Carpe Diem: Storing Home Meds
It's that time of year when everyone seems to be getting sick, and if you get sick, the first thing you tend to do is go to your medicine cabinet. So we went to the UTEP School of Pharmacy to talk to the experts about what is safe to take, that's been in your medicine cabinet a while.
First off, medicines are like milk. Medicines come with expiration dates, and once they expire, their potency starts to diminish. Mary Chavez, the associate dean at the UTEP School of Pharmacy, says studies are expensive but thesaid the military is currently studying how long after the expiration dates medicines can still be expected to work. Chavez says said the effectiveness of medicines after the expiration date is gradual decreases. In essence, they the medicines start to expire the day they reach the store shelf. So, Chavez suggested that if, if your medicines are potentially life altering-altering, get new ones and if they have expired, get new ones. Otherwise, you will probably see some benefit in taking medicines if they are not more than a year beyond the expiration date.
To store your medicines effectively, make sure you pay attention to the label about stating the temperature is best for them to beat which they should be stored. If they label says to keep the medicine sealed and away from sunlight, the UTEP experts say you can wrap the medicine in a dark brown paper bag or in aluminum foil, to shield the medications from sunlight. The UTEP experts say it's also a good idea to store your medicines somewhere other than the bathroom. There's too much bathrooms generate a lot of moisture, generated in most restrooms which can compromise your medications. Ultimately though, follow the information on how to best store your meds should be on the label of each individual package.
And one last Chavez also said is that, if someone in your household takes a swig directly out of a liquid medicine bottle, get rid of the medicine. The bacteria in such a medicine stored at room temperature can grow and make you even more ill.