How to Properly Store Medicine
When it comes to medicine, proper storage is essential to ensuring medicine efficacy. Taking the right steps when storing your medicines isn’t difficult, but it does require the proper knowledge on best practice. Below we’ll go into detail on some of those best practices, and also talk about what makes proper medicine storage so important. Let’s dig into it.
Storing Medicine Properly
There are 5 things to consider when making sure that you’re properly storing your medicine, according to medlineplus.gov:
- Store medicines in a cool, dry place like a dresser drawer or kitchen cabinet.
- Avoid putting your medicine in the bathroom cabinet! Although this is a common practice, the truth is that the heat and moisture from showering/bathing and washing your hands with hot water can actually make your medicines less potent, or even cause them to go bad before the expiration date.
- Keep your medicine in its original container.
- If there is one, take the cotton ball out of your medicine bottles. Cotton balls pull moisture into medicine bottles, which you will not want once the bottle has been opened.
- Ask your pharmacist if there are any additional storage requirements that you should be following.
Why Storing Medicine Properly is Important
So what makes proper medicine storage so important? There are a few different things.
- Keeping Medicine Away From Children- According to the CDC, around 50,000 young children end up in emergency rooms each year because they got into medicines while an adult wasn’t looking. Storing medicine in a secure space that only adults can reach greatly reduces the risk of accidental ingestion by a child. Adding a child latch or lock to where you store medicine can reduce that risk by even more.
- It Keeps Medicine Functioning as Intended- Improper storage can lead to less effective medicine, and even cause expiration to occur more quickly. If you follow the steps above and consult your pharmacist about any other storage recommendations, that’s something that you won’t have to worry about.
Also keep in mind that if you do find you have damaged medicine, you should not take it, even if the medicine is not expired. Signs of damaged medicine are:
- A change in color, texture, or smell in the medicine that you take.
- Other unusual properties in medicines, such as stickiness, unusual hardness or softness, or cracked/chipped pills.
Taking all of the proper precautions when it comes to medicine isn’t always as straightforward as it may seem. That’s why we have put together some resources on our blog to help you take the proper steps when traveling with medications, and a guide on safely disposing of expired or unused medications from home!