Every house should have a fully stocked medicine cabinet. Most people’s medicine cabinets are in their bathrooms, though sometimes people have them in their kitchens. Wherever yours is, and whatever’s in it, it’s essential that you lock it if there are children in the house. Having an unlocked medicine cabinet around children can be very dangerous, mainly because children are inquisitive, and medicine tends to look like candy.

Rather than explaining the importance of locking your cabinet though, this post will tell you what staple medicines need to be in there. Here they are:

Prepare Your Medicine Cabinet Right: 6 Tips From The Pros - Sleep Aids, Medicine Cabinet, Lifestyle

Wound Care

In your medicine cabinet, you need to have wound care equipment, like bandages, plasters, antiseptic wipes, and cotton balls (for applying liquid antiseptic). It’s also a good idea to have some kind of antiseptic cream, too. According to the experts over at Save Rite Medical, you can order all of this online. When you are buying wound care equipment, it’s often cheaper and easier to buy everything individually. A lot of people think that it’s clever to buy first aid kits, but more often than not, the items included inside them are generic and massively overpriced. You can buy name-brand wound care equipment more cheaper. Ensure you have a mix of antiseptics, so that you have something for every kind of injury. It’s also worth investing in some antibiotic cream, as well as burn cream. A wound care kit will come in very handy if you or a loved one is injured at home.


Every medicine cabinet needs paracetamol. Paracetamol is a drug that’s widely available and very affordable. As long as you stay within the recommended dosage, it is basically harmless, too. Paracetamol has no side effects (or at least it doesn’t in 99% of people) and it treats pain effectively. Sometimes, paracetamol is combined with other medicines, like codeine, a powerful analgesic. Paracetamol and codeine mixes are called co-codamols. You usually need a prescription to buy these, though in some countries it’s possible to pick them up over the counter.


Codeine, as mentioned in the previous section, is a powerful analgesic. It is used in healthcare settings to treat serious injuries and pain disorders. It is a highly effective medicine and should always be kept on hand. You may not be able to buy it over the counter depending on where you live. Codeine is often sold in cough syrups, which are available over the counter. It’s a good idea to have cough syrups on hand, in case you or a loved one ever comes down with the flu or with a cold. Codeine cough syrups can cause drowsiness, so use them sparingly.

Prepare Your Medicine Cabinet Right: 6 Tips From The Pros - Sleep Aids, Medicine Cabinet, Lifestyle

Sleep Aids

Now and again, people experience sleep interruptions and difficulties. If you have been struggling with your sleep, then investing in some sleep aids is a good idea. It’s also a  good idea to just keep them in your medicine cabinet in case you or a loved one experiences trouble sleeping in the future. One of the good things about sleep aids is that they are usually available over the counter. Extremely high-strength sleep aids do need a prescription, though. It’s not a good idea to get into the habit of taking such products, to be honest. Many of them can be highly addictive.


It’s essential that you have antihistamines in your medicine cabinet at all times. Antihistamines are what you use when you have an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can be sudden and unpredictable. If you do ever have one, then taking an antihistamine immediately after symptoms show up will help to reduce the severity of your reaction. Antihistamines work almost immediately. Something else worth noting is that some antihistamines, like promethazine, can actually be used to help sleep. It’s very common for people to take antihistamines instead of sleeping pills because they are effective and non-addictive.

Use-By Dates

Whenever you are storing and using pharmaceutical drugs, it’s essential that you keep track of their use-by dates. While using out-of-date pharmaceuticals isn’t likely to cause you any harm, it can be a waste of time. Studies have shown that most pharmaceuticals degrade rapidly once they pass their use-by date. If you are taking a pharmaceutical to treat pain for example, then once it’s passed its use-by date, it might not be of any use to you anymore. It could, basically, be completely ineffective. Always check the use-by dates of the products in your cabinet.

It’s always good to have pharmaceutical drugs on hand. You never know when you are going to need them. Be sure to check out the drugs listed here, because they are medicine cabinet staples. No cabinet is complete without them.