Safe Medication Storage Strategies
Where to keep your pills and how to dispose of expired meds
Many of us keep our medications in a bathroom medicine cabinet, but experts say that’s not the most appropriate place. “Storing them in the bathroom can introduce moisture to the medications, which can speed up their breakdown,” says Sunny Linnebur, PharmD. Consider keeping them in a hall closet or kitchen cabinet, where they’re less likely to be exposed to moisture from a steamy shower.
For medications you use regularly, choose a spot in a room you frequent daily, such as a small storage bin on the kitchen countertop next to your coffee maker.
How to Dispose of Pills Safely
Some drugs can be risky in the wrong hands. So before you throw meds away, see whether your local pharmacy offers a medicine drop-off box or mail-back program, or check for local locations. If you can’t find or get to a nearby program, you can put most medicines into your household trash. Remove drugs from their containers and mix with an unappealing substance, such as cat litter or used coffee grounds. Place in a resealable plastic bag before disposal. Certain drugs, like those with fentanyl (such as Abstral and Actiq) or hydrocodone (like Norco and Vicodin) should not be thrown in the trash. Flush those down the toilet.