SHOULD I BOTHER ABOUT WHERE I KEEP MY DRUGS?

Proper storage of medications is very important as it has a direct bearing on whether a drug will remain potent or not.

According to research, military men highly maximised storage conditions especially when going for war, since they did not know when these drugs would be needed. The storage conditions of these medications were optimized for temperature and humidity, and interestingly, even though expired, some drugs were discovered to still have 90% potency. Their effectiveness was retained.

On the other side, it is noteworthy that some drugs could be less potent even when their expiration dates have not reached due to poor storage conditions.

It should be noted that some drugs could be less potent even when their expiration dates have not reached due to poor storage conditions.

In view of this, here are some tips to ensure optimal drug storage.

  • Due to high humidity, a bathroom with a shower or bathtub is not an ideal place to store medications. Similarly, medications should not be stored in a kitchen cabinet near the dishwasher.
  • Due to extreme heat, do not leave your medications inside hot cars. Uncontrolled car interiors can rise to over 160o in hot climates.Some inhalers for asthma can explode when stored in temperatures over 120o. Take them with you if you leave the car even briefly. When travelling with them, keep them in the climate controlled interior of the car, rather than in the hot trunk.

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Do not leave your medications inside hot cars. Some inhalers for asthma can explode when stored in temperatures over 120o. Take your meds with you if you leave the car even briefly

  • Do not place medications in an area of sunlight.
  • Medications remain most stable in dry, cool spaces away from light.
  • Some medications must be stored in the refrigerator such as unopened vials of insulin. Please ensure that you read the drug labels. Some carry “Refrigerate, do not freeze” ,while very few such as vaccine injections require freezing. Storage instructions should be followed.
  • The refrigerator is not always the ideal place to store some medications. Some liquid medications become too viscous, separate, cloudy or clumpy when stored this way.
  • Keep the prescription bottle caps tightly closed
  • Always keep medications out of reach of children and pets.

Again, always check with your pharmacist about the most practical way to store your specific medication.

 

See also:

Recently Expired Drugs- Are They Still Safe to Take?

What are Over-the-Counter Medications?

WHY OUR ANTIBIOTICS DON’T WORK ANYMORE

Use of Closeup, Colgate, Pepsodent and other fluoride toothpastes – what you should know

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