Monday, September 20, 2010
Coming Up or Running Out- the GI Drugs in the Cabinet
Finishing up what doctors keep in their medicine cabinets, I need to include the GI (gastrointestinal) emergency stash- drugs for throwing up and diarrhea.
For one or two episodes of vomiting, we simply cautiously hydrate with sips of gatorade and wait and see. However, for those occasional wicked stomach viruses that cause nonstop puking all night, we reach for a prescription that we keep on hand- phenergan (promethazine). This drug comes in suppositories as well as pills, and we know when a family member is ready to deal with a suppository, they really need it! Note that phenergan makes you sleepy, which is often a desired side effect, but it also can be addictive- this is for infrequent intense nausea, not for daily use!
What about the other end? No prescription here, we simply keep OTC liquid and pill forms of Imodium. The most important thing with diarrhea is to stop dairy products for a couple days, as you become temporarily lactose intolerant after a day of loose stools.
We also keep a bottle of acidophilus (probiotics) tablets for preventative use when someone is on an antibiotic (to avoid diarrhea from killing off the good bacteria in the gut.)
This is perhaps the least frequently used part of the medicine cabinet, but desperately desired when the occasion arises.
BOTTOM LINE: Phenergan and Imodium make up the gastrointestinal portion of our medicine cabinet.