9 Over-The-Counter Medicines To Carry On-Hand Wherever You Go

For flu, body aches, fever, sore throats, motion sickness, diarrhoea, and indigestion.

Cover image via Pharmaceuticals & Indeed

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Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can never be too sure when you're feeling under the weather

While often stigmatised in a negative light, the thought process behind consuming medically-approved drugs should be seen as a benefit one does to ensure their health doesn't dwindle.

Over the course of time, there have been a plethora of 'over-the-counter' medication options that give the public quick access to cure a flu, fever, stomach ache, giddiness, body aches, and beyond. 

Referred to as 'over-the-counter' for a reason, you won't need a doctor-based prescription to get these items from your local pharmacy, but you will have to take caution and only take what you need when you're feeling under the weather.

It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Pharmaceuticals

Here are different types of over the counter medication for various uses to carry around with you wherever you go:

1. Fever relief medication or paracetamol

After COVID-19, even the slightest fluctuation in body temperature can send you soaring into panic.

From fevers to aches, Panadol is probably the most common form of paracetamol used by Malaysians across the nation. As the item is an over-the-counter purchase, following the prescribed dosage is crucial to ensure the fever subsides while according to the recommended amount to consume.

You can purchase regular Panadol here, or Panadol ActiFast for quicker relief here.

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Image via Guardian/Shopee

2. Sore throat relief medication

An itchy throat isn't something to fetter about, but it's better to deal with the issue before it becomes worse.

Whether you just got back from a trip or had a super busy day at the office that you forgot to hydrate, multiple options exist depending on how sore your throat is. While Fisherman's Friend is a common selection if your throat is a little scratchy, you can also opt for a variety of Strepsils flavours, too.

You can purchase Strepsils here or Fisherman's Friend here.

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Image via Guardian/Shopee

3. Motion sickness tablets

Many times, people mistaken travel sickness tablets as necessary when going on vacation. Whether it's flying on an aeroplane or taking a boat out to sea — some have motion sickness issues just sitting in a car.

For those that may get giddy while going to and from work on a day-to-day basis, Novomin will help reduce your nausea and giddiness even if you're taking a train to university. Nevertheless, be sure to take a tablet at least 30 minutes before heading on your journey.

Caution: Usage of Novomin may cause drowsiness for certain individuals. If this happens, do not take when operating behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Get a packet of Novomin from pharmacies closest to you.

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Image via Medisave STORE

4. Antihistamines

Feel a cold coming on but want to nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand? Antihistamines are probably the route to go.

A medicated drug that's primarily used to treat a range of allergies, taking an antihistamine can handle anything from a common cold to fevers, and even mosquito bites. There are a wide range of antihistamine medication people can choose from, the most common may arguably be Claritin or Zyrtec. 

You can purchase Claritin and Zyrtec from a pharmacy near you.

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Image via Claritin

5. Cough suppressant

While many may often confuse sore throats and coughs, they can't always be thought as one in the same. You may develop a cough after getting a sore throat, but chronic coughing doesn't always come as a result of sore throats

To nip what can sometimes be an embarrassing yet uncontrollable issue in public places, one tablet of Mucosolvan may just do the trick.

Caution: Be sure to inform your pharmacist if you are on other medication, whether over-the-counter or doctor prescribed, when seeking to purchase Mucosolvan.

You can purchased the item on Guardian or CARiNG Pharmacy.

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Image via Guardian

6. Antidiarrheal

Nature calls at some of the most irritably important times, but it doesn't mean you always have to panic.

Antidiarrheals are a great preventative to take if you've got a crucial meeting to attend in the morning or if you're being dropped off at a flea market where the only toilet option is, well nothing really.

Ideal for chronic diarrhoea or a couple of trips to the loo that weren't so pleasant, Imodium is probably the best choice if you don't want to take the risk when your stomach is upset.

Get a packet from your local pharmacy.

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Image via Imodium

7. Decongestants and sinus relief medication

For an extremely stuffy nose, sometimes a roll of tissue paper isn't always the solution when dealing with it for an entire day. Often confused for the role of an antihistamine, decongestants do wonders for reducing pressure and continuous congestion for one's nasal passages.

If you've been leaking like a faucet from dawn till dusk, it's best that you take more effective medicine to help you clear up. When Tiger Balm doesn't do just the right trick, Kordels Cold Away will help bring you relief.

You can grab a pack of it here.

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Image via Nutrisense Pharmacy/Shopee

8. Indigestion and nausea

There's nothing better than a good meal, so why not keep it down?

Indigestion can often ruin a great time if you're out on the town with some friends or family after stuffing your faces to satisfaction. Working to aid the discomfort in your stomach, Gaviscon is a great option to sooth acid reflux and heartburn. Furthermore, it can last up to four hours and is effective for pregnant women, too.

You can get Gaviscon in either a tablet form or in sachets, depending on your preference.

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Image via BP Pharmacy/Shopee

9. Muscle pain and aches

There are aches you experience from mild fevers and discomfort, and there are muscle pains which can include anything from a muscle sprain to inflammation. A cold pack may be a good alternative to temporarily deal with a sprain, but a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) may be the best medicinal option.

Ibuprofen is arguably one of the most common muscle pain relievers of the lot, but a popular brand often consumed by users who can get a dosage over the counter would be Nurofen or Advil in capsule form.

You can get a packet at your nearest pharmacy.

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Image via Chemist Warehouse

And for all the ladies who are jotting down this list, too, this bonus #10 addition is for you:

10. Period cramps and discomfort

From cramps to acne and even experiencing bloating, your day or week shouldn't take a backseat because of a heavy flow. Ideally, the best moment comes when the cycle is over, but until then, it's dealing with that monthly 'friend' for awhile.

A sizeable option for dealing with these discomforts can be found in the Panadol Menstrual medication, that covers everything including aches, the flu, and a cold.

You can get Panadol Menstrual at Big Pharmacy or any pharmacy near you.

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Image via Big Pharmacy

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