What drugs should never be missing in a home?
Having a few common medicines in the home medicine cabinet can help us manage the small domestic accidents that can happen in daily life, or more simply effectively counteract the onset of the most frequent health problems such as headaches, nausea, constipation. Here are some medication tips that shouldn’t be missing from your first aid kit:
#1 Your chronic therapy refills
First and foremost, let us stress the importance of having the drugs for your ongoing therapy always at hand. It should be your first priority to take care of timely refills for all of your current prescriptions, so that you do not need to worry about running out of stock and disrupting your posoligical schedule. It is never a good idea to stay unmedicated for any stretch of time or discontinue your dosing, but in certain diseases (such as asthma, diabetes, MS, etc.), being unable to take your medicine according to the prescribed schedule or in acute conditions is a life-threatening condition.
The bottom line is, while there are medications that it is best to have at home at any given moment, your stocking up on your chronic therapy drugs is your number one concern. My Canadian Pharmacy offers automated refills or reminders for those whose therapy medications are crucial to always have access to. To this end, the company behind the service ensures consistent accessibility of items they have in stock and keeps them ready to ship upon short notice in the U.S. and outside of the country.
#2 Bandages, patches and disinfectants
To promptly intervene on small cuts and wounds, a mini-kit containing some bandages of the plasters and disinfectant will be sufficient. To disinfect the inside of wounds, opt for hydrogen peroxide because it does not burn, while alcohol is recommended to clean and disinfect the surfaces of bruises and abrasions
Insect bites often create discomfort and itching, to soothe this sensation use antihistamine products or that we have a small amount of cortisone. For burns, always of small entity, there are ointments that relieve pain, and also containing antibacterial and disinfectants, preserve the tissues from contamination and infections
#4 Antispasmodic drugs
For stomach pain, which frequently occurs in the form of cramps, swelling, constipation and in women, antispasmic drugs are also useful during the menstrual cycle to provide relief by acting on the smooth muscles of the intestine and relieving pain due to contractions.
As can easily be deduced from their name, antispasmodic drugs with antimuscarinic action carry out their activity through the antagonization of muscarinic-type acetylcholine receptors present in the gastrointestinal tract. The activation of these receptors, in fact, causes the excitation, therefore the contraction of the gastroenteric smooth muscle cells.
This category of antispasmodics includes active ingredients such as octatropine and scopolamine. Furthermore, active ingredients such as rociverine and cymeter bromide can also be included in this group. In fact, these molecules are able to exert a competitive antagonist action against the muscarinic receptors located in the gastrointestinal smooth muscle. Typical side effects of this class of antispasmodics are: dry mouth, mydriasis, constipation and sleepiness. In some rare cases, tachycardia may also arise.
#5 Digestive drugs
To counter dyspeptic occurrences like constipation or diarrhea, it is enough to have two kinds of drugs in your medical chest of drawers. For constipation, make sure you have a mild laxative to take in the evening before bedtime, while for sudden episodes of diarrhea that can create discomfort, a pack of antidiarrheal to be able to block the intestine when it is in turmoil should never be missing.
Since dyspepsia can be caused by several factors, it is clear from the outset that first-line treatment must be aimed at treating the primary cause that gave rise to indigestion. For example, if dyspepsia originates from an infection sustained by Helicobacter pylori, it is necessary to institute adequate antibiotic therapy to counter the infectious agent.
Similarly, if dyspepsia is caused by poor nutrition, or by the abuse of alcohol and / or smoking, it is necessary to intervene directly on the patients’ diet and lifestyle. However, some medications can be used to relieve symptoms caused by indigestion, so symptomatic treatment can be undertaken. The most commonly used drugs are mainly antacids, prokinetics, proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor antagonists. The latter two classes of drugs, however, are mostly used when dyspepsia is caused by gastrointestinal diseases such as gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease and gastric ulcer.
Antacid drugs are drugs used to counteract stomach acid, particularly when it is excessive and causes annoying symptoms. Sometimes after a large meal, stomach acid can be created due to digestion, antacids work by neutralizing this acidity. This is why it is always useful to keep a package close at hand. They exist based on sodium bicarbonate, magnesium oxide, sodium citrate, magnesium trisilicate and aluminum hydroxide.
Sometimes, these drugs are included in the so-called group of gastroprotective drugs, but such a definition is not entirely correct. Their action, in fact, is temporary and their use is mostly indicated “when needed”, since they limit themselves to counteracting the high acidity of the stomach without resolving the causes.
Most antacids fall into the composition of non-prescription drugs (over-the-counter) drugs and also in the composition of parapharmaceuticals. However, there are medicines containing antacid drugs in combination with other active ingredients which can only be dispensed upon presentation of a specific medical prescription.
Paracetamol helps relieve pain, acting as an analgesic in case of headache, toothache or menstrual pain. It is also useful in case of fever because it helps to lower the body temperature. It comes in different forms, tablets, soluble sachets, suppositories and syrup, with different dosages, so that it can be given to both adults and children.
Painkillers and analgesics are used to combat pain and inflammation in tablets or sachets and in gel for local applications. Analgesics, also called pain relievers, are drugs that relieve pain. Depending on its nature and intensity, you can choose from a wide range of products on the market.
The most common painful forms, such as headache, or associated with inflammation, such as back pain, can be treated with paracetamol and anti-inflammatories. If, on the other hand, the pain is caused by sensitive or damaged nerves, such as neuralgia caused by shingles (herpes zoster infection) and sciatica, the most suitable painkillers are those that act on the central nervous system.
Analgesics, like any other drug, have potential side effects, therefore, before taking them, it is necessary to carefully evaluate whether the benefits deriving from their use outweigh any risks associated with their intake. If used correctly, respecting the recommended doses and methods of administration, they can help improve the quality of life. The most commonly used analgesics are: paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin, codeine, amitriptyline, gabapentine and morphine.
An antihistamine is a drug used to treat the symptoms of allergic reactions. For example, they can be hired in case of:
- allergy to dust mites
- seasonal allergy (so-called hay fever)
- food allergy
However, they are not able to control all the possible symptoms of the allergic reaction. In case of nasal congestion, for example, a decongestion may be more suitable, so much so that some medicines combine the use of an antihistamine with an active ingredient of this type.
The mechanism of action of these drugs is based on blocking histamine, the substance released by the cells of the immune system when the body comes into contact with the allergen to which it is hypersensitive. It is precisely histamine, acting as a mediator of inflammation that triggers the typical symptoms of allergic reactions, from swelling of the tissues of the nose, to increased tearing of the eyes, through itching and, at times, even skin rashes.
#10 Cold medicines
At the basis of the appearance of the cold there is an infection sustained by viruses that is transmitted by air and by direct contact between sick individuals and healthy individuals, as well as through contact with objects contaminated by the virus. Particularly at risk of contracting the infection are children, the elderly and immunocompromised patients. Keep the physiological solution at home for nasal washes.
What about antibiotics? This kind of drug must always be prescribed by the doctor and used according to his instructions!