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18-Dec-13 8:00 AM  CST  

Remembering Proper Medication Safety This Holiday 

The holidays can be a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends, but there are some individuals that may take advantage of stored medications in their loved ones or friends’ home to support a drug problem.  Most people would like to believe that everyone is honest, especially at holiday time, but that is not always the case.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that 50% of prescription drug abusers got prescription drugs from family or friends for free. 

            Simply putting prescription drugs in a drawer or cabinet will not ensure loved ones with a drug problem or teenagers for that matter will keep out of Rx drugs.  If medications are not stored properly and not at the right temperature, medications can become dangerous as the drug’s strength, potency, and effectiveness may become altered.  Here are some other helpful ways to keep medication safe this holiday season: 


  • Keep drugs out of children’s reach. 


  • Pet and people medications should be kept in a safe place so pets do not get into them. 


  • Never store medications in a car.  Pick a cool and dry area to store meds.    


  • Some medications may need refrigeration.  Patients should always read drug labels and patient inserts for more information on storing their drugs. 


  • When in doubt, tell patients to always ask their pharmacist if they are unsure about the storage of pharmaceuticals. 


            Help patients avoid dangerous disasters concerning medications by helping them stay properly informed regarding their health and medication.  More information can be found by going to





1.  AWARxE Newsletter.  “Store Your Medications Properly and Keep the Holidays Merry.”  Web.  Date of Access:  15 Dec 2013. 


2.  Medline Plus Health Information.  “Storing Medicine Safely.”  MedlinePlus.  Web.  Date of Access:  15 Dec 2013.  

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For additional information on this Article article, please contact:

Jennifer O'Reilly

Source: Jennifer S. O’Reilly for NPTA

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