The medicine cabinet in your bathroom is one of the worst places to store medications, whether prescriptions or over-the-counter. The heat and humidity in bathrooms is hard on the pills and capsules, which can break down more quickly and exposure to the elements. The best place to keep medications is in drawers or cabinets in a cool dry place away from the heat and moisture and away from little hands.
Always store your medications in their original containers so you know what they are and if they have expired or when they are going to expire. Make sure the containers are closed tightly to protect the medications from moisture and prevent little hands from getting in. Make sure to throw away the cotton that comes inside those containers. The cotton can hold moisture, which can lead to damage medications.
What to have in your medicine cabinet:
- If you have children, one of the most important items to have is bandages in different sizes. Try colorful or themed bandages so the child is at ease.
- Aspirin for pain relief – for adults only – never give to children or teenagers. Use acetaminophen and ibuprofen and make sure to follow the dosage directions or consult your doctor.
- Calamine lotion to treat bug bites or rashes, an antihistamine cream for persistent irritations and a 1% cortisone cream for the stubborn itches.
- An over-the-counter allergy medication that won’t make you sleepy.
- Eye drops for itchy eyes – they do make products for contact wearers as well.
- Antacids are great if you have heart burn or an upset stomach
- Antibiotic ointments for minor cuts and scrapes
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Hydrogen Peroxide to clean wounds
- Antifungal creams to treat athlete’s foot
- Cough medicine
- Tooth paste
- Dental floss
- Cotton balls
- Disposable latex gloves
- Butterfly bandages
- Adhesive tape
Try to clean out your medicine cabinet at least once a year. Get rid of any over-the-counter medications that are out of date because some drugs can become toxic if kept too long. Make sure to follow the directions on the bottle to dispose of any medications. Don’t flush anything down the toilet unless it says to. Always take the medications out of their containers and mix with kitty litter so it is unappealing to children and pets.
Toss away any prescription medications you are done with. Never let another family member use unused prescription medications because it might not work for that family member or they may react differently to it than you did. Always remove your personal information from any prescription bottle to help protect your privacy.