What OTC Medications To Bring To Your Travel Abroad

first aid kit

Many people consider their first aid kit as the most important item on their packing list. This is because if an unexpected emergency occurs, they want to be prepared for it. 

Perhaps you are among those who doubt the necessity of packing a first aid kit. Maybe you prefer to carry along some medication instead. If so, what over-the-counter medications can you include for maximum preparedness? 

What are the Benefits of a First Aid Kit?

  • It prepares you for a medical emergency and enables you to treat basic injuries quickly
  • It helps you protect your family and friends and render aid to others in need
  • A kit contains all the essentials you require, packed together in a carrier or box
  • You will be able to relieve irritation caused by insect bites and possibly prevent scarring

Over the counter medication that will help you deal with emergencies without having to search for medical clinics in the unfamiliar territory include:


This comes in the form of a spray, cream, or ointment. It is an oral medication used to relieve symptoms of insect bites, stings, prickly heat, and nappy rash. Most treatments are mild and can be purchased from pharmacies that dispense a maximum of 1% strength.

Cough Medication

For mild cases of sore throats and coughs, lozenges, cough drops, and cough syrups come in useful. Let the pharmacist know about any other medication you’re taking so that he can recommend cough medication that is compatible.

Some cough mixtures contain paracetamol and Ibuprofen, for example, therefore if these ingredients are present in the medication you are taking, you might be in danger of an overdose.

Pain Killers

Your first aid kit should have fever reducers and painkillers. These come in handy in providing relief for minor aches and pains. Paracetamols help reduce temperatures and they are generally safe.

Aspirin can be a life-saver if you encounter an adult experiencing chest pains. Other useful painkillers to have are acetaminophen and ibuprofen which is good for muscle aches and pains.

Anti-diarrhea Medication

Mild cases of diarrhea can be treated with over-the-counter medication such as bismuth subsalicylate (trade name Pepto-Bismol) or Loperamide. These are available in tablet or liquid form.

Whilst these drugs might not treat the infection, they will halt the watery bowel movements and the discomfort that accompanies them. Loperamide which is also known as Imodium can be purchased over the counter, and so can Pepto-Bismol.


Allergy medication is an essential item that should be in every first aid kit. Diphenhydramine is considered one of the best as it provides relief for a wide range of allergic reactions.

The downside is that it causes drowsiness. Diphenhydramine can also be obtained in the form of a cream that can be used to treat insect bites.

Loratadine is another allergy medication, but it is more costly. However, it is a good option if you want to avoid the feeling of drowsiness.

Carrying a first aid kit with you when you travel is a good idea, as it helps you contain an emergency situation as you await help. First-aid measures reduce recovery time for the patient, and nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction you get when you help someone out.