How to Correctly Store Your Medication at Home

July 26, 2023

As the mercury drops, it's not just about keeping ourselves warm, but also ensuring our medications stay safe and effective. Proper storage maintains potency and safety, while improper storage can reduce effectiveness or even lead to unsafe usage. So, let's look at the ins and outs of medication storage during cold weather, and learn how to keep our meds in tip-top shape, no matter the season.

Why is it important to know how to store your medication?

Similar to the way food needs to be stored properly to maintain its freshness, medication also requires proper storage to ensure its effectiveness. Improper storage can result in a decrease in potency, changes in the medication's form, and even make it unsafe to use. It is crucial to understand how to store medication, especially during colder weather, in order to maintain its efficacy. Cold temperatures can present specific challenges, such as freezing liquid medications or reducing the effectiveness of other medications.

To ensure your medication supports your health effectively, it is important that you understand where to keep medication at home. Here are some key points to look at:

  • Pay attention to storage instructions.
  • Keep medication out of children's reach.
  • Store at the right temperature.
  • Ensure it's kept in a dry place.
Remember, every detail matters when it comes to medication storage.

Read the storage directions on your medication

When you receive your medication, whether it's handed over the counter at your local pharmacy or delivered to your doorstep through the MedAdvisor app, take a moment to read the storage instructions. These guidelines are created by pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to ensure your safety and the effectiveness of your medication.

Follow these instructions to keep your medication working and effective until the expiration date, whether it involves keeping it away from direct sunlight, storing it at a specific temperature, or avoiding damp places like bathrooms. Always read and follow the instructions for your health's sake.

Typical places to store medication

Common places for medication storage at home include medicine cabinets, kitchen cupboards, and refrigerators. It's important to consider the specific storage requirements of your medication, as they can vary. Some medications need to be stored in a cool, dry place, while others may require refrigeration to keep the active ingredients working. Keep medication out of reach from children to prevent accidental consumption.

Storing liquid medication

Questions like “How long can refrigerated medicine be left out” are ones we too have had! That is why storing liquid medication can be a bit tricky, especially during extremely cold and hot weather. Some liquid medications need to be shaken well before use, while others may require refrigeration. Always check the storage instructions on the label or consult your pharmacist.

Where To keep medication at home: Recommendations for storing medications

Some general recommendations we have for storage of medication:

  • Store your medications in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Avoid storing medications in the bathroom where heat and humidity can affect them.
  • Always keep medicine in its original container.
  • Do not store medications in your car or trunk for extended periods in cold climates.
  • If you have the option, order your mail-order prescriptions in packages with temperature control.

Does medication go off if stored incorrectly?

Improper medication storage can cause it to lose effectiveness before the expiration date and even become unsafe to use. It is crucial to follow the instructions for proper medication storage to avoid these issues. If you think your medicine may have been exposed to higher-than-recommended temperatures, speak to your pharmacist. You can also read more about what to do with expired and unwanted medicines here.

Speak with the Pharmacist if you need more advice on storing medication

If you're unsure about how to store your medication, don't hesitate to ask your pharmacist. They can provide you with the best advice and ensure your medication remains safe and effective. If you can’t make it down to your local pharmacy, don’t stress, many great local pharmacists will have a chat to you about your concerns over the phone.

Medication storage awareness in our community

At MedAdvisor, we believe in the power of community and the importance of sharing knowledge. That's why we recently hosted a fun and informative quiz on Instagram about medication storage.

Our community members showed up in full force, showcasing their understanding and learning along the way. For instance, did you know that the garage is not a suitable place for storing medication? Or that insulin is the most sensitive to temperature fluctuations? And while it might seem convenient to store all medication in the refrigerator, it's not always safe.

Each medication has its unique storage requirements. It's these little nuggets of information that can make a big difference in our health. So, join the MedAdvisor community today and stay informed, engaged, and healthy!

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If you need consistent medication reminders or just a little help managing your busy day, find MedAdvisor on the app store here and here on Google Play.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional for medical advice.

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