Whether over-the-counter or prescription, your medicine should work properly. One of the ways to ensure this is with proper use and storage. Check out these helpful tips on how to correctly use and store medicine.
Understand proper use of medicine
Taking your medicine as directed by your doctor or according to the directions on the packaging ensures it works as it should. Be sure to:
- Keep a list of your and your family’s medications.
- Give prescription medicines only to the person they were prescribed to.
- Ask your doctor about any interactions between your prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
- Review labels and take the proper dosage.
- Take medication with clean hands.
Store medicine safely
Properly storing medicine ensures it stays effective and does not spoil. Be sure to:
- Choose a safe and convenient spot for medicine storage.
- Store medicine in a dark, dry place.
- Store medicine in the original container.
If you are taking prescription medication, check with your pharmacist about specific storage instructions.
Keep medicine away from children
While properly used medicine is generally safe for adults, these same medicines can pose a danger to children. To protect kids from accidental poisoning, follow these simple rules:
- Keep medicine out of reach of children. Find a storage area children cannot get to. If you have medicine out, do not let children touch or play with it.
- Put medicine away immediately after use. Even if you use the medicine regularly, put it away once you’ve taken it. Remember to double-check the safety cap.
- Know the number for poison control. The national number for poison control is 800-222-1222. Save it in your phone so it's easy to access if you suspect or know a child has accidentally taken medicine.
Travel with medicine
Traveling with medicine does not have to be cumbersome. To maintain safety while traveling, check your dosage and make sure you have enough to get you through your trip and several days after in case of an emergency. Complete any prescription refills before traveling. Keep medicine with you (not in a suitcase) at all times.
Dispose of old medicine
Medicine that is expired can lose its effectiveness and be dangerous. Regularly go through your over-the-counter and prescription medications and throw away those that are expired or no longer needed. A good rule of thumb is to review your medications once a year and get rid of:
- Anything prescribed for an illness that has ended
- Expired medicine
- Medicine without labels
Proper use and storage of your medicine can help ensure it works effectively and guarantee your safety and that of your family.