Follow These Medication Storage Tips
Around two-thirds of all Americans—more than 131 million people—take at least one prescription medication. If you regularly take a prescription or over-the-counter drug, it’s important that you not only take it according to your doctor’s or the manufacturer’s instructions, but that you also store it properly. Safe storage reduces the chances that someone else will take your medications or that they will lose efficacy.
The National Library of Medicine recommends following these guidelines when storing your medications:
- Store medicines in a cool and dry place. Note that storing medications in a medicine cabinet in a bathroom can be damaging to them, as the moisture in the air can cause them to become less potent or even go bad before their expiration date.
- Keep medication out of reach of children. Childproof bottles aren’t always effective at keeping young children away from medication. Hiding certain medications or placing them in locked containers can also keep them out of the hands of older children and teenagers.
- Keep medications in their original bottles or packaging when traveling. In addition, ask your doctor for copies of your prescriptions. You may need these in case you run out of medication while traveling or if you need to prove that you have a prescription for certain medications.
Sometimes, medications aren’t potent enough or are too potent due to manufacturing or packaging errors. When this happens, the medications are recalled, but patients may still suffer serious harm because of those mistakes.