If stored properly, medicine can last for a long time until it expires. Ideally, most medicines should be stored in a cool, dry place. Extreme temperatures (too much heat and too much cold) and humidity can drastically alter the chemical makeup of drugs. When that happens, your medicine is either ineffective or dangerous to use. Read on to learn more on how to store your medicine safely.
- Store your medicine in a cool, dry place. A medicine cabinet is an ideal storage place for medicine. However, in most homes, medicine cabinets are located inside the bathroom, which in fact, isn't a suitable spot to store all your medicines. Bathroom cabinets tend to be warm and humid-two crucial elements that alter the chemical makeup of drugs. Storing medicine in the kitchen is also a big no-no since you do all your cooking and use up a lot of heat there.
- Keep your drugs out of children's reach. Let's face it. Kids are always curious and to them it seems like their house is a place for one big scavenger hunt where they can discover all kinds of odds and ends in unlikely places. If you're not too careful in storing your medicine, they might mistake it for food or accidentally swallow it. That's why when you childproof your home, make sure to include keeping all drugs and medicines out of reach to them.
- Keep medicine containers tightly closed. After using, make sure you've closed the lid of your medicine bottles or containers tightly. Always double check whether you've secured the door of the medicine cabinet.
- Regularly check for expired drugs. At least every after six months, check your medicine stock for drugs that are already past their expiry dates. Throw them away and restock on some medicines if needed. Do not use drugs that have altered in color, smell, and consistency even if they're not yet expired. Dispose them, just to be on the safe side. Also do the same with drugs that are cracked, chipped, melted, frozen, stuck together, or have been exposed with the container, lid, or foil open for some time.
- Keep your drugs away from heat-releasing appliances. Never store your drugs near appliances like a kitchen stove, iron, microwave oven, water heater, or anything that uses and releases heat.
- Avoid repackaging medicine. As much as possible, keep your tablets, pills, capsules, and syrups in the bottle or container where they came from. Do not repackage or transfer them to another container unless you need to for travel purposes.
- Don't lose the cotton plugs and silica gel. Usually, pills, tablets, and capsules in bottles have a cotton plug and a silica gel inside. This is done to keep the medicine fresh and extend its shelf life. Do not throw them away.
Storing your medicines safely is one of the things you should prioritize in your own home, especially when you have children around. With proper storage and handling, you also ensure the shelf life of your medicine and get to use them for a long time until they expire.