Headaches, period pain, sinus problems, cold sores, a favourite pair of shoes that gave you blisters… chances are, at some point you’ve encountered one of these common problems. They’re enough to make your day inconvenient but not exactly enough to just yet warrant a visit to your doctor. The secret to nipping them in the bud? An expertly stocked medicine cupboard, of course!
Dr Charlotte-Louise Enlin, a Cape Town-based GP, says that its wise to keep a stocked-up kit at home for those unpredictable emergencies. “The content of the kit will depend on your individual and family’s needs,” she says. But the list below should have you covered for everything from stomach aches to that annoying cough.
- Pair of gloves
- Specific dressings for burns
- Stomach cramps
- Anti-diarrhoea sachets or tablets
- Rehydration fluid
“Remember that +/-70% of gastroenteritis is caused by viral infections and can be resolved by basic medication as mentioned above,” says Dr Enslin.
Pain and fever
- Paracetamol and Ibuprofen tablets and syrup.
- Anti-inflammatory tablets, gel and patches for muscle strain or injury
- Anti-histamine cream for itchy bites
- Anti-bacterial cream
- Anti-septic cream
Ear, nose and throat problems
- Decongestive nose spray
- Saline nose spray
- Flu and cold remedy
- Throat lozenges/spray
- Cough mixture
- Anti-histamine tablets and syrup for allergies
- Anti-fungal cream if prone to vaginal yeast infections
- Citro-soda or OTC medication for bladder infections
- Laxative/ stool softeners if prone to constipation
Remember to keep medicine out of reach from children and always check the expiration dates. Another good idea is to keep the following emergency numbers on your phone and around the house.
Cell phone emergency – 112
This number can be called from any cellphone, even without airtime. It will transfer you to call centre that will then route you to the emergency services closest to you.
Ambulance response – 10177
This number can be used during a medical emergency and can be used in conjunction with the police and fire department, if necessary.
This article was first published Women's Health SA.