How To Store Your Medication?
Very often, medicines purchased for the treatment of any diseases or symptoms remain unused. And, as a rule, the first-aid kit is made up of such medicines. How to maintain the quality and safety of medicines at home? After all, medicine is not a thing or a product, but a specific product. Storage conditions should ensure the safety of medicinal properties of drugs throughout the shelf life. Many drugs spoil when exposed to high temperatures, direct sunlight, and moisture.
Dear readers, Merrion Pharmacy gives you recommendations on the storage of medicines that will help you to maintain the quality and safety of the purchased products.
Guidelines for the Storage of Medicines at Home
Where to store medicines?
Many people store medicines in the kitchen or in the bathroom, some leave them in the room where they sleep – for ease of use at bedtime. Neither is the right solution.
Most medicines should be stored in a dry, cool, dark place, away from sunlight and heating devices. It is usually hot In the kitchen, there is too much moisture in the bathroom, and keeping medicines on the windowsill for even a long period does not follow because they are exposed to direct sunlight. In addition, you should not store your first-aid kit in rooms where you or your loved ones spend much time (bedroom, nursery).
If you give the child medicine, which has a pleasant taste, then make sure that the pleasant taste is not associated with other medicines. Hide the first aid kit, its contents should not attract the baby’s attention. Do not open the first-aid kit in front of a child, never let the baby play with medications, even if they are completely harmless. Do not wake the curiosity of the baby.
Remember that medicine should be stored out of the reach of children. However, it is desirable that the access of adults to the home first aid kit is convenient and does not create problems with finding medicines at the right moment.
It is advisable to place a home first aid kit on a shelf or in a locker in the hallway, pantry or other non-residential room. There is a large group of medicines that need to be stored in a cold place – most of the candles, many eye drops, creams, liniments and ointments, many types of injection solutions, some enzyme drops.
You’d better allocate a separate container in the refrigerator. By the way, modern refrigerators usually have special departments for drugs. Regardless of whether there are such cameras or not, the drugs in the refrigerator should still be further protected from moisture (use a box or a plastic bag). Try to place the container (box, plastic bag) with medicines away from the freezer.
Important! Heat and frost are absolutely not suitable for storing drugs! Do not use frozen medication.
What to store in your medication?
You’d better store medicines in standard plastic, metal boxes. For storing a home first-aid kit, ready-made factory containers are very convenient, which are produced in the form of a case (suitcase), box or purse. The presence of several compartments in such a container allows you to decompose drugs and other devices in a certain order. If necessary, the container can always be placed next to you or at the patient’s bedside.
You can also store drugs in a clean cardboard box. The main thing is that it is spacious enough and comfortable.
It is very important to store the drugs in individual (original) packages together with the instructions for use and not to forget that all medicines must have labels.
The drugs in vials are stored tightly closed, otherwise, some drugs can evaporate, absorb or release volatile substances, or react with oxygen.
First of all, pay attention to the storage conditions of the drug after buying it. These data are usually indicated in the instructions for use and on the outer packaging. At the same time, the instructions will indicate the limits of temperature and storage features. However, most drugs are stored “at room temperature”, “in a cool, dark place”, “in a dry, dark place”, etc.
- if the instructions for use recommend “storage at room temperature” or if no temperature is indicated, this means that the preparation should be stored at a temperature from +15° to + 25° C;
- if “storage in a cool place” is recommended, this means that the preparation should be stored at a temperature of +8° to +15° С;
- “storage in a dark place” means that it is necessary to store the drug in a place protected from sunlight;
- “storage in a dry place” means that it is necessary to store the drug in a room with a relative humidity of not more than 60%.
6 principles of drug storage
- Principle 1. Try to keep medicines for external and internal use separately. You can pack them in different bags, or put them on separate shelves in a locker where you store your medicines;
- Principle 2. Do not store together liquid dosage forms that can spread and stain everything (brilliant green, methylene blue, tinctures). Pay special attention to oxidizing agents such as iodine solution, potassium permanganate, hydrogen peroxide because they can ruin tablets, rubber, and furniture. You’d better store them separately from other drugs in a container with a hermetically sealed lid and a non-leaking bottom;
- Principle 3. You’d better not use plastic bags for storing medicinal herbs, choose instead cardboard boxes and paper bags. Medicinal plants dry up in a dry form and also quickly absorb odors and moisture. Medicines in tablets and gelatin capsules do not like moisture. If you store them in wet areas, medicines may deteriorate ahead of schedule. The proximity of drugs with spices is also contraindicated. Choose a dry, dark, cool place for a home first aid kit. You’d better lock the first-aid kit with a key since many medicines have bright packaging and an attractive appearance for the child;
- Principle 4. Rubber products (such as lining circles, rubber pads, ice bubbles) are kept slightly inflated. Try not to stack rubber products to prevent squeezing, sticking and caking;
- Principle 5. Store mustard plasters packed in parchment paper or plastic wrap;
- Principle 6. Protect medicines in the form of aerosols from shocks and mechanical damage.
How long can you store medicines?
When buying medicines, you must review the shelf life of the drugs. Often, drugs can be stored for up to 2-3 years. However, certain drugs have some features of the shelf life. For example:
- drugs manufactured in a pharmacy are not designed for long periods of storage. Water infusions, potions, decoctions spoil very quickly. They can be stored no longer than 2-3 days at room temperature. As soon as the solution becomes cloudy or flakes appear in it, it becomes unusable;
- opened pack of eye drops can be used for no longer than 4 weeks. At the same time, in order to avoid contamination of the solution, it is necessary to keep the vial tightly closed and avoid contact of the pipette tip with any surface;
- opened pack of nose drops or ear drops can also be used for up to 4 weeks.
Signs of medication spoilage
If you have noticed stratified, changed the color of the pill or the tincture has a sour smell, or a precipitate has formed in the solution, look at the instructions for use, describing the permissible deviations of physical properties.
A small amount of sediment is allowed for some liquid drugs, this does not affect their properties.
A sign of the unsuitability of rubber products is the softening, deformation and tackiness of the surface. Such products must be discarded.
Do not use drugs if their quality causes you to doubt.
Important! Medicines to be disposed of must be released from the packaging (including tablets, capsules), wrapped in paper and put in a trash can. Never pour or throw medicines at the sewer!
Remember that expired and spoiled drugs are a combination of substances with unpredictable effects. Therefore, adhere to the following rule: as soon as the storage period has expired or you have doubts about the quality of the medicine, throw it away.
What to do with a broken thermometer?
Many families use a mercury thermometer. This is an unsafe device.
Broken down thermometer should be wrapped in paper, then packed in a plastic bag and then – in a landfill. Spilled mercury should be collected by securing the respiratory system and only with gloves.
A broken thermometer should be better taken to the sanitary-epidemiological station or another medical facility, where it will be sent to the scrap.
If this is not possible, mercury is disposed of along with a thermometer but not at the sewer!
Dear readers, observing the listed recommendations on the storage of medicines, you protect yourself and your loved ones from poisoning and other unpredictable consequences. Remember that the main value in life is your health! Take care of yourself!