Be careful when storing and taking medicine

Medicine makes a difference in everybody’s life, from making a headache disappear when you have an important meeting to bringing down a fever late at night.

However, consumers have to be very careful when they store and use medicine to ensure the safety of their families.

Wrapsa, South Africa’s biggest pharmaceutical contract manufacturer and packaging company, complies with international and national standards for manufacturing and packaging medicines, but says that consumers must also remember their responsibility to store and use medicines correctly to ensure the safety chain continues.


• Make a list of medicines, vitamins, minerals and herbs you and your family use and make sure your pharmacist and doctor see the list when something new is prescribed.

• It is important to follow the directions on how to take medicine carefully.

If you are unsure about how to take medicine, ask your pharmacist to explain.

• Ensure that you complete a course of anti-microbial medication, because a drug can only kill bacteria after you have been taking medicine for a certain period.

• Prescription medicine is only meant for the person it is prescribed for.

Never share prescription medication.

• Store medicine in the correct way. Exposure to heat, air, light and moisture can influence its effectiveness or dangerous to use.

Check if medicine must be stored at room temperature or kept in the fridge or freezer.

Most medicines must be stored at room temperature in a cool dry place, but avoid bathroom and kitchen cupboards, because the heat and moisture can damage it.

• Also store medicine out of reach and sight of children.

• Regularly check the expiry dates on medication and dispose of those past the expiry date, because it becomes less effective. Ask your pharmacist for advice on how to dispose of the old medicine. Do not simply flush it down the toilet or throw it away.