Ensuring Your Medicine Cabinet Is Helpful, Not Harmful
A2 Aesthetic and Anti-Ageing Magazine|Autumn 2020 – Issue 33
When last did you clean out your medicine cabinet? And are you engaging in other risky behaviour, like sharing prescription meds? Mandy Collins looks at why that’s a bad idea.
Mandy Collins
Anyone who’s ever been on social media knows that if you post something about how stressed you are, it doesn’t take long before someone comments that they are happy to rush right on over and give you some of their anxiety meds.

Or maybe you’ve been in a situation where you’ve had a headache at someone’s house, and the host is scrabbling around in their medicine cabinet for some painkillers to give you… which they do – only it’s their highly scheduled pain medication that was prescribed to them post-operatively.

Or... perhaps you – like me – have looked in desperation for some eye drops, and found a bottle languishing in the boot of your car that’s five years past the expiry date… yet used it anyway. Yes, I’m aware that it wasn’t clever, but I was desperate – not to mention very lucky that I didn’t do myself any serious damage.

Suffice it to say that most of us make all kinds of potentially harmful mistakes when it comes to the way we handle our meds, but we really should be taking more care. And the first thing most people do wrong when it comes to medication, says pharmacist Dr Deepa Maharaj – who is also director of Africa Regulatory Affairs for GlaxoSmithKline South Africa – is that we don’t follow the manufacturer’s storage instructions.

Safe storage guidelines

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