When we think of medication, freshness doesn’t usually come to mind. But it’s important to learn more on how to keep medicine as fresh as possible. Doing so ensures they remain effective and safe. Here are some tips for extending the life of your medicine.
Store in a Cool, Dry Place
Heat, humidity, and light can all reduce the effectiveness of certain medicines. So, it’s ideal for storing most medications in a cool and dry place. Avoid storing them in the bathroom or kitchen, where temperature and moisture fluctuate. For example, you might end up with moldy cannabis if you store it in a damp area. Veriheal explains to avoid having moldy cannabis on their blog.
However, not all medicines should be stored at room temperature. Some require refrigeration. Be sure to double-check the product packaging for specific storage instructions. If you need to refrigerate your medicine, store it in a sealed container. Learn about the types of wine cooler and its features. If you don’t have a container, putting it in a baggie can also help keep out moisture.
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Check Expiration Dates
It’s essential to check the expiration dates on medications regularly. Medications can become ineffective or even dangerous if taken past their expiry date. Furthermore, medicine stored in hot or humid environments may deteriorate more quickly. It’s best not to keep them in a humid environment for too long. Otherwise, you may need to discard them before the expiration date. When in doubt, check with your pharmacist or healthcare provider. They can tell you whether it’s safe to take the medication close to its expiration date.
When it comes time to dispose of your medication, safely get rid of them, as per instructions. Usually, this means dropping them off at a pharmacy so they can dispose of them properly.
Keep Medicine Containers Secure
It’s important to keep medications in their original containers. Not only that, but all labels should remain intact. The labels have instructions you may need to reference. For example, it may explain:
- How to take the medicine
- Potential side effects.
- Expiration date to keep track of when it expires
You should use caps or locks to keep medicines out of reach of young children and pets. And the seals should be checked regularly. Checking them from time to time ensures they stay intact.
Replace Medicine Regularly
Certain medications, such as eye drops and nasal sprays, get contaminated more easily. To prevent this, replace them regularly. Again, you can keep track of when to toss them by checking the bottle for the expiration date.
It’s also good to ensure you’re taking the correct medication! When you pick up your medicine, double-check its name and dosage. Double-checking your medication’s name, dosage, and other details with your pharmacist is vital. It’s rare, but you could pick up the incorrect medication, or, it could be mislabeled.
After replacement, discard your old medications properly. As mentioned, the best way to do this is to take it back to your pharmacy. Many cities also have drop-off locations to safely dispose of medications.
Keep Out of Reach of Children and Pets
Be sure to keep all medications and products out of the reach of children. Even seemingly harmless products such as vitamins can be dangerous. Similarly, be aware that some animals are also sensitive to certain medications. Store all medications away from pets. Some pets get themselves into trouble, so storing them high in a kitchen, for example, is wise.
Contact your local poison control center if a child or pet ingests a medication. They can offer advice and let you know which steps to take next.
Avoid Storing it in the Car
The temperature inside a parked car can rise quickly, even on cool days. This can cause medications to become ineffective. If you need to transport medication, keep it in an insulated bag with an ice pack. Taking these extra steps helps it maintain its temperature.
Generally, it’s best to avoid storing medications in a car or other locations where temperatures fluctuate. Keeping your medication in a cool, dry location is the best place to store them.
Do Not Leave the Caps Open
Always keep your medicine in its original container. Also, ensure that the lids or caps are securely closed on all medications. Leaving a cap open can expose the medicine to moisture, light, and air. When exposed to the elements, they can break down more quickly. You should also avoid over-tightening the caps. Improperly screwing on a cap can break the bottle or cause the medicine to go bad.
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To recap the article, storing medications correctly is essential for maintaining their safety and effectiveness. Store them in a cool, dry place to ensure they stay in excellent condition. Also, store them in a place far away from pets and children.
Check expiration dates regularly and pay attention to when it’s time to replace medications. And don’t forget to keep all containers securely closed.
If you have any questions, always consult your pharmacist or healthcare provider. With proper care and storage, you can keep your medications safe and effective for as long as possible.