Health and Lifestyle for the over 50s

Tips For Keeping a Well-Stocked Medicine Cabinet

Posted by The Best of Health
Categories: Health and Wellbeing /


Medicine cabinets can often become cluttered spaces where useful medications are lost amongst piles of things you haven’t used for years, but avoiding this will allow you to be better prepared for minor mishaps. Here are some tips to help you to make your medicine cabinet as useful as it can be.

Choose the Right Storage Space
A lot of people have a medicine cabinet in the bathroom, but this is actually the worst place to keep medications. Medicines are sensitive to light, heat, humidity and moisture, making bathroom conditions the opposite of ideal. You should store medications in a cool, dry, dark place. Make sure they are kept away from direct light or heat sources, such as windows or radiators.

Pain Relief
You should keep a few different types of painkillers in your cabinet, which will help with a wide variety of ailments. Ibuprofen, paracetamol and aspirin will all come in handy when dealing with minor illnesses, pains, headaches and menstrual cramps.

First Aid
It’s advisable to have the necessary equipment for dealing with minor cuts, sprains and bruises. This includes plasters, bandages, sterile dressing, and antiseptic creams to ensure that cuts and stings do not become infected.

Other useful items include a thermometer, eyewash solution for clearing dirt or grit out of the eyes, and tweezers for taking out splinters.

Cold and Allergy Relief
Colds are very common, so you should always be prepared to deal with them. Targeted cold medicines, nasal sprays, cough medicines and lozenges for sore throats are always worth having in the house.

A well-stocked medicine cabinet will also include antihistamines to use in the event of allergic reactions or seasonal allergies. Tablets can help to control hay fever symptoms and minor allergic reactions, while antihistamine creams can soothe insect stings and bites, rashes, and itches caused by stinging nettles.

Oral Care
A section of your medicine cabinet should be dedicated to your oral health, which must be maintained with more than just toothpaste. Here, you should store dental floss, mouthwash, and perhaps a spare toothbrush or two, as you should be changing them every two to three months to avoid a build-up of germs and bacteria in the bristles.

Practice Safe Disposal
It’s important to remember that all medications have an expiry date, so make sure you’re aware of how long you can keep using the items in your medicine cabinet for. When it’s time to throw them away, you should never just throw them in the bin or flush them down the toilet, where they can taint landfill sites and water supplies. You should take expired or unwanted medicines to your pharmacist, who can dispose of them safely for you.

It’s easy to accumulate too many useless bottles, tubes and boxes in your medicine cabinet, but try to have regular clear-outs and keep it as organised as possible. This will make it easier to ensure that you have everything you need to hand when minor illnesses or injuries happen.

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