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A Prescription for Change

Medicines need proper storage at home

SUNDAY, June 8, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- If you're like most people, the only time you think about what's inside your medicine cabinet is when you need to get something from it.

However, you should give more thought to the safety of medicines and other items stored in your medicine cabinet, says the Council on Family Health.

For example, heat and humidity can affect the potency of medicines. They need to be stored in a cool, dry place. That's especially important during the summer and when you're traveling. You should only store your medicines in the refrigerator if the medicine label tells you to do so.

Here are some other medicine storage and safety tips from the Council on Family Health:

  • Check expiration dates on medicines before you use them. Clean out your medicine cabinet at least once a year and throw away: all medicines that are out of date; medicines your doctor tells you to stop taking; medicines with a noticeable change in smell or color; medicines with labels or instructions that are missing or can't be read.
  • Store medicines and dietary supplements out of the sight and reach of children and be sure all your medicines have child-resistant caps. If you carry medicines in a purse or briefcase, make sure you put it out of sight and reach of children.
  • Always follow the usage and dosage instructions on medicine labels and pay attention to warnings. If you have questions, you should talk with your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

More information

Here's where you can find out more about proper medicine storage.

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