MEDICINES : SHARING IS (POTENTIALLY) SCARY!
Have you ever kept prescribed medicines for “future use”? You know, for a later time in need, and you don’t feel like going to the clinic or the pharmacy to get new meds. Well, they worked back then, so they must be working now too, right?
Malaysians just love to play doctors, prescribing their family members with any type of medicines at their own will. But did you know that, like anything else you can put into your mouth like food, medicines do have expiry dates too. On top of that, each medicine has its own method of storage. If you fail to adhere to any of these two things, you might cause the medicines to lose their effects.
“I took one already, but it doesn’t work. Hmm.. just take one more lah.” Yes, guilty much now? When a medicine loses its effects, we tend to take more doses than necessary. Sometimes, we will just keep shoving it down our throat until it works. Little did we know, not only it will not be as useful, but it could also lead us to overdose instead. Plus, expired medicines could easily cause toxicity, causing a whole new problem to us.
Improper way in storing these medicines could also cause bacterial infection and brings unwanted medical circumstances to the consumers. Most of us probably store our medicines in a bathroom cabinet, or the kitchen cabinet. But we tend to forget that our medicines are not invincible from the heat and moisture from the shower or cooking stoves. And the next thing you know, the “take one more” cycle has already restarted itself.
In general, medicines should be kept somewhere cool and dry, for example your dresser drawer or a kitchen cabinet that is farther away from the stove, sink or any hot appliances. Better yet, store them in a storage box, and place it on a shelf or in a closet. Well, just like how a first aid kit should be kept and never store medicines in your car! The reason is because our weather can be quite extreme that even for the most stable medicine cannot withstand for too long.
Make sure to not simply pass your unfinished prescribed medicines to others. Our bodies run in different systems, hence the different prescriptions. What had worked for your fever, might not work again for your child. Determine the expiry dates from the pharmacies that issued the medicines. If they are expired, just throw them away and get a new one.
Recycling is good, but please, not on medicines. Well, you wanna save money, or save lives? Go figure!