Advertisement

Where should I store my medication?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Like you, your pills spend a lot of time at home. Make sure they spend that time wisely. Storing them in the wrong places can render them useless or greatly increase the chances of dangerous mistakes.
  • Keep your medications in their original bottles or packages to avoid getting confused. No offense to pills, but a lot of you look alike. (When you see your doctor, bring all of these bottles with you to the appointment.) It's also a good idea to keep a spare set of prescriptions with a week's worth of pills in a safe place, in case of emergencies.
  • Don't store your drugs behind the mirror in the bathroom. It can be a hot, moist place, like a subway in August. That can cause your pills to disintegrate or become pharmaceutically useless. Also, you know that every houseguest you have opens that mirror to see what you're hiding, don't you? During your next dinner party, leave a little note in there to greet them.
  • Keep your medications separate from your pet's medications. (Yes, I've seen it happen. And yes, it is gross. Just when your heartworms thought they were safe.)
  • Toss all outdated medications (including nicotine or birth control patches). I know this a major bummer, but old pills can lose their effectiveness, making them worthless. They're also a dangerous source of mistakes, because the pills in that bottle may now be a motley mix of several drugs - as well as a few Tic-Tacs and shirt-cuff buttons. Idle medication bottles in drawers tend to attract household flotsam over time.
YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment

More About this Book

YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment

Everyone needs to become a smart patient. In fact, in the worst cases, your life may even depend on it. Number one bestselling authors and doctors Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz have written this...
The bathroom medicine cabinet is the worst place to keep medication. The humidity and warmth can break down the formulations, rendering them ineffective. Heat and light can weaken them too. A great place for medications is on the top shelf of a dark, cool linen closet. A high kitchen cabinet (one that’s not above the stove or refrigerator) is another possibility. But don’t forget that some enterprising tykes like to push chairs over to kitchen counters and climb.

From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
 
The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

More About this Book

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do! "Moms and dads need expert guidelines, especially when it comes to their kids' health. This book reveals the inside strategies I use myself-I'm a parent,...

Continue Learning about Healthcare Basics

The Major Health Risk You Take Every Day
The Major Health Risk You Take Every Day
Most people think smoking is the worst thing they can possibly do for their health. But in reality, perhaps the worst thing of all is something most o...
Read More
What retirement and pension information should I organize before I die?
EverplansEverplans
It is important to organize your pension plans and retirement benefit information before you die. Th...
More Answers
What I Love About Nursing
What I Love About NursingWhat I Love About NursingWhat I Love About NursingWhat I Love About Nursing
In honor of Nurses' Week, check out these nurses from Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), and learn about what drives their passion to care for othe...
Start Slideshow
How Are Western Diseases Like Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease Impacting Developing Countries?
How Are Western Diseases Like Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease Impacting Developing Countries?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.