|Other encyclopedia topics:||A-Ag Ah-Ap Aq-Az B-Bk Bl-Bz C-Cg Ch-Co Cp-Cz D-Di Dj-Dz E-Ep Eq-Ez F G H-Hf Hg-Hz I-In Io-Iz J K L-Ln Lo-Lz M-Mf Mg-Mz N O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q R S-Sh Si-Sp Sq-Sz T-Tn To-Tz U V W X Y Z 0-9|
|Contents of this page:|
Alternative NamesMedicine storage
Information Return to top
Many people store their medications in the bathroom. But this popular spot is actually one of the worst places to keep medicine. Bathroom cabinets tend to be warm and humid, an environment that speeds up a drug's break down process.
This is especially true for tablets and capsules. Unnecessary exposure to heat and moisture can cause them to lose their potency prior to their labeled expiration date. For example, a warm, muggy environment can cause aspirin tablets to break down into acetic acid (vinegar) and salicylic acid, both of which are potential stomach irritants.
Instead, keep medicines in a cool, dry place and out of a child's reach.
If you must keep them in the bathroom, always keep the containers tightly closed. Never repackage them.
If medicines are to be stored in a kitchen, store them away from the stove, sink, and any heat-releasing appliances.
In rare cases, medicine that is improperly stored can actually become toxic. To prevent danger, follow these tips:
Travelers need to follow additional tips for safe storage of their medications:
More information on travel tips and safe storage of medicines is available through the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists at www.safemedication.com.
References Return to top
Crichton B. Keep in a cool place: exposure of medicines to high temperatures in general practice during a British heatwave. J R Soc Med. 2004;97:328–329.
Karch AM. When it's time to clean out the medicine cabinet. Am J Nurs. 2002; 102(2): 23.Update Date: 3/14/2009 Updated by: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.