Most of us have a specific place in our home where we keep medicines, but many people disregard the storage instructions. What exactly is "room temperature"? What is the best place for storing medicines? And what happens if they are stored incorrectly?
Most people pay little attention to the packaging or the enclosed information sheet. In fact, the packaging usually provides important storage information. Where possible, you should store medicines in their original packaging, which provides a degree of protection against light, contamination and damage. You should also keep the enclosed sheet which provides important information on how to use the medicine.
Medicines must be stored at the right temperature if they are to remain effective. Temperatures that are too high can accelerate chemical decomposition processes. Medicines are usually stored in one of the following temperature ranges:
The bathroom is not an ideal place to store medicines because of the fluctuations in humidity and temperature. Ideally, medicines should be stored in a closed, odour-free cabinet which is protected against humidity and light and has a constant internal temperature. If you store medicines in the fridge, it's best to use the vegetable drawer, which offers a relatively constant temperature. Be sure to keep all medicines out of the reach of children.
It is important to clear out your medicine cabinet and first-aid kit regularly. Look at the use-before date and dispose of medicines that are out of date. If you no longer have the original packaging and want to know whether a medicine is out of date, you can look out for the following signs: