One of the most common questions our pharmacists are asked is how to properly store medications. Aside from keeping your medication out of reach of others, it’s important to take temperature and moisture levels into consideration when storing your medication.
Every medication goes through stages of clinical trials and one of the most important aspects of the medication is the integrity. The integrity of the product is tested within a range of temperatures, moistures, and expiration dates. This is done in order to achieve a perfect range that will allow the product to keep its integrity and quality during this set time period. By storing the medication properly, the dose being taken will match what is being prescribed.
Most medications are best stored at room temperature (68-77 degrees F) and maintain their integrity best in a dry, dark, and cool place. By placing your medications in the bathroom or kitchen they are susceptible to moistures and higher temperatures. The moisture causes immediate degradation of any tablet or capsule and loosen up topical products.
Many manufactures recommend discarding the medication if it falls outside the recommended temperature range for greater than 5 hours. This is because they can no longer guarantee the medication is as strong as it was before. It is always important to monitor the look, smell, and taste of your medication before taking it.
Recommended ranges for medication requiring room temperature is 68-77 degrees F and refrigerated temperature is between 36-46 degrees F.
When traveling with medication it is always important to separate all medications into an organized storage container. Proper traveling bottles will be light and heat resistant. Following these tips will allow your medication to last longer at the current dosage.
DO keep your medication in light resistant medication bottles
DON’T keep loose tablets or capsules outside of a medication bottle
DO keep out of areas with moisture like bathrooms or kitchens
DON’T keep medication bottles in a car with high variance of temperatures
DO monitor expiration dates
DON’T mix different medications into one bottle
DO keep medication within 68-77 degrees F to decrease chances of degradation
DON’T use any damaged, discolored, dissolved, cracked or chipped tablets, capsules or topicals
DO be sure that medications are out of reach of any children or anyone who might misuse them
DO keep all medication in one area to decrease chances of loss
When in doubt, always consult your pharmacist if you are concerned about the quality of your medications or for further recommendations on proper medication storage.