Medicines Optimisation

Storing and Disposing of Medication

Safely storing and disposing of your medicines

All medicines must be stored out of the sight and reach of children, ideally in a locked cabinet or secure location. Do not remove medicines from the original packaging as this contains important information about your medicine. Never take any medicine that is past the expiry date.

For medicines to be effective they must be stored correctly. Usually medicines are stored in a cool, dry place. This should be out of direct sunlight and heat sources and not in a bathroom or kitchen where the humidity can affect the stability of the medicines. Never take any medicines that have changed colour or consistency without first checking with your pharmacist.

Some medicines must be stored in a fridge. They should be kept in their original packaging and kept away from food. Check the expiry date as refrigerated medicines often have a shorter expiry date than non refrigerated medicines.

Do not keep old or unwanted medicines. These should be returned to your community pharmacy for disposal. Never put them in the dustbin or flush them down the toilet.

To reduce the amount of waste medicines, only order what you need and have an annual medicines use review from your community pharmacist. This helps you to understand more about the medicines you take for your condition and prevents unnecessary prescriptions being issued.

If in doubt, ask your local pharmacist who will be able to give you good advice.