Whether you suffer from a chronic condition or you just like to be prepared in case of a headache or cold, if you are like most families, you probably have a designated spot in the house where you keep your medicine. But did you know that the conditions in which you store them can influence their effectiveness and ever their expiration date? Read on to find out how you can make the most out of your medication.
Why your bathroom cabinet isn’t the best place to store medication
It has become quite a common habit to store pills in your bathroom cabinet above the sink, but experts warn that this is actually the worst place for your medicine. Pills are damaged by heat and moisture and the bathroom is the most humid place in the house, so you should consider moving them in another room that is better ventilated. Otherwise, your meds can go stale, grow mold and expire faster. Ideally, you should keep them in a cool, dry, place, such as a drawer in the bedroom, away from the reach of children.
Keep the meds in their original packaging
The container that pills come in are chosen for a particular reason and you shouldn’t take them out, because this could affect their quality. For instance, there are some ingredients that start changing their chemical structure as soon as they come in contact with air, so you should avoid changing their initial packaging as much as possible. First of all, they could become less effective and secondly, they could even become harmful and trigger allergic reactions.
Storing medication away from home
In some cases, you might have to take your pills with you on the go and the medicine drawer is no longer an option. The first mistake people make is keeping the medicine in the glove compartment in the car, but this is not recommended because the glove compartment is poorly insulated and during summer, it becomes too hot. For best results, carry your daily dose of pills in your handbag, in a small container designed especially for medication. If you are moving house, you can store your medicine in a public storage Virginia Beach facility, but make sure you can control the temperature and humidity in the locker.
When to throw away medication
Sometimes medicine can go stale before the expiration date if you did not keep it in a cool, dry place. You can tell this happens if there is a change in color, texture and smell or if the pills have cracks or develop a thin film on top. Also, some medication, especially syrups or creams are only safe to use six or twelve months after you open them, so make sure you look for the small symbol indicating that. Do not take expired medication or medication that looks or smells odd. For the safety of the environment, put the medicine in a sealed plastic bag before throwing it in the trash to avoid contamination, and never flush it down the toilet, as this could affect the water supply.