Stocking Your Medicine Cabinet for Cold, Flu and COVID-19

Donald Ford, MD, tells us what you should have on hand when sickness strikes.

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CLEVELAND – Whether it’s COVID-19, the flu, or the common cold, when illness hits there are certain items you want to have on hand, so you don’ t have to run to the store.

Donald Ford, MD, of Cleveland Clinic said it’s always a good idea to have a working thermometer.

“You can get the ones that go in the mouth. You can get the ones that go in the ears. You can get ones that go on the skin of the forehead, and they’re all okay,” said Dr. Ford. “There’s a little bit of variation from one to another, and I don’t really have a preference. I would say that the ones that go under the tongue are going to be a little bit more accurate.”

One tool some people find handy for monitoring oxygen levels, particularly in people with coronavirus, is a pulse oximeter.

The device measures oxygen in the blood and is used to monitor people who are having problems with shortness of breath, to make sure their oxygen levels don’t fall.

Dr. Ford said you’ll also want to make sure you have enough pain reliever and fever reducer.

“Whether it’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen or Naprosyn. All those are available over the counter. They’re all helpful. We had some concerns in the early days of COVID about a possible worsening or conflict with using ibuprofen or Naprosyn, but those haven’t turned out to be true,” Dr. Ford said. “So, any of those are perfectly good, but I would definitely recommend that people have those in the house and have those available because you don’t want to be running out when the fever hits.”

Dr. Ford added, it’s also a good idea to check your medicine cabinet to make sure items are working and medications haven’t expired.

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