Aspirin and Ibuprofen for several years and they remained as new, worked perfectly. Make sue the tops are on tight and store with groceries in cool to barely warm environment.

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  22. Johnzh February 14, 21:11

    Number 12 of the 30 is in class a law suits as a carsonigenic

    Reply to this comment
  23. Chris May 10, 00:51

    Ranitidine (Also known as: Zantac) had been recalled Due to An Elevated Amount of Unexpected Impurity, N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), in the Product.

    Reply to this comment
  24. Tom February 12, 15:10

    Very very helpful. Good people. Builds your hope

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