Treatments & Procedures

Medicine cabinet essentials

Are you equipped to handle the next nasty bout of the flu or grazed knee in your household? Make sure your supplies are up to the job — and not out of date.

Health Agenda magazine
July 2016

Illness and injury generally catch us by surprise. Whether you come down with flu-like symptoms, a wound requires immediate attention or you’ve accidentally underdone the sunscreen, it’s wise to keep your medicine cabinet well-stocked with a range of essential items.

What to get

  • over-the-counter analgesicand/or anti-inflammatory medication
  • disinfectant, such as tea tree oil
  • salve, such as aloe vera gel
  • anti-itch cream and/or antihistamines
  • fungal cream for tinea
  • adhesive bandages, non-stick dressing, waterproof dressing, gauze bandage, stretch bandage or tape suitable for strapping
  • arnica cream for bruises and swelling
  • menthol product for joint and muscle pain
  • tweezers for removing splinters or stings
  • a thermometer
  • antacid for upset stomachs
  • sore throat remedy
  • rehydration powder or tablets.

What you don’t need

Many people know to discard expired prescription medications but don’t realise over-the-counter cold and flu remedies should be treated the same way, preferably by returning them to the pharmacist for safe disposal.

Sarah Spagnardi, a spokesperson for NPS MedicineWise, advises: “Most medicines slowly deteriorate over time, which can make them less effective and in some cases potentially harmful. Eliminate any that are past their expiry date or are no longer needed.”


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