Medication: Safe Storage

It’s important to safely store medication for numerous reasons, including medication effectiveness and the safety of those who may come across your medications.


What can happen if medication isn’t stored safely?

  • Heat damage.
  • Light damage.
  • Air damage.
  • Moisture damage.
  • Damages previously listed could cause medication to become less effective or not effective.
  • Consumption by someone other than the person to whom the medication was prescribed.
    • This could result in illness, injury, and/or death.
      • Ex: A child gets in the cabinet and swallows multiple adult doses of a pain reliever, which can result in overdose and lead to death.
    • Someone who has a drug abuse/dependence struggle could get ahold of your medications.


What are some tips for safe storage of medication?

  • Follow the instructions provided with the medication.
    • Does your medication need to be stored in a cool, dry place?
    • Does your medication require refrigeration?
  • Make sure lids are firmly attached.
    • If a lid is not secure, a child or stranger could get into the medication.
  • Lock them up.
    • Ex: In a cabinet or drawer with a secure lock.
  • Store them up high.
    • Keep them out of easy reach of children.
  • Separate your medications.
    • Keep them separated from medications of other people in your household.
    • Keep all medications in separate containers.
  • Keep medications in original packaging.
    • Can protect from light.
    • Conveniently labeled for your safety.
  • Remove and dispose of cotton.
    • If there’s a cotton ball in your medication when you first open it, remove it and throw it away.
  • Be prepared to contact poison control.
    • If you think someone may have gotten into your medication, you can contact your poison control center. Program the following number into your phone(s), and use it to contact poison control: 800.222.1222.
  • Consult a professional.
    • Ask your doctor and/or pharmacist for specific storage instructions.



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