- Michael Sparks, MD
As the weather turns "Florida Cold" this week, now is a good time to review the do's and don'ts of storing medications. Step one: definitely don't store your medications like this!
In the early days, medications were created with a mortar and pestle. Pills were actually made of dough or other similar ingredients which made storage and swallowing difficult. These days, our medication tablets are much sturdier but can still be impacted by various changes in temperature, humidity and light making storage conditions important.
Most oral medications recommend storage between 68 and 78 degrees, or "room temperature" including the vast majority of medications dispensed in our clinic. Some medications may require refrigeration to prolong their shelf life, like insulins and other injectable medications.
Medications should not be stored in areas with large amounts of humidity. Even though we call it a "medicine cabinet," your shelves in your bathroom are actually a terrible location to store medication.
It is also important that medications be stored out of the reach of children and in a safe & secure location. Lastly, the location should be somewhere routine to help prevent missed and forgotten doses. A kitchen cabinet away from your oven may be a great choice.
Note sure what the storage requirements of your medication are? Just send a quick text to your doctor's direct line and we'll confirm the details.
Where do you store your medications? What are your tips and tricks to ensure you don't miss doses? Let us know in the comments!