ADEQUATE STORAGE OF YOUR MEDICINES
By Dr. Akinmutola Abayomi
All medicines are meant to be stored properly after purchase in ensuring that its integrity remain intact upon consumption, thus eliciting the desired response.
It is absolutely important that medicines are safely kept away from certain harsh environmental conditions and contaminants that may likely compromise their quality and pharmacological actions.
A number of medicines including dermatological preparations like creams and ointments are light sensitive. This simply means that they lose their potency or degrade substantially on exposure to light. To forestall this, pharmaceutical companies protect these light sensitive medicines by formulating them in light protective containers or packages.
As a precaution on the path of the consumers, once these medicines are opened, the unprotected medicines should not be exposed to fluorescent tubes and/or filtered daylight. They should be properly stored in a secured dark place or container restricted from direct exposure to sunlight.
There are other categories of medicines referred to as thermolabile or heat sensitive medicines. They are unstable to heat and deteriorate in quality and potency when heated or subjected to high temperatures.
Several vaccines, immunologic agents, insulin for diabetics, hormonal drugs, glycosides, some glaucoma eye drops, suppositories etc belongs to this category.
They are expected to be stored and perhaps transported or used at recommended temperatures specified by the manufacturers to prevent damage to the medication or untoward effects on the health of its end-users. It might not be ideal to consume some thermolabile medicines with hot liquids or foods.
Other drugs are hygroscopic in nature and once the tablets are broken or exposed to air, they absorb moisture and lose their efficacy and potency. These medicines should be consumed once opened in line with the dosage recommendation from your physician.
Medicines differ in their storage requirements. It is always important to ask your physician or pharmacist all the right questions and equip yourself with the right information you need about the ideal storage of all medicines purchased either for internal or external use. As we stay safe during this period, we should also ensure that our medicines are safely stored.
About the author: Dr. Abayomi is a Nigerian pharmacist, a social commentator, content creator and a public health enthusiast.