A: First of all, storage of medications should be in a cool, dry place. Typically a bathroom is one of the worst places to store medications because of the fluctuations in temperature and moisture that occur in a bathroom due to baths or showers that are taken there. The excessive heat and moisture accelerates the breakdown of medications. A better place would in a kitchen cabinet away from the stove or in a clothing drawer away from access of children.
If medications are no longer taken, they should be immediately discarded. There is always that chance of taking the medication in error if you keep it around. Some medications — for example, tetracycline — can break down to a toxic product that can be very harmful. Most pharmacies can now take these medications, which are sent to a qualified disposal agent that does not discard them in the drain or sewer system, and they do not show up in the water supply. It is very good idea to go through all items both over-the-counter and prescriptions and discard all those medications not used or expired.
Information provided by Medicap Pharmacy, www.medicap.com.