8 Rules for Medications in Your Home

2013Jul22_GenPharma_AKnowing how to properly store your medication may sound like a common sense concept, but the importance of properly storing your medication can make a huge difference in it’s effectiveness and in the safety of those around you.

Why is this important for me?

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably left an old prescription unfinished. The bottle was probably left in a drawer or cabinet somewhere for a long time, maybe even years, and you might not notice if it was missing. That medication is probably expired and could be dangerous if ingested by a child or pet.

When a healthcare professional prescribes a medication, some patients don’t realize the subsequent level of responsibility that comes into play. It begins with the patient’s responsibility to take the medication as prescribed and it involves safely storing and disposing of the medication. According to safeguardmymeds.org, there are specific do’s and don’ts of proper medication storage we should all follow.

Top 8 Rules for Medications in Your Home:

  1. Take a look at your medication before you consume it. Always check the expiration date. Even if the medication is far from expiring, never take any medication that has changed color, texture, odor, is chipped or cracked or is sticking together.

  1. Be careful when taking medication in front of children. Many children have a tendency to replicate actions, so keeping medication out of their reach and teaching them that it’s not for them is important.

  1. Never share prescription medication with anyone else! Healthcare professionals prescribe medications for specific patients based on their needs, allergies, history and other factors. A medication that is effective for you can be extremely harmful to someone else.

  1. Just because the ‘medicine cabinet’ is in the bathroom, doesn’t mean that is the best place for medicine. It can actually be the worst! Heat and humidity can damage medications, causing them to break down faster, which makes them ineffective and sometimes poisonous. This also applies to the kitchen. Heat from appliances such as ovens, dishwashers or sinks can have a negative effect on medications.

  1. Always keep medications in their original containers. The container labels contain very important information and are designed to keep that particular medication safe.

  1. Remember to remove the cotton plug from your medicine bottle. The cotton can actually draw moisture into the bottle, which will damage your medication.

  1. Keep an updated list of medications in your home. At least twice a year, take an inventory so you will know what has expired, what needs to be purchased and what needs to be disposed. Most importantly, you will know if something is misplaced and you will be able to better protect your family.

  1. When in doubt, ask! Your pharmacist at [company_short] will help you determine whether or not your medication has the potential to be abused or could cause a child to be accidentally poisoned. You will want to keep that medication in a very safe place out of reach and either dispose it or lock it up when you are finished.

Make sure you understand the dangers associated with the medication prescribed to you and take proper precautions. Next time you get a prescription filled, please feel free to ask your pharmacist any additional questions or call us at [phone_main]. We are here to help!

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