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Q: I’ve heard the bathroom medicine cabinet isn’t the best place to store medications. Is this true?

Posted May 01, 2013 in Advice Column, Johnston

A: Yes. Every time you bathe the temperature and humidity in the bathroom changes. Most medications should be kept away from moisture or high temperatures because both of these can affect the potency of a medication.

Two things can happen if the temperature is not kept in the proper range. First, the drug might lose its effectiveness and not work as well as it normally would have. Second, the medication may become harmful. Instead of a bathroom medicine cabinet, store medications in a cool, dry place away from bright windows or rooms affected by outside weather. Find a place you are in at the same time every day so it will become part of your daily routine to take your medications as prescribed. A dresser drawer or kitchen cabinet often works well. If medications are stored in the kitchen, make sure they are away from the stove, sink and any heat-releasing appliance. Store medications away from kids and pets. If you must keep medications in a bathroom, keep the containers tightly closed and do not repackage them. Never use a medication that has changed color, consistency or odor regardless of the expiration date. The information sheet you receive from the pharmacy has storage requirements for each medication. If you have any questions about the medication you are taking you should consult your local pharmacist.

Information provided by Stephanie Main, R.Ph., Hy-Vee Pharmacy, 5750 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, 270-9045.

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