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Issues with Storing Medicine

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  • Last updated:Last updated:2020/09/29
  • Publish date:Publish date:2020/09/16
"Hey, pharmacist! My medicine seems to have spoiled. Shall I keep on taking it?" It has been very hot recently with the temperature surging over 30 degrees Celsius. Due to the high temperature, medicine pills crash into pieces easily when touched. Sometimes the medicine even seems moldy. In fact, all these issues result from the mistakes of storage.

In addition to that, the Health Promotion Administration noticed that elderly might have a wrong concept that refrigerator can keep the medicine fresh just like how it keeps food fresh, so they store medicine in the fridge when they return home from the hospital. In terms of this problem, Ying-Wei Wang, Director-general of Health Promotion Administration, reminded the public that for most of the medicine, it is incorrect to store it in the fridge. The correct way of storing medicine is actually very simple, we just need to store it in accordance with the instructions on the package, bag or direction of the medicine.

Three Tips when Storing Medicine
Most medicine can spoil easily under sunlight, high temperature or high humidity. Thus, the Health Promotion Organization reminds the elderly that there are three tips we shall avoid when it comes to medicine storage.
1. Do Not Store Medicine in the Refrigerator
Most medicine can be properly preserved in the dry and dark places at room temperature. If we take the medicine in and out of the fridge frequently, it may absorb humidity and have a higher risk of spoilage. Therefore, unless the description on the medicine bag tells us to store the medicine at 2 to 8°c, we shall NEVER put any medicine in the refrigerator.

2. Do Not Store Medicine in the Kitchen or Near the Window
When storing medicine, it is important to avoid sunlight, high humidity and heat. If we put medicine in the bathroom, kitchen, or near the windows, then the humidity, heat or sunlight may compromise the efficacy of the medicine. Additionally, during summer time, the temperature may surge over 50°c inside a car, so we should not leave the medicine inside our cars. As for the special types of medicine that are used to save lives such as nitroglycerin for angina pectoris, medicine for cardiovascular disease, anticonvulsive medicine, oral medicine for chemotherapy, insulin, pharmaceutical preparation of hormone, anti-infective medicine, and so on, we have to strictly comply with the standard way of storage. Whenever you have doubt before taking any kind of medication, please consult with pharmacist near you.
3. Do Not Redistribute Medicine into New Containers
After taking the medicine, we should put it back into its original package. In order to avoid any misuse or using expired medicine. You should not redistribute the medicine into new containers. Furthermore, some medicine containers were designed to block severe sunlight and heat. If we redistribute the medicine into our own containers, the medicine may spoil easily. Last but not least, we should not abandon the package if we have not finished taking the medicine. Otherwise, we might misuse the medicine.

Each medicine has its expiration date. Thus, the Health Promotion Organization reminds everybody to help the elderly check all the medicine at home every once in a while to see if there is any expiration or spoilage. Moreover, we should avoid sharing medicine with others. A certain type of medicine might not be suitable for each individual. We need to see the doctor in person if we are not feeling well. We shall go to the hospital by ourselves and get the medicine that is specific to cope with our disease. When it comes to taking the medicine, taking it with water is highly recommended. We should avoid taking medicine with milk, tea, or beverage; otherwise, it might cause side effects or the efficacy might be reduced.

Inquiry on News Information: Social Health Group Group Leader Su-Ying Luo, TEL: 0988-595-568, 02-2522-0750
News Contact: Task Force for Congress and Media Senior Specialist Yong-Jhih Ye, TEL: 0972-725-705, 02-2522-0585