Thursday, October 28, 2010

trade secrets: "must haves" for the medicine cabinet

Does your medicine cabinet seem like a black hole cluttered with prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications? How frequently do you think your medicine cabinet should get a check-up? Where should medications be stored? What kinds of medicines and first aid products should you have on hand to treat minor ailments and injuries? These are important questions to answer to prevent taking outdated medications and avoid potential complications.

Medicine Cabinet Check-ups
It is recommended that you give your medicine a check-up every 6 months or at least once a year. The first step is to take a look at all the medicines (prescription and OTC) and supplies that you have. Check the expiration date on every medication. You don’t want to take chances with a medicine that no longer works the way it’s supposed to or has become a breeding ground for bacteria or fungus. Look for medicines that are discolored, dried out, crumbling, or show other signs that they are past their prime. Discard outdated medications and supplies (including sunscreens) and medications you are no longer taking. Restock supplies that are low or are missing as needed.

Safe Storage for Your Medications
Contrary to popular belief, medications should not be stored in the bathroom medicine cabinet. Showers and baths create heat and humidity that can cause some drugs to deteriorate. It is best to keep your medications in an area that is convenient, cool, and dry. Other first aid products (such as bandages, tweezers, gauze, cotton balls, etc) may be stored in your bathroom medicine cabinet because they are not affected by heat and humidity. Keep all items in their original containers so that no one takes the wrong medicine. Accidental overdoses can occur in children of all ages. Medications should be kept out of the reach of young children, locked up in a drawer or cabinet or on a shelf that they cannot reach. It is important that parents talk with their teenagers about the negative effects (accidental overdose, death) of using OTC medications and other household products.

Here is a list from Pharmacy Times for "must haves" {You can enlarge by clicking on the picture}:

Feel free to share away with friends and family or not. Either way, it will be our little secret.



  1. Another great and informative blog. A reminder for all of us to get busy and clear out old medications. I am also going to throw out some old suncreen.

    Thank you!

  2. I always have trouble knowing what to do with the old meds. Do you just toss?

  3. I do remember hearing that you shouldnt store meds in the bathroom but I needed to be reminded so thank you!
    Im pretty good about tossing expired meds too. Hubs is cheap and always wants to keep them but I tell him we're not taking chances!
    Love this series. Keep it up!:)

  4. great post! When I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets, I found tons of otc meds that had expired.
    have a great weekend

  5. Great post! Thanks for the information!!! We recently went through ours... I have apparently been moving medicines with me since college... I graduated 6 years ago. I thought we had a well stocked supply... until we got rid of everything that was outdated... yikes!


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