How to Ensure You Are Practicing the Best Medication Safety
Storing your medicine properly is just as important as taking it on time.
If not stored correctly, your medication can go bad and lose its efficacy. In the worst-case scenario, it can sometimes be harmful or poisonous.
How to Store Medicine Safely
First, always read the instructions on each of your medications. The labels will always inform you of any storage needs your mediation requires.
Then, follow these general rules:
- Store your medication in a cool, dry place.
- This could be your bedside table, a dresser drawer, or a kitchen cabinet.
- Keep your medication away from appliances that get hot such as the stove.
- Avoid storing your medicine in the bathroom cabinet.
- The heat and moisture from your shower, bath, and sink can cause damage to your medicine over time. It can become less potent or effective as well as go bad before its expiration date.
- Specifically, pills and capsules are easily damaged by heat and moisture. Some medications, such as common aspirin, can breakdown into vinegar and salicylic acid and irritate the stomach.
- Aim to keep medicine stored in its original containers
- Pill bottles and Rx Med Packs are built to be sealed airtight and will be more effective than a plastic baggie or another homemade storage container.
- If the medicine bottle came with a cotton ball inside, make sure to take it out since the cotton attracts moisture.
- Make sure to confirm with your doctor if there are any specific storage requirements or instructions.
As long as you continue to be cautious and follow a rhythm when storing your medication, you can ensure safe pills for you and your family.
Medicine Safety for Children
If you have children or kids who often visit your house, make sure you store your medicine out of sight and out of reach. Keep them in bottles or packs with child-resistant caps, and make sure to replace your medication in the correct location after every time you take your dosage.
Additionally, try not to take your medication in front of your children. They are naturally curious and are wired to copy your actions. As well, avoid referring to your medicine as tablets or candy. These are both things kids often eat and it might make it more tempting for them to try.
According to a report by SafeKids.org, a child is to the ER for medicine poisoning every eight minutes. It’s an extremely sad statistic, but it highlights how frequently kids get into their parents’ and grandparents’ medicine cabinets.
If you’re done taking a specific medication or it has passed its expiration date, don’t keep it lying around, throw it away immediately.
In the event that a kid gets a hold of your medication and swallows it, immediately take them to the nearest emergency room.
Try to determine which medication they swallowed and take the bottle with you. If you know how many pills they took, communicate that to the nurse and/or doctor as well. This will help them administer the correct treatment.
How to Tell if Medicine is Damaged
Even if the expiration date has not passed yet, your medication can still go bad. Here are the main signs your medication is no longer safe to take:
- The medicine has changed color, texture, or smell
- Pills are sticking together or are harder/softer than normal
- The bottle or pills smell differently than usual
This is why Rx Med Packs are a great solution for your medication needs. With pills that are pre-packaged and sorted by date and time, you won’t have to worry about your medication going bad or having a bunch of different bottles laying around.
To learn more, check out our blog, Debunking 7 Myths About the Rx Med Packs.
How to Store Medicine While Traveling
First and foremost, make sure to pack your medicine first when getting ready for a trip and add a couple of extra doses in case your trip gets extended or one falls on the ground. Forgetting your medicine at home can make things extremely tricky, especially if your access to a pharmacy that can restock your medication is limited.
If you’re driving, do not store your medicine in the glove compartment of your car. As you know, once the car is off, it adjusts to the temperature outside and it can easily become too hot or cold. This will quickly ruin your medication.
If you’re flying, we recommend you pack your medicine in your carry-on luggage. To make sure airport security goes smoothly:
- Keep your medicine in its original bottles, packs, or containers.
- Ask your pharmacy for a copy of all of your prescriptions in case security wants to examine your medication.
- If your medication is in a liquid form, make sure you’re not carrying an excess of 3.5 ounces since that is the maximum quantity for flying.
- If you have diabetes, bring identification saying so; you are allowed to carry your blood glucose meter and lancet device on a plane.
- Make sure everything is properly sealed and closed.
Remember, more than 66% of all U.S. adults take multiple prescriptions and airports are familiar with medication being packed in carry-ons.
Ways to Make Medication Storage Easier
Unfortunately, when people take multiple medications at home, mistakes happen.
The FDA estimates that 1.3 million people each year are injured by medication errors that happen at home. Additionally, according to a study conducted by Clinical Toxicology, that number is on the rise.
Where many people who take multiple medications get tripped up is when they have too many bottles to keep track of.
With each medication needing to be taken at a specific time and having a specific dose, it can be so easy to forget or mix them up. This is why we recommend Rx Med Packs; a simpler way of taking your medications.
With Rx Med Packs, you won’t need to remember what time you need to take each pill or stress over the organization of all your bottles. The packs are pre-sorted by dose and time for you by pharmacists who know your name and your health needs.
Medication storage will become the simplest thing you do all day.
For more recommendations, check out our blog, 5 Health Innovations to Make Your Life Easier in 2021.