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Home Health Cold, Flu & Allergies Emergency OTC Medications
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Emergency OTC Medications

emergency-otc-medicationsNot All Problems Warrant a Trip to the Doctor

The headache that plagues a person all day and only seems to get worse as the day goes on is a common experience. Late night sinus drainage is something else that everyone is familiar with. These things make us uncomfortable, at times even miserable, but they are not emergencies. Having a cabinet stocked with not just first aid supplies but also emergency OTC medications can make the difference between dragging yourself to an all night grocery store and getting the rest your body needs.

Simple Ailments That Can Be Treated at Home

Emergency rooms are busy places. They get overloaded, and their staff get overwhelmed with the number people coming in. There are many people that are not aware of how to take care of minor aches and pains on their own, so they turn to the local ER. The best way to avoid needless ER visits is to have a primary care physician that you trust. The great thing about doctors is that they do more than just treat patients; they are also a great source of education and information. They are usually quite happy to provide guidance on how to appropriately use OTC medications, even if you need to call in the middle of the night.

Sinus Headache Treatment

A sinus headache can cause just about anyone to pull the blinds shut, turn off the phone and retreat to her bed. It means excruciating pain for many people. Some may be so severe that not even the help of home remedies or OTC medications alleviate the pain entirely; however sinus symptoms can be lessened at the very least. Taking a pain reliever such as ibuprofen or asprin at the start of such a headache can keep it from getting out of control. These medicines are also available combined with decongestants which will relieve sinus pressure and pain. Other treatments include taking a hot shower, drinking hot tea, and even drinking water as some headaches are made worse by dehydration. As with any persistent problem, make an appointment with your doctor concerning the issue.

Upset Stomach, Heartburn, Allergy, and Muscle Ache Treatments

Other simple problems that can be treated with OTC medications are upset stomach, heartburn, muscle aches, and allergies. Many allergy medications and treatments that used to be available only by prescription are now available OTC. There are also many natural treatments for allergies that are found to provide an ample amount of relief such as the use of honey. You should always consult your doctor before attempting to treat yourself with non-traditional therapies.

What Not to Treat at Home

While many daily discomforts can be treated with OTC medications, there are some problems that should not be. Stomach ulcers, for example, should always be treated by a skilled physician and not be taken lightly. Be sure to practice some safety and common sense when using emergency OTC medications. Keep an eye on medicine expiration dates and do not use a medication that is outdated. If a package appears to be damaged or tampered with, do not use the medication. Never consume any medication if you are not sure of what it is. Whenever any questions or concerns come up, do not hesitate to call your doctor's office, and be sure to make the doctor aware of any problem that is recurrent. With the guidance of your health care provider, small problems can be taken care of at home, and the emergency room can be reserved for those with true emergencies.

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Shanti Bradley

Shanti Bradley

I grew up in Northern Indiana, near the University of Notre Dame.  I have a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Holy Cross College.  Aside from writing I am also a family health educator at Memorial Hospital of South Bend.  I work also as a Birth Doula and Lactation Specialist.  I love providing education and support for growing families.  I find it incredibly rewarding.

I have a husband and two children of my own.  They are three and five years old.  My three year old has Autism.  In addition to running around after them, I have a St. Bernard that I enjoy cuddling with.  I have also in the past worked as a nanny to three children, two of which were special needs.  Long before that, in what almost seems like another lifetime altogether, I worked as a restaurant general manager.