The Myth of the Medicine Cabinet: Crucial Do's and Dont's for Storing Pills

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Considering more than 80 percent of Americans take at least one medication, everyone should know how to safely store their pills.

Keeping pills in a safe place helps to protect curious children and pets. Plus, proper storage is the best way to preserve effectiveness and potency. After all, medications, vitamins, and supplements exist to keep us healthy—and storing them safely helps them do just that.

Not sure where to start? Browse the rooms in your home and take note of where your medications are. Then read these crucial dos and don’ts for storing pills and make adjustments where necessary. Read carefully—some of the tips may surprise you.

DON’T Store medication in the medicine cabinet. Based on its name, this tip might sound contradicting—but it’s truly one of the last places you should store medication. Why? Because heat, humidity, and temperature changes that occur in most bathrooms can damage medications, which may decrease their effectiveness.

✔️DO Store medication in the kitchen or bedroom, away from heat and humidity. This is why many Hero users keep their devices in these rooms. Bedrooms or kitchens are ideal environments for storing medications because they’re usually dry and cool.

DON’T Keep your medication past its expiration date. Expiration dates exist for a reason. The chemical composition of medications change over time. Expired medication may be less effective—and it can even be risky or harmful for your health.

✔️ DO Safely dispose of your medication when it’s expired. Start by reading the label to see if the manufacturer has provided specific disposal instructions. Otherwise, the best way to safely dispose of expired or unused medication is to drop it off at a local drug take back site. If none exist near you, you may be able to either flush them or toss them out in the garbage. The FDA provides instructions for which disposal method is best for each type of medication.

DON’T Leave medications where children can easily access them. Don’t store medications, vitamins, or supplements within sight or reach of children. If your child can see or access medications in drawers or on countertops, then it’s time to move them to a safer location. With Hero, medications are secure and concealed.

✔️ DO store medication high and out of reach from children. Put medicines “up and away” after each use. Always relock safety caps, and never leave medicine unattended at a sick child’s bedside. Be sure every household member, babysitter, and guest knows to place medication out of sight while they’re in your home. With Hero, you can avoid this issue altogether. Every Hero user has the option of setting a 4-digit password to keep medicine secure.

DON’T put medication in checked baggage when traveling. Leaving medications in checked luggage runs the risk of having them lost or stolen while on the go. Additionally, your luggage is exposed to extreme temperature shifts while in the cargo hold, which can potentially degrade the medication’s effectiveness.

✔️ DO carry medication in its original container and in your carry on when traveling. Keep your medications close by while traveling. As long as your medications are labeled and in their original containers, you likely won’t have a problem with pre-flight screenings. If you have additional questions about storing medications during a flight, call your airline beforehand.

Proper medication storage only takes a few minutes of careful planning. Following these dos and don’ts can help keep your family safe and preserve the life of your medications.

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The contents of the above article are for informational and educational purposes only. The article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified clinician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or its treatment and do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of information published by us.