What Over-the-Counter Medicines You Should Always Have in Your House

Not every itch, pain, cough, or cold requires a visit to the doctor’s office or pharmacist to get some relief. So, when it comes to getting quick relief, your home medicine cabinet may be your best bet. But with the large variety of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines out there, how do you know which ones you should always have in your house? Genesis has the list here for you to ensure that your home is ready in the case of any minor medical issues you’ll need some quick relief for.

Before making a checklist for your next grocery store visit, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure the medication you currently have in your home hasn’t expired. After that, you can simply use our checklist to see what you have and what you need. We’ve also added some popular name brands to help with familiarity, which are all available at our convenient Genesis’ on-site pharmacy.


  • Antihistamine
    Popular Brands: Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Benadryl

Pain, Headaches, and Fever

  • Acetaminophen
    Popular Brand: Tylenol
  • Ibuprofen / Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    Popular Brands: Advil, Motrin
  • Aspirin
    Popular Brand: Bayer


  • Decongestant (nasal or oral)
    Popular Brand: Sudafed
  • Dextromethorphan (dry cough)
    Popular Brand: Delsym
  • Guaifenesin (mucus cough)
    Popular Brands: Robitussin, Mucinex
  • Antihistamine (sneezing and runny nose)
    Popular Brand: Benadryl

Cuts & Burns

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Petroleum jelly
    Popular Brand: Vaseline
  • Disinfectant and alcohol wipes
  • Bandages & gauze pads

Digestive & Stomach Issues

  • Calcium carbonate tablets (acid reflux)
    Popular Brand: Tums
  • Bismuth subsalicylate (indigestion, nausea, and diarrhea)
    Popular Brand: Pepto-Bismol
  • Simethicone (gas and bloating)
    Popular Brand: Gas-X
  • Dimenhydrinate (motion sickness and vomiting)
    Popular Brand: Dramamine
  • Senna (constipation)
    Popular Brands: Dulcolax, MiraLax

Itches, rashes and other skin irritation

  • Hydrocortisone cream
    Popular Brand: Cortizone 10
  • Calamine lotion
  • Antihistamine cream

Before taking any of these medications, please talk to your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to take, or to find out which of these is the best for you.