People who take a prescription medication are likely to take up to four different medications per day, including over-the-counter drugs. That means they may have many pill bottles they need to keep track of and store in their homes. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to store medications to maintain their effectiveness, reduce the risk of spoilage, and keep them out of the hands of minors.
- Store medications away from bathrooms—Many people’s medicine cabinet is located in a bathroom. But this is one of the worst places to store medication. That’s because bathrooms tend to be humid environments, and humidity can cause medications to break down and become less effective.
- Keep medications in their original containers—Pill and liquid bottles are typically airtight when sealed and sterile or mostly sterile environments. Also, removing medications from their original packaging can make it difficult to remember what’s what, making it more likely for you to accidentally take too much or too little of a drug.
- Lock up medications that can be abused—Medications for pain, anxiety, muscle stiffness, and attention deficit disorder are among the most likely to be abused. People who abuse medications come from all walks of life, and you never know who may be on the lookout for those pills. To reduce the risk of abuse or overdose, keep those medications locked up.
Unfortunately, even proper storage methods don’t protect all patients from medication-related injuries. That’s because some drugs are dangerous due to design and manufacturing flaws.