The medicine cabinet is coincidentally not the best spot to store medication. It shouldn’t even be called the “medicine cabinet” but rather the “vitamin, cosmetics, first aid, and miscellaneous cabinet.”
The number of non-medicine items in the cabinet makes it a poor spot to store prescriptions, but more importantly, the private nature of the bathroom makes it a dangerous place. Medication safety is critical. Let’s talk about how to store, use, and dispose of prescriptions.
Not The Medicine Cabinet
Most people like to take hot showers, making the bathroom warm and humid. Heat and humidity are not ideal for prescriptions, making the medicine cabinet a poor spot.
Likewise, out of sight means out of mind, so you’re prone to forget your meds and not take them.
An Obvious Box
Use an obvious box decorated to your liking to store your medications. A decorative box will ensure you see it and remember to take your prescription(s).
It is essential to keep the box out of reach of children and pets but still visible to you. For example, above a high kitchen cupboard where you can see it would be a good idea.
A Cool & Dry Climate
The best place to store medication is cool, dry, and out of the sun. A box will keep them out of the light, so find a cool, dry place for them.
Lock Them Up
Some medications (specifically pain, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressants) can be habit-forming and very dangerous when consumed by non-prescribed individuals. Locking these prescriptions in a drawer, box, or bag is strongly recommended.
Use a Color Code
Create a color code if you take multiple medications or live with others with prescriptions. You can use stickers, rubber bands, markers, or whatever you have available.
The code has no rules as long as it makes sense to you and your household.
Keep track of what prescriptions you have. You must know which physician prescribed it, for whom, why, and its expiration date. All expired medications must be disposed of properly.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) offers a search utility to find public disposal locations for your controlled substance(s). https://apps.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main;jsessionid=-OEfSZuY_1Qp_2TTecOOAq9Tp454zSubrWkvPFoP.web1?execution=e1s1 Additionally, select Walgreens’ offer medication disposal.
Mix the prescription with dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds in a bag and place it in the trash if there are no public disposal locations nearby. Mixing the prescription with undesirable items will prevent people and animals from consuming the medication. Remove or cross off all personal information from the bill bottle before throwing it away.
Use a pill organizer if you must take pills on specific days or at certain times. Try to find a pill organizer that’s travel-friendly.
This will make it easy to take your pills with you wherever you go under any circumstance. A film bottle is great pill organizer if you are prescribed to one medication; they’re dark and small, which makes it easy to stash in your purse, backpack, jacket pocket, or any other dry and cool location.