Your Complete Guide to Medicine Handling - What Happens if Medication is Not Stored Properly?

/ By DSI Marketing TeamNovember 1, 2022

Have you ever wondered what the ideal process for medical supply storage is? Medical supplies, particularly medicines, are sensitive products as they can get ruined if not stored properly.

What's even worse is that medicines can cause harm if they are not taken according to their proper prescription.

Why Proper Medicine Storage is Important

The average elderly person takes more than seven medications on a daily basis. Some of those are prescription medications while others are over-the-counter (OTC) medicines—the said medications must be stored at home. If those medications were not stored properly. There could be some serious problems stemming from that.

Different drugs, whether they come in the form of pills, capsules, or tablets, must be kept in safe storage. Mistakes in the storing of these medications can be costly. Imagine having to buy a whole new batch of medication just because the first one was not stored properly.

More importantly, this can also pose dangers to those taking those medicines. Not only can exposure to high temperatures and moisture reduces the effectiveness and potency of the medications, but they can also make them dangerous to those using them. 

A major part of proper medication storage is to ensure that it is properly identified. A bottle of medicine that has the wrong label and is mistakenly taken can cause a great deal of harm to a patient.

These are just some of the reasons why medications should be stored according to the recommendations of the manufacturer, doctor, and pharmacist.

Proper Medicine Storage

Whether the medications are for you or for your loved ones, you need to make sure that they are stored properly. This is something that should not be taken lightly because it can cause harm to the person taking it.

Here are some steps that you can follow how you can ensure proper storage of medication in your home.

Read the Labels

The first step in proper medication storage is reading the label and making sure that you understand it. The labels on the medicine containers will have information on the side effects and other warnings.

More importantly, the labels will have directions on the proper storage of the medication. Make sure that you understand all directions and if there is something unclear, then you need to seek more information about it.

Keep it Away from Moisture

Many families keep their medicines in the bathroom. However, it is a bad place to store medication.

Many medications can lose their potency when exposed to too much moisture and the bathroom is the place in your home to keep them away, this is because of the running hot water in the shower.

The best place to store medicine is a location that is dry and has temperature control, which is the bedroom. It's also a safe place to keep medicine away from children and pets.  

Keep Medications Separate

You need to store medications separately. Some medications will have to be taken daily, while others just when they are needed. It's important to keep them separate so the users will not get confused. Some pills look very much alike and if they are stored together, people might confuse them and take the wrong one. 

The best move you can make is to have separate compartments for the medications based on how often they should be taken or who should be taking them.

Do Not Use Pill Boxes

The use of pill boxes is quite popular among seniors, especially with the advent of digital ones. The boxes help to remind them when they have to take their medication. Unfortunately, the pillboxes mix the medicines together and that can cause them to lose some of their effectiveness. 

There is also the danger of getting the wrong dosage because of these boxes. Sometimes, when the doses of the medications are changed, the patient may forget to change the setting of the digital pill box.

Lock Up Medications

When someone in your household suffers from some form of cognitive impairment, it would be a good idea to keep all medications locked up.

There should be someone administering their medications and they should have no access to them.

Proper Medicine Disposal

Now, not all of the medication in your home will be used. Some will go past their expiration date. How do you dispose of those old medicines?

You should not throw them in the regular trash where someone might get them and be harmed.  It's also possible that someone might use those unused medicines intentionally. There are several ways that you can dispose of unused medicines safely.

Drug Take-Back Program

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has a drug take-back program that takes unused drugs for proper disposal.

They also have permanent sites where you can deposit unused drugs. The only problem is that these locations may be far from your location.

Special Disposal Instructions

Some medicines contain active substances that can be very harmful if ingested accidentally. Manufacturers of drugs with those substances provide clear instructions on the labels on how to properly dispose of their unused medicines.

Proper Medicine Disposal

If there are no instructions from the manufacturer on how to dispose of your medicines, here are simple steps to ensure that they get rid of them properly:

  1. The first thing you can do is mix the medicine with inedible materials like dirt or cat litter. 
  2. Then you can place the mixed material in a sealed bag.
  3. Throw away the container together with other household waste.
  4. On the medicine containers, make sure that you remove all the information on the label before throwing them away.

Proper medicine storage is something that everyone should be aware of. These steps listed here should guide you on the proper steps that you can take to achieve that.

Proper Medical Storage with DSI 

If you need products that can help with proper medical supply storage, then visit our website now. We have all the storage supplies needed from operating rooms to pharmacies. 

For regular medical supplies, we offer unique storage basket interiors with roll-down doors or glass doors. Our units come in different widths, depths, and heights. The carts are mobile and modular in design.

To learn more about how our medical supply storage can keep your medications effective, contact our team at 800-393-6090 at Distribution Systems International today!

Recent Articles

Get A Quote

Distribution Systems International
25901 Commercentre Dr. Lake Forest, CA 92630
© 2024 Distribution Systems International. All Rights Reserved.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram