Good Medicine

The medicine cabinet is headquarters in the defense of all things infectious and home of relief for everything from headaches to scrapes to minor burns. What should be in yours? Dr. Molly McBride of The Woman’s Place at St. Francis Hospital gives her prescription.

Curad Adhesive Bandages They’re critical to stop bleeding of cuts and scrapes, keeping dirt out and promoting scabbing so that injuries heal quickly and well. Some are available with non-stick pads treated with antibiotics.


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Benadryl This antihistamine is first in a triumvirate of medications to fight colds and allergy symptoms in kids. It relieves the drippy noses of children, as well as adults. It also knocks you out a bit so you can sleep.

Robitussin Part II in the kids’ cold department, this syrup eases scratchy throats.

Tylenol or Motrin These pain relievers make Part III of the kids’ colds defense, but they also help adults ease aches and pains.


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Aveeno Sunscreen Use it always on the face and body to protect skin from harmful UV rays. “Aveeno sunscreen with SPF 30 is a great product,” McBride says. “The skincare line has long been the best, and so is its sunscreen.”



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Advil Advil and Tylenol are both good choices for all-over aches and pains, even if you need to take the prescription-strength dose of 800 milligrams.




Mylanta When it comes to an upset stomach, heartburn or indigestion, “You don’t need to get fancy,” McBride says. “Simplicity is key.” This all-purpose tummy soother works well for kids and adults.


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Adult Multi-Vitamins Generic or store brands work as well as One-A-Day and other trusted brands. Look for formulations designed for your gender and stage of life. “The One-A-Days for men and women are fine, but women, especially over 40, need to not just get calcium, but vitamin D also,” McBride says.





Zyrtec The non-drowsy formula relieves allergy symptoms during the day.





Neosporin This topical antibiotic ointment fights the agents of infection that slow the healing of skin injuries.




Flintstones Vitamins Kids up to 18 can take tried-and-true Flintstones chewable tablets for the balance of vitamins and minerals growing bodies need.




Silvadene This cream is essential for easing minor burns. “You just slap it on for instant relief,” McBride says. “It’s safe for everyone, and it’s what we use in hospitals too.” It also works magic on sunburns.




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Motrin or Aleve Forget about Pamprin and Midol. “All those pills are is Motrin and caffeine,” Dr. McBride says. For best results, take Motrin or Aleve at the onset of menstrual cramps to reduce soreness and pain.



Ear thermometer How else can you detect a fever? “It’s quicker, more accurate and less dangerous than the other thermometers that kids can break or that have mercury in them,” McBride says.





Rubbing Alcohol Its disinfecting and drying properties also prepare open wounds.




Hydrogen Peroxide Its disinfecting power will sterilize open wounds to prepare for bandaging.





Cortaid Cortaid or any other decent topical hydrocortisone treatment helps soothe inflamed and itchy bug bites. To take care of rashes from poison ivy and other irritants, combine it with oral Benadryl.



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