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Stephanie

OTC Medicine Storage Tips

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Hi everbuddy! wave

 

I (as the mother of 7 children), being a prepper and being of sound mind, have an enormous quantity of OTC medicines, Just In Case. I'm sure you understand! smile

 

My problem is, the storage and easy access of the things I need, including proper rotation. I bought a chest of drawers to use for organizing, and that helped some, but I still find myself going through a million things before I find the thing I'm seeking.

 

This is an ongoing project of mine and I thought I'd see how some of you are handling this. Boxes? Tubs? What about the open vs unopened? tracking exp. dates? etc.

 

Recently, my kids had a bout with sinus colds and I became very frustrated as I tried to access what I had 'put by'. cough

 

So, any tips you'd care to share! thanks

 

 

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Boxes or organizers. I also think one should use ziploc bags as protection from dust and water damage that may occur if your homes structure was damaged from a storm or some other calamity. It also cuts down on space used to hold the items.

I just got a small but sturdy day pack to use for my first aid and illness stuff, so its easy to grab if I need to bug out for any reason and light enough to tie on the back of my BOB. ( Or a child could pack it easily too, for those with kids. ).

 

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Thanks arby for these ideas. I'm still trying to work out a system that will give me quick access and insure that I'm using the oldest meds first so I don't have to throw out expired stuff.

 

Tomorrow I'm pulling it ALLL out and going to separate and take a good inventory, that's surely the best place to start.

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I invested in one of those 5-drawer storage unit thingies.

 

I have one drawer of bottled meds - like extras of vitamins, extra tylenols, etc. and those stand-up bottles of Pepto, cough syrup, etc.

 

One is Natural Remedies - homeopathics, tinctures, herbs, etc.

 

Another is OTC samples, small packets of benadryl, band-aids, and general first aid.

 

Finally, another is travel items & prescriptions....

 

Not very well organized, I DO need to re-organize this, but I do remember where things are....unless it's a 2 am cough, then the drawer gets dumped and sometimes EVEN THEN I can't find what I'm looking for. smile

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Something to keep in mind.

 

This was from an AARP newsletter awhile back.

 

You do not have to throw out your prescription meds just because they have passed the "expiration date". Tests done on medications that were 3 - 5 years past their expiration date have shown that they still have better than 90% of their potency."

 

Based on that statement from AARP, I would say that your OTC meds would also be the same.

 

That does not mean you don't have to rotate your meds. It just means that the meds you don't use all the time (ointments, cough medicine, etc.) are still good, just SLIGHTLY weaker than if they were new.

 

 

 

 

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This is very true. I found some cough syrup that was 3 years old but was tighly capped. I had to take a extra 1/2 tsp but it still worked! At 2 am I didn't care....

 

Prescription RX's have a VERY long shelf life. A good friend is a pharmacist and while the FDA forces pharmacies to rotate stock (I mean who would really want to BUY 4 year old pills?) if kept correctly, many are still good for years past their expiry date.

 

I do know though, that some insulin can be stored for long term, others can't, but I can't remember why - my DH is the expert there.

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thanks

 

I think I'm going to try to fine tune my chest of drawers idea and be a little more specifice with what goes where.

 

Thanks for the info about the expiration dates. I hate throwing away anything, and esp. medicine. Not only is it costly, but I've often thought of some terrible crisis when that very medicine could be a blessing.

 

I think one mistake I've made in the past was trying to keep all open bottle/packages together, instead of in their group. And then, when you need something...the search is on. shrug

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I use old kleenex boxes, cereal boxes cut down, or whatever to create dividers in a drawer. That way you can (cheaply) group all the cough syrup here and the whatchacallits there. I keep my spices in a drawer and found writing the label on the top of the lid helped me to find things without pulling up each jar to see. [Fine-tip permanent marker] A bit of masking tape on the top of a lid solves the problem of lids that are painted so dark you can't see markings on it. A date label is a good idea too. There might be a manufacturers date somewhere but my own label of when I bought it is easier to find and decipher. You can also put a small locking box (cash box?) in one of the drawers for those meds that children REALLY should not be allowed to get into.

 

 

MtRider [love organizing....house does not currently reflect that.... blush ]

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I sure have missed you!! bighug

 

Those are some great tips, now just to find time to implement some of them. Anyone else noticed the time flying really fast lately? shrug

 

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I also use a rolling 3 drawer plastic cart to sort my meds. There are 6 of us and I just dont have enough room in the medicine cabinets for everything I have collected. What I did was organize each drawer by expiration dates. The ones that expire first go in the top drawer, the ones with a 2009 date go in the middle, and anything in 2010 go in the bottom drawer.

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Originally Posted By: Campy
Something to keep in mind.

This was from an AARP newsletter awhile back.

You do not have to throw out your prescription meds just because they have passed the "expiration date". Tests done on medications that were 3 - 5 years past their expiration date have shown that they still have better than 90% of their potency."

Based on that statement from AARP, I would say that your OTC meds would also be the same.

That does not mean you don't have to rotate your meds. It just means that the meds you don't use all the time (ointments, cough medicine, etc.) are still good, just SLIGHTLY weaker than if they were new.


Hi all! smile Reviving another older topic. Wanted to say that having "older" meds is definitely a good thing and what I was told is that the pill/tablet form of the med will (if any) get weaker (as stated above). However, the liquid meds will eventually evaporate and actually make it a bit stronger! So with cough syrups, etc., you would want to take that into consideration when giving to a little tyke.

Now for the actual proof that older kept meds work. I had an eye infection that started from one of those lovely styes! (ugh) Unfortunately it worked into the lymph system, ran down the side of my face and was heading down my neck and into my shoulder!! (go figure) I discovered an old (we're talking 1996 here) bottle of amoxy I had kept - so I started taking those (as prescribed on that bottle's label) - and in a few days that infection was gone! (grin) Thank You, Lord for old medicines.

I hope this helps with knowing it's a good thing (especially when you've a bundle of kids) to store up.

Blessings all! Love this place and am quickly calling it my 2nd home as I read and glean, read and glean! (grin)

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I have two boxes for our main first aid kit... one has meds and one has supplies (bandages, thermometer, etc). These are the first use boxes that I can access when I need something. All the extra supplies and excess are kept separately. Right now its all just in a couple huge bags but I need to organize it. The multi drawer storage units are a good idea. I think that's something I might look into.

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I cleared out a couple shelves in our linen closet by putting sheets, etc. in each individual bedroom closet. I now have several large, clear plastic boxes (with lids) divided much as Michelle described---one with supplies, one with OTC meds (cold medicines, lozenges, syrup; aspirin; Tylenol; vitamins/herbs; etc.), and one with prescription meds We get our meds by mail order and, by reordering our prescriptions on the earliest possible date, I've been able to accumulate a backup supply of our necessary meds over time. Since I've had extremely severe asthma all my life, I use a number of different inhalers, as well as a steroid nasal inhaler, and they take up a lot of room in the box with the other prescription meds.

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I had medicines stored in the bathroom closet in our trailer house. The shelves are deep and hard to access and I was weary with the problem. I moved all meds and bandages etc. to a dresser I already had in the bathroom. The drawers work perfectly for storage and have enough space now for all medical supplies to be in one place.

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I keep my meds refrigerated to extend their life expectancy, but the main refrigerator is not convenient. I guess you could get a small tabletop refrigerator, but I chose to use a small Igloo Thermoelectric Cooler/Heater with an AC/DC adapter to run on house current. Temperature is generally about 40 deg.F lower than the room temperature and the only moving part is a tiny fan.

 

The "plus" to this method is it is a "prep" item that is grabbed in an emergency and placed in the car and plugged in there. Now I have all my meds, vitamins, etc., and they will stay cool.

 

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Like Michele we keep meds and others completely seperate. We have a very large trauma kit that is never opened but has nothing with an expiration date on it. The med bags and first aid stuff get rotated constantly. We keep several empty "flip top" plastic containers empty so we can "sweep" the pantries/meds/extra ammo,smaller items/etc. No need to leave good stuff behind if you have to leave. wc

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Speaking from the experience of evacuating [ for 3 wks] from a wildfire in our forest....I agree with Canning Nerd {great idea about the carry-out electric igloo} and -6. Whatever method you decide to use to store these items, make sure to have a handy container to sweep stuff into on your way out the door. One never knows when you might have to EVAC.

 

Our herbal/nutritional stuff got dumped quickly into a cloth satchel and ......all these years later, it's still kept in there. It's not very convenient to dump it out onto the couch to find something but.... {sigh} I guess I've just acquired some EVAC "issues" from that experience. It would get expensive [& sometimes difficult] to replace needed things during a long stay away.

 

 

I actually stash bags, duffels, etc near many things .....just in case. shrug

 

 

 

MtRider [my home decorating style..... don't ask.... laughkick ]

 

 

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I keep a two gallon heavy zipper top bag with our daily medications and vitamins, just for that purpose, to dump and run.

 

I also have "Grab Meds" in big letters on my bug-out list.

 

The list is written in large print with a sharpie, in a plastic page protector and tacked to the closet wall where I keep our BOB packs and buckets. I could read it without my glasses, in poor light.

 

I also keep one of those headlamps there, too. I could put on the headlamp to see my way around to gather the last-minute items on my list.

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cheer Yeah, Cricket. Large print on the BO lists! I have a 3X5 index card clothespinned to the BOBs. It lists additional grab things too. VERY Large Print! laughkick

 

 

Headlamp is a *great* idea. Stuck onto the outside of the BOB.

 

 

MtRider [still looking for headlamps....mebbe a new thread topic ?? ]

 

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Just remember, like reported with the recent California wild fires, you may only have "8 seconds" to bug out. That's barely enough time to reach the car and get the engine started, let alone reading lists and trying to grab things in different places.

 

 

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Well, the car won't get far if I don't have keys.

 

The list is pretty basic, a reminder for just such a situation to grab things like my purse, keys, glasses, meds, cell phones and gas cans.

 

The BOBs are packed. A backpack for each of us with essentials, if we had to walk out. If we had the "eight seconds" to get in the car there are also three buckets with additional supplies and a hiker's tent. They all are stored in the same place.

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Thank you for the tip on the expiration of medicines. I don't know why I thought this, but I really did think they turned into some kind of poison when past their dates.

 

I know. Stupid. Now that I really think about it, I know it was stupid...but all these years....LOLOL

 

We store our first aid and medicine stuff in very large, very heavy duty fishing tackle boxes. Different types for the different things we need. Like all the drawers and cubbies in one of them is perfect for bandaids and tubes of cortizone creams and antibiotic creams and bottles of alcohol and peroxide and q-tips.

 

And then this huge one with trays that is good for storing boxed up over the counter meds. And another one that is just really tough with nothing inside it (trays etc) for storing vitamins.

 

Then the one with trays and drawers for like Boy Scout/Camping group kit, with a bit of everything in it, ready to go in the car for a long trip.

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I keep all of my currantly being used prescription meds and OTC's in a large ziplock bag on my dresser. All of my "stashed" prescriptions and OTC's are in ziplock bags that are then stored in a very large plastic tote that has been lined with a mylar space blanket before everything else goes inside of the tote. The lid is "duct taped to seal the edges to the sides, then duct taped around from top to bottom for security.. "little fingers" that might be here. Then DSIL carried it down into the (root) storm cellar for me along with a few portable O2 tanks for me touse during a tornado warning.. hide in the cellar type situation.

 

BOB's are in the laundry room on the side of the clothes dryer so they can be grabbed quickly and not have a panic attack looking for things. We always keep blankets, gallens of water, quick energy type foods in the car and truck along with flashlights and extra batteries, cell phone chargers, ets.

 

I was a nurse for 20 odd years, My Pediatrician told me not to throw away the scripts or OTC meds because I was just making the pharmacutical companies richer while the "molested" my wallet. Except for my diabetes medication, and one of my inhalors, I have enough Prescription meds to see me through about 2 years and I'm still buying more OTC's to get a good supply put away.

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