July 6, 2020
Where is the best place to keep your medicines at home?
You may think that your medicines are stored safely and in the correct place, but there are probably a couple of things that you haven’t taken into consideration. We have put together some tips of best medicine storage practice to ensure your medicines at home are safe and in the correct spot. When you’re cleaning out your medicine cabinet next, think about these tips!
DON’T STORE YOUR MEDICINE IN THE BATHROOM CABINET
Contrary to popular belief, the bathroom medicine cabinet is ideally not the place to store medications due to heat and humidity. With the bathroom door being closed majority of the time and steam coming from the shower, this is not keeping your medicines dry and cool. This means that the medicine could lose its efficacy.
DON’T STORE IT ABOVE THE COOKTOP OR THE FRIDGE EITHER
This is the same as keeping them in the bathroom – heat and light from the cooktop or fridge can mean that your medicine is not staying dry or cool and away from light, therefore giving the possibility that the medicine may not work as well as it can.
MAKE SURE YOUR MEDICINES ARE UP HIGH AND SAFE
It may seem obvious, but you need to ensure that your medicines are not within reach of children or family pets. Remember that curious minds can be determined to get into something they shouldn’t, so your medicines should not be easily accessible. It may also be a good idea to child lock your medicine cabinet if there are very young children in the home.
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE STORING YOUR MEDICINES IN
As well as thinking about where your medicines are kept, you need to think about what they are kept in. It’s best to categorise your medicines in a divided box or separate boxes instead of throwing all of them into one basket. This means that you can help prevent medication mismanagement and keep track of the expiry dates of your medicines.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, CHECK YOUR MEDICINE DATES!
It’s so important that you READ, REMOVE and RETURN. Read the labels, check expiry dates and review all medicines. Remove all expired and unwanted medicines out of the packaging and place them in a bag or container. If the medicine comes in a cardboard box, that can be recycled. Return your expired and unwanted medicines to your local pharmacy for safe disposal.
The Return of Unwanted Medicines Project is a free service that offers a way to dispose of unwanted or expired medicines safely and conveniently at your local community pharmacy. Find out more about the service here.