American Medicines – What to buy when you are sick!

Want to know what to do when you are sick? Follow this post to see how to avoid getting sick and how to take care of yourself! But… if the dreaded sickness creeps in, make sure you have access to these Over the Counter medicines that will help you in case you start feeling a little off. You can purchase these items at any common drug store and even some grocery stores: HEB, Target, Walmart, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, and some gas stations. Over the Counter medication (also known as OTC medicine) is available to purchase by anyone without a prescription from a medical professional. This means that you can pick up what you need, pay, eat, take it, and feel better. Just make sure to follow the instructions as some medications warn from driving after consumption! (And I am sure you already know this one… but remember that you should never consume alcohol when you are taking ANY type of medication!)

As soon as you start feeling ill, feverish, or suffering from any pain, your Host Family is there to help you! But they won’t help if you don’t ask them for help. Host Families will treat you like an adult, so if you don’t ask for soup… you may not get any. The same goes for medication, your Host Family may likely have all of these the following medicines in the Family Medicine Cabinet, but if you want to know what to look for, here is your little cheat sheet! REMEMBER THIS IS ONLY A LIST OF MEDICINES FOR ADULTS! Children should NOT be given ANY of the following medicines unless specifically told by a parent or physician. There is also a CHILDREN’S FORMULA for each of these medicines. So if your host family asks you to give a child Tylenol, make sure the bottle says CHILDREN’S Tylenol and you follow proper dosing instructions. Okay, enough of my rant on adult medicines versus children’s medicines, follow along as I break down common medication names as they might be different in your home country, and list a few medicines that you can look for if you have a specific issue! 🙂

Aceotomenophine: Is a pain reliever. This is the generic name. The most popular brand name is Tylenol. But if you are looking for the generic brand (like CVS or Walgreens) then please look for this name! If you have a fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit then you must take a fever reliever! Like a pain reliever!

Benadryl: Used in case of allergic reaction! This is a brand-name, but it will make you drowsy!

Citirizine: Is a generic name for allergy medication, it WILL NOT put you to sleep so it’s a good option!

Hydrocortisone Cream: This is a cream or ointment that is for insect bites or stings.

Ibuprofen: This reduces pain and can also be used if you have a fever! If you have a fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit then you must take a fever reliever! Like a fever reducer!

Insect Repellent: Use brands like OFF! before you plan to spend time outside, make sure to spray this on all of the exposed areas of your body, just make sure to not spray your eyes!


Ok, so let’s say you aren’t feeling so hot but you aren’t sure what medication to take. Here are a list of symptoms and some medications that will help relieve the illness, pain, fever, or other things that are just as unpleasant! Just make sure to READ the instructions for proper dosage! Even though I have listed a few medications in each category, usually you will only need ONE medication. I am just providing different options incase you aren’t able to find one at the store or in your home, you may select another one!

Headache: Tylenol, Motrin, Advil

Stomach ache: Pepto bismol, Imodium

Acid Reflux: Tums, Nexium

Nausea: Pepto bismol, Imodium

Diarrhea: Pepto bismol, Imodium

Sore Throat: Chloraseptic, Cough Drops like Halls or Ricola

Cough: Mucinex, Tylenol Cold, Robitussin DM

Fever: Tylenol, Advil, Motrin

Body Aches: Tylenol, Aleeve

Migraine Headache: Exedrine

Heart Burn: Alka-Seltzer, Tums, Nexium

Seasonal Allergies: Zyrtec, Allegra

Allergic Reaction: Benadryl (causes drowsiness)

Flu/Cold: DayQuil for the day, or NyQuil for night (causes drowsiness)

Constipation: Dulcolax, MiraLax, Phillip’s Milk of Magnesium

Cut/Scrape: Neosporin ointment

Menstrual Cramps: Pamprin, Midol, Tylenol


Keep in mind that you should always consult another *American* adult, whether that is your Host Parent, LCC, or a Doctor before you take a medication on your own. It is always best to let someone know ALL of your symptoms so that we can properly diagnose you and make sure that you are taking the right stuff and that you get the proper amount of fluids (like water, soup, gatorade) and food, as well as rest! Stay hydrated, y’all!

Thanks for reading! xo, pooja

Saturday, 30 September 2017 6:52 PM


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