There are a lot of things to check around the house as California starts heating up for summer; one of them is that your medications are being stored properly. Medications that are good for you can become ineffective or damaged when exposed to heat.
While outdoor heat can damage medications, year-round heat inside the house can cause trouble as well. Most people store medicines in a bathroom cabinet; heat and steam from showers and sinks can damage medicines, diminishing their potency, or cause them to go bad before the expiration date.
Experts recommend consumers store medicines in a cool, dry place such as a dresser drawer or kitchen cabinet away from any hot appliances or the sink. Also avoid potential problems by not exposing medicines to the sun or leaving them in a hot vehicle. Most importantly, drugs should always stored out of the reach and sight of children—and teens. Prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic and can lead to addiction, overdose, or even death. Take 30 seconds to watch this message from the State Board of Pharmacy regarding prescription drug abuse:
Never take any medicines after the expiration date, and don’t take medicine that has changed color, texture, or smell, even if it has not expired. If you have drugs that need to be disposed of, make sure you do it safely; National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is this Saturday, April 29. To find a drop-off location near you, go to https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.
It’s always wise to consult a pharmacist, who can provide product-specific advice for storing and preserving medicines. There are other reasons to talk to your pharmacist; make sure the prescription you pick up is the right medication and dosage prescribed by your doctor. Watch this message from the State Board of Pharmacy:
For more consumer tips and information and to verify a pharmacist’s license, go to http://www.pharmacy.ca.gov.