Medicines: storage and shelf life

Storage of medicines

Medicines should be kept cool, dark and dry, preferably in a cupboard. Shoe boxes, tin cans with and without lids or just any drawer are unsuitable. The best place for a medicine cabinet is the bedroom or an unheated adjoining room. Bathroom and kitchen are usually too humid and too warm - this can harm the medication. The medicine cabinet should be lockable. This is especially true when children live in the household. The child-safe storage of medication is easily neglected, even if a child is just sick and the medication is needed regularly. Medicines should therefore be put back into the drug cabinet after each administration. If medication is given at home during a course of illness, one should record the time of day and dose on a single sheet. The body temperature can be entered there after the fever fairs. The course of the disease can thus be better documented and the dosage intervals better adhered to.

Consume medication?

Most medicines must be taken in full pack strength. This is especially true for antibiotics. The unauthorized discontinuation of antibiotics means that not all bacteria are killed and the remaining resistant to the drug. If drugs are not completely used up, they should be disposed of. Other medications, such as B. Painkillers may continue to be used until the expiration date. Medicines should always be kept in the packaging together with the package leaflet. You should also make a note of the packaging, who the product was intended for, and when it started. However, this does not mean that you can take the drug in a later illness without consultation of the doctor independently.

Shelf life of medication

Medicines have a limited shelf life. After expiration of the use-by date printed on the package, the drug may lose its effectiveness. Some evidence of potentially corrupted medications can be easily recognized with the naked eye:

  • Tablets have dark spots.
  • Dragees are discolored or cracked.
  • Ointments or creams smell rancid, have dried or liquefied.
  • In an actually clear liquid there is sediment and floating flakes.
  • Suppositories glitter and show crystals on the surface.

So that ointments and creams, which are produced in the pharmacy according to a precise recipe, are not contaminated, you should always remove the contents with a clean spatula. Good to own wooden spatula, which are thrown away after a single use. Eye drops are usually stable for a few weeks after opening - details are given in the package leaflet.

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