17 OTC Meds For A Survival Kit

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Check out these must-have OTC meds for a survival kit so you won’t miss any that’s handy in a survival situation!

RELATED: 7 Ayurvedic Remedies For Better Health

Must-Have OTC Meds for a Survival Kit You Should Know

1. Aspirin

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This is an OTC med, long used as pain relief and for fever reduction. Its properties also help treat other illnesses like arthritis and stroke.

When taking aspirin for self-medication, do check the label to be mindful of the dosage. Stop as soon as you experience side effects which includes tinnitus or ringing in the ears and difficulty in hearing.

Don’t take aspirin right away, but take it only if the pain is unbearable. The same goes if you feel no difference after a few minutes of observation.

2. Acetaminophen

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Stock up your prepper medical kit with this medicine as an alternative for aspirin.

It is also a medication used to ease the pain. In fact, people use this med to treat headaches, dental pain, and to reduce fever.

3. Ibuprofen

This is also a type of OTC meds which provides pain relief and another medicine to stock up on. It is also great for managing pain from some types of arthritis.

Remember, take this on a full stomach to avoid side effects. It may include drowsiness, diarrhea, nausea, and ringing in the ears.

4. Naproxen Sodium

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This is also another pain med you can add to your survival medical kit list. That’s because it is also flexible in treating other symptoms.

You may use this to reduce severe fever or joint pain and stiffness, fast. In fact, the effects of this med are longer than the other prepper pain meds on this list.

5. Migraine Medicine

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Extra Strength Excedrin is a popular medicine perfect for migraine patients. This medicine utilizes the power of caffeine to manage tension headaches and migraines.

If you have to take this medicine, make sure you do not combine it with other pain medication. As a matter of fact, avoid taking two types of pain medication all at once.

6. Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride

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This generic med is an anti-allergy medicine. It goes by many brand names like Benadryl, Genahist, and Sominex.

You can use this OTC medicine to treat allergic reactions you may get from bee stings, pollen, or other triggers.

In some cases, you can combine an antihistamine and a decongestant. That is to treat nausea, common cold, and insomnia.

7. Loperamide HCl

This anti-diarrhea medicine should also be in your survival medicine list. It will provide relief from diarrhea.

It will also help if you have inflammatory bowel disease, gastroenteritis, or short bowel syndrome.

What Is Gastroenteritis? It is a health condition in which the stomach is inflamed or irritated. The inflammation can be caused by either a bacterial or viral infection.

8. Bismuth Subsalicylate

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This is a great medication for occasional upset stomach and for diarrhea. It is also known as Pepto-Bismol, one of its common brand names.

This med can also aid people who suffer from indigestion, heartburn, and nausea. Avoid this though if bacteria is causing your diarrhea.

9. Benzocaine

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Feminine health issues are difficult for women in a survival environment. Any discomfort will only add to the difficulty experienced in a survival situation.

A vaginal itching cream like Vagisil comes with benzocaine. It is an ingredient known to relieve feminine itching and burning.

Do use in moderation or you may experience some unnecessary numbing effects.

RELATED: Building A Target First Aid Kit: Part 1

10. VaporRub

A VaporRub is a versatile item on your first aid kit. As it happens, VaporRub is one of the medicine cabinet essentials in many homes for generations now.

From colds, body pains and aches to insect bites, VaporRub offers relief from multiple body issues.

11. Antacid/Heartburn Relief


Meds like Tums and Pepsid relieve heartburn or inflammation of your gullet. This is because the properties in the antacids neutralize your stomach acid.

Take note: You must never take them with food, though.

12. Cold/Flu Remedies

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Cold and flu are as common as they come. So you need to have cold and flu remedies to take as soon as you experience the symptoms.

Keep cough suppressants like guaifenesin in your survival meds kit.

13. Antibacterial Ointment

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You will always find this medicine in a home first aid kit. An antibacterial ointment prevents cuts, scrapes, and burns from getting an infection.

The consistency and its healing properties can even help chapped skin.

14. Burn Gel

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Burns are the most common injuries during an SHTF situation. So a burn gel on hand can help cool and ease the affected area fast.

Some burn gel brands are also antibacterial which prevents infection. This item is a must on your emergency medical kit indeed.

15. Re-hydration Salts

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Children are prone to dehydration. And it won’t do in an SHTF situation, especially when you’re on the move.

Total dehydration may lead to death. Children may lose nutrients and essential minerals because of dehydration.

Re-hydration salts will supply potassium and other nutrients back, though.

16. Laxative

An SHTF situation is stressful triggering constipation in some people. Having constipation for so long could lead to various health problems.

A laxative then is helpful in this case when you have difficulty with a bowel movement.

17. Antacids

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Antacids can help calm gassy tummies. They can also prevent symptoms which can lead to an ulcer.

Alka-Seltzer and Rolands are popular brands.

Check out this video from Iridium242 for an in-depth guide to stocking OTC meds for a survival kit:

Staying healthy is the best way to cope with any long-term disaster. The body’s threshold to disease increases with proper medicines to fight illnesses.

The mind can think fast and quick while the body follows suit in an emergency situation. Let this roundup be your guide on what OTC meds to keep on your prepper medical supplies list!

Do you have questions about prepping OTC meds for a survival kit? Write them all in the comments section below! 

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 22, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.





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