How long has it been since you've cleaned out your medicine cabinet?
If you needed something in there during the night, do you know if it's even safe to use anymore? That's a common problem for most of us. We tend to save leftover medicine for later until our medicine cabinet is full of stuff we can't use anymore, or shouldn't.
Janie Robles is the Asst. Professor of the School of Pharmacy on the Faculty at the Texas Tech School of Medicine and she says it's a great idea to make the same New Year's Resolution every year to clean out your medicine cabinet and get rid of outdated medicine so you know your little home pharmacy is safe to use. However, she says, remember that good medicine can go bad before it's time if you store it in the wrong room.
"Proper storage of medication will help keep it in top quality condition. The best place to store medicine of any kind is an area where the temperature remains constant away from heat and humidity. A cool dry area like a shelf in a closet is a perfect place, it is out of reach of children and pets," said Dr. Robles.
She says a lot of medications need protection from heat and also light. Even the simple stuff, like aspirin can go bad and may take on an odd smell, like vinegar and she says while you're cleaning your medicine cabinet, take a minute to write down the name of every drug you take, the dosage and why you're taking it. That's important information you should keep on you in case of an emergency and make sure your doctor has a copy too.
Let's all make a New Year's resolution to clean out the medicine cabinet and store it all in a cool, dry place. From the Texas Tech Health Science Center, that's Sharp advice from Texas Tech.