Storing medications properly can help preserve them and help keep them from getting into the wrong hands.
The Cleveland Clinic offers these medication-storage recommendations:
- Follow storage instructions on the medication. Unless otherwise specified, keep them in a cool, dark and dry place.
- Avoid leaving medications in your car, bathroom or near any source of water or dampness.
- Refrigerate medications only if it says to do so on the label.
- Make sure all medications are stored safely out of a child's reach.
- If using a pill organizer, make sure all medications are easily identified.
- Keep medications in original containers with lids tightly closed; dispose of medications that are expired or those you no longer need.
Medications that are expired or no longer needed shouldn't be dumped down the sink or toilet, the U.S. Home Safety Council warns. Doing so could pollute our water, making animals and other people sick.
The council offers these suggestions for the safe disposal of medication:
- Remove the label from the bottle, then place the bottle inside a sealed plastic bag.
- Throw the sealed bag in the garbage, and keep pets and children away from this trash.
- If you need to dispose of pills, grind them up first. Mix the crushed pills into used coffee grounds, sand or cat litter.