The Importance of Proper Medication Storage Tips for Keeping Your Medicines Safe and Effective
While having the right medicine on hand is important, one factor that is often overlooked is how best to store it.
Storing medication safely is more than just finding enough space to keep it until needed. You need to consider things like storing products at the correct temperature or away from light to prevent deterioration.
They must also be easily accessible when needed for emergencies, while also safely out of the reach of children and pets. Proper storage of medication could mean the difference between life and death.
Therefore, here is a guide on proper medication storage and how you can use medication storage bags to keep items safe and extend their life.
Temperature and Lighting Considerations
One of the first things to consider when storing medicines is the environmental conditions, they need to be kept in.
If medicines are kept in the wrong conditions they can deteriorate faster, making them less effective. This can potentially lead to inaccurate dosages being given which in turn can lead to serious health problems. Therefore, make sure as soon as you receive the medication you carefully read the storage instructions on the label.
Most medicines need to be stored in a cool area, with some needing refrigeration. Many medications can also degrade when exposed to light, so they need to be stored in a dark place, or a container that minimises light exposure, such as a medicine storage bag.
By taking these measures you can ensure medicines will remain effective for longer.
Another problem that can occur when storing medicine is if they are not correctly labelled.
Most medicines when purchased and delivered will have some form of labelling to indicate what they are, the correct dosage and the best storage conditions.
In some cases, though the medicine may be placed in separate unlabelled containers for space-saving reasons. The risk here is that it can be very easy to get unlabelled medicines mixed up, leading to the wrong patient receiving the medicine.
In addition, improper labelling makes the medicine potentially hard to find, which can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. If possible, make sure the medicine is kept in its original packaging when stored, or at least properly labelled if transferred to a new container or into medication storage bags.
Safety & Security
Carefully checking that only the right people have access to medicines is just as important as ensuring that you also have easy access. Should the medicines be available to anyone, they could potentially be stolen and misused, or accidentally misplaced.
Keeping medicines out of the reach of children and pets is also vital. Make sure items are kept in a secure location out of reach and sight and keep them all in their specified location such as a medicine storage bag when not in use.
Also, ensure medicines are sealed with the safety cap in place, so they remain secure and out of the wrong hands.
Other Important Tips
- Make sure everyone involved is informed about medicine safety. This includes health personnel, patients, guests, and visitors. Emphasise the importance of keeping any medicines they have out of sight and secure on their person.
- Teach your children about medicine safety and that they must only take one when given by a trusted adult. Never, under any circumstances, tell children that medicines are sweets.
- For medicines that require refrigeration, have an emergency plan if the power goes out. Cooler bags with ice packs are one potential solution.
- Have a medication management plan in place for each patient listing all the medications they need, the appropriate dosage, when they need to take the medicine and what to do if a dosage is missed.
- Use medication storage bags to keep medicines separate, easily identified by relevant parties, and fully secure.
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