Warning: in general, drugs do not support extreme temperatures. Always prefer a dry environment (between 15 and 25°C), away from heat and humidity. Otherwise, they may deteriorate, be less effective and even dangerous to your health.
Until now, you thought that your medications were safely stored in a perfectly suitable place? Maybe you missed some settings. Because there are actually a lot of factors to take into consideration.
Here are some tips on best medicine storage practices:
- The majority of medications should be stored in a cool, dry place, always away from direct sunlight and sometimes even light. They must also be left in their original packaging, as this will guarantee their validity until the date indicated on the product label.
- Please note: it is always essential to check the expiry date. An expired drug may not only be less effective, but in some cases it may even be toxic. Certain medications, such as eye drops and some syrups, must be consumed by a certain date. It is therefore advisable to note the date of opening on the packaging itself.
- It goes without saying, but you should always make sure that your medicines are out of the reach of children or pets.
- It’s better to put your medications in separate boxes instead of putting them in one place. Distinguish between those intended for adults and those intended for children. And don’t forget to always keep the instructions!
- Once opened, some medications may require refrigeration. So always read the label and the instructions to know how to store them correctly after opening and/or preparation. If you have any doubts, always ask your pharmacy for advice.
Storage in the bathroom: good or bad idea?
Contrary to popular belief, keeping your medications in the bathroom is not the best option. Yet this is where we almost all keep our “medicine cabinet”. However, according to specialists, this is not at all the most appropriate place to store medicines. And this, because of the heat and the humidity which reign in this place. Of course, you can keep your hygiene products and other cosmetic items there, but it is not recommended to leave medicines there.
Between the door which is often closed, the lack of ventilation, the steam coming from the shower and the constant humidity… the conditions are not optimal for your medicines which absolutely must remain dry and cool. They are therefore likely to deteriorate more quickly. Opt for a closet in the bedroom or a cupboard in the kitchen, away from heating appliances of course. And be sure to lock the box tightly.
NB : to optimize storage conditions, particularly in terms of temperature, always refer to the instructions. And of course, upon opening the medicine, if you suspect anything suspicious in its appearance, texture or smell, do not consume it.
What medicines can be kept in the fridge?
Some medications must be stored in the refrigerator. Particular attention should be paid in particular to heat-sensitive drugs, such as vaccines, insulins, hormones, eye drops, certain antibiotics, gels or even suppositories. All of them require low temperatures for their conservation, generally between 2 and 8°C.
In order not to make any mistake, each time you buy a medicine, the first thing to do is to read the leaflet to determine at what temperature it should be stored. So be very careful, because if you leave it in a hot or unsuitable environment, you risk advancing its expiry date!
- In the same way that you constantly watch for the expiry date of your food, you must also take the reflex to do so for your medicines. In general, you will find all the necessary information on the packaging or the instructions. To avoid any risk of infection, you must respect the shelf life and not exceed the expiration date.
- If you have children at home, be very careful not to leave your capsules or pills lying around, especially those that are colored and look like candies. Always keep medicines in a place inaccessible to young children.