1. Oral antihistimines
Antihistimines like Zyrtec-R, $12.50, are a lifesaver and many don’t leave home without some. Allergies can strike anytime, be it from food, dust, or insect bites, and an antihistamine offers symptomatic relief from itching, hives and swelling. It can also help to provide relief from cold symptoms such as runny and itchy nose.
2. Decongestant eye drops
Naphcon-A, $7.65, before anything else. This eye drop works by temporarily narrowing the blood vessels in the eye and block the histamines that causes the allergic reaction of itching, puffiness, redness and watering. Redness should be gone within moments. However, it must not be used to treat redness and irritation from wearing contact lenses. It can be used at least 15 minutes before you wear contact lens and must never be used when you are wearing.
*Please consult a pharmacist before using.
Whenever you feel a sore throat coming on, don’t wait for it to get worse before breaking out the lozenges like Difflam Lozenges With Cough Suppressant, $18.80. It contains a cough suppressant and an anti-inflammatory agent to reduce coughing and relieve the symptoms of a sore throat. It provides immediate relief to soothe a painful throat and saves me the potential loss of my voice temporarily to pharyngitis.
*Please consult a pharmacist first.
4. Pei Pa Koa
This traditional Asian remedy is best known for helping to ease coughing and soothe sore throats. Drink a spoonful on its own and let it slowly slide down your throat, or dilute with warm water first.
5. Activated charcoal
Activated charcoal like that found in Ultracarbon Tablets, $7.25, is a natural remedy to trap toxins and chemicals so the body can flush it out. It is used for diarrhoea and poisoning due to foods, heavy metal and drugs, as well as flatulence due to diet. If you’re particularly prone to food poisoning or have a delicate stomach, these are good to always have stocked at home.
While ultracarbon helps to eliminate the toxins, Imodium, $5.90, is used to treat symptoms of diarrhoea by decreasing the frequency of bowel movements and making the stools less watery.
* Please consult a pharmacist first.
7. Anti-Itch Cream
There are many causes for itching but we all know how hard it is to fight the urge to scratch. Some of the common causes are heat rash, hives from allergic reaction, and insect bites. An anti-itch cream, $5.50, provides immediate relief and can prevent an inflammation or infection by excessive scratching of the itchy area.
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8. Antiseptic Cream
It is inevitable to have cuts, minor burns and open wounds but it is essential to have an antiseptic cream on hand to prevent infection. What’s great about this first aid cream, $5.75, is that contains two antiseptic ingredients to help you get a good cleanse.
9. Po Chai Pills
Most people will know Po Chai Pills, $4.50, as something their grandmothers would suggest they take when they had a stomachache. But Po Chai Pills are great for a number of ailments — such as issues related to altitude sickness and jetlag. They are also effective relief for cold, fever, headache, vomiting, gastrointestinal discomforts and indigestion.
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With our fast-paced and stressful life in Singapore, gastric pain is a rather common ailment among many. Antacids, $3.30, help to neutralise stomach acid and provides fast relief for gastric pain, heartburn, acid indigestion and flatulence.