Where Do You Store Your Medications?
Older age doesn’t necessarily mean poor health. Yet some medical conditions, including heart disease, arthritis and type 2 diabetes, tend to disproportionately affect the senior population. If you too have been diagnosed with narrowed arteries, inflamed joints or poor insulin production, odds are you are taking one or more medications to control it. While those prescriptions can prove integral to maintaining a high quality of life, improper medication storage could lead to life-threatening complications.
Steer Clear of Heat
Imagine the following scenario: you forget a bag of groceries in your car for several hours as outside temperatures hit upwards of 90 degrees. Once you realize your mistake, would you still eat that carton of eggs or package of hot dogs? Probably not. Yet when you keep your prescriptions in the bathroom or anywhere else prone to high heat, you risk compromising the integrity of those drugs. Instead, store your prescriptions in a location where the temperature consistently hovers around 72 degrees unless directions specify refrigeration.
Prevent Moisture Damage
Another reason why the bathroom is bad for medications: it’s probably the most humid room in the house. Consider how many times in a week you wipe down the mirror because your bath has fogged it up. The National Institutes of Health notes that humidity can rapidly degrade medications, making them ineffective or even dangerous to use. If you use a humidifier in your bedroom, it might also make a poor locale for medication storage. To keep your prescriptions cool and dry, move them to a linen closet or pantry that isn’t vulnerable to moisture damage.
Avoid Prescription Mix-Ups
Do you live with a spouse or elderly parent who also takes medications? If so, keep your prescriptions apart from each other. While storing medications in the same place might be convenient, it could set the stage for a drug mix-up that sends you or someone else to the emergency room. Even if you know the medications that belong to you, poor vision or cognitive decline could make it easy for a loved one to ingest the wrong drug. If only a single closet is suitable for medication storage, separate your prescriptions in secure boxes.