Proper storage of medications ensures optimum efficacy, stability and safety. Proper storage entails proper storage site, use of correct containers, maintaining proper labeling of all medications and record keeping.
Temperature, light, and moisture
Most medications are recommended to be stored at controlled room temperature in tight, air and light resistant containers unless otherwise specified. Room temperature is defined as between 59° to 86F° or 15° to 30°C. It is important to store medications according to the manufacturers recommendations as improper storage might compromise the medication’s stability, safety and efficacy.
Certain medications such as insulin, suppositories, and biologicals may require refrigeration. When refrigeration is required, medications are ideally kept in a separate container from foods so as to prevent seepage or contamination. Medication should also be in a location within the refrigerator relatively child-safe and able to maintain a constant temperature of between 2 to 8°C.
Ideal location within your home
Medications should be stored in a cool dry place away from light, heat or moisture. Storing medications in the bathroom or kitchen may not always be ideal as these areas commonly generate both heat and moisture that may dissolve or degrade medications. A common occurrence when storing medications in the bathroom is losing tablets should they fall into the sink or toilet area.
To ensure safety, the location of medications should be inaccessible to young children, visually and cognitively impaired adults, or pets. Storing all medicines in one designated location within your home will make it easier to locate when needed.