Knock offs or the real deal? Long known to be safe, effective and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), generics now make up 80 percent of all prescriptions filled.
The summer is heating up and traveling is back into swing – making it the perfect time for a refresher on how to store your medications.
Here are some quick tips and friendly reminders to keep you and the fam safe and healthy.
Surprisingly, your medicine cabinet is not the best place to store your medications. Steamy showers and warm water make bathrooms hot and humid. This can lessen the potency of your medications. It’s better to store them in a cool, dry place such as your bedroom or kitchen.
When flying, it’s best to keep your medications with you. You never know when your checked bags might get lost. Plus, checked bags are susceptible to extreme temperatures in the cargo hold that can impact a medication’s effectiveness.
With the hot summer months upon us, temperatures inside cars can easily reach triple digits. Try to keep your car cool, and when you leave your car, take your meds with you so they are not exposed to direct heat or sunlight.
Kiddos are quick and curious. Always keep medications out of reach and out of sight of children. Look around your home for places out of sight and reach of a small child, like the highest shelf in a tall kitchen cabinet.
If the bottle comes with a cotton ball, remove it when you open as it can draw in moisture. Original containers also come with childproof caps that add another layer of safety.
If a take-back program is not readily available, another option recommended by the FDA is to take the pills out of the bottle and put them in a sealed bag with coffee grounds or kitty litter, rather than throwing them out in the trash. Also, be sure to scratch out any personal information on the bottles in case someone might go through your trash looking for drugs. In some cases, medications may be flushed down the toilet – see the FDA’s disposal drug list: Drug Disposal: FDA’s Flush List for Certain Medicines | FDA.
For more information on what to do when you no longer need your medicines, visit this FDA page.
If you have any questions about storing medications, always ask your pharmacist!