How to properly store your medication

How to properly store your medication

While it is a common practice to store your medication in the bathroom, this is actually one of the worst places to keep medicine. Bathroom cabinets tend to be warm and humid, and the humidity in your bathroom is like a tropical rainforest after you shower. This creates an environment that speeds up a drug’s breakdown process, especially for tablets and capsules. This will make the expiration date on your medicine incorrect, further complicating things.

Instead, keep medicines in a cool, dry, secure place.  And always out of  the reach of children. In some cases,  you may need to use a locked cabinet or box.. If you store medicines in a kitchen, keep them away from the stove, sink, and any hot appliances.  As you can see, kitchens also pose problems.  Often, a high shelf in a cool bedroom closet is a safe distance from kids, has the right temperature and is dry.

A great trick for keeping your medicines fresh and potent is to fill your prescriptions each month, instead of every 3 months.

In rare cases, medicine that is improperly stored can become toxic. To prevent danger, follow these tips:

  • Always keep medicines in their original containers.
  • Read the instructions carefully and use your reading glasses or magnifier if necessary.
  • Don’t leave the cotton plug in a medicine bottle. This draws moisture into the container.
  • Check the expiration date each time you take a drug.  .
  • Never take expired medicines.
  • Check to see if the color, texture, or odor has changed, even if it has not expired. Throw away capsules or tablets that stick together, are harder or softer than normal, or are cracked or chipped.
  • Ask your IdelRx pharmacist about any specific storage instructions.

Be aware that children or adolescents can get hold of their parents’ unused sedative or painkiller prescriptions and abuse them or accidentally poison themselves.

Throw out unused medicine safely and promptly by using the procedures recommended by the Food and Drug Administration. This includes placing medicines in a sealed bag in your trash, mixed with coffee grounds, kitty litter, or other inedible substances. You can also ask the pharmacist for advice on how to throw out old medicines. Use community “drug give back” programs if they are available.

Travelers need to follow these tips for safely storing their medications:

  • Before leaving home, list all your medications, as well as the name and number of your pharmacist and doctor.
  • Pack your medicine in a carry-on bag instead of a checked suitcase.
  • Bring an extra supply with you in case your return is delayed.
  • Never leave medicines in a car. Heat can quickly destroy the drug.
  • Watch time changes. Set a separate watch to your usual time so you can remember when to take your medicine.