Storing and disposing of medicines

Store medicines at correct temperatures, protected from light and in a dry place. Usually, the best storage place is a locked closet. The medicines to be disposed of must be taken to a pharmacy or other collection point for medicines, because medicines are hazardous waste the disposal of which requires special measures to be taken.

Where can I find storage instructions for medicines?

  • On the side of the medicine package and from the package leaflet.
  • The shelf life of the medicine can also be checked from its packaging. The marking “EXP 12–2025” means that the medicine can be used until the end of December 2025.

At which temperature should the medicine be stored?

  • Medicines are usually stored in room temperature (18–25°C).
  • Some medicines have to be stored in a fridge (+2–+8°C).
  • If no particular storage instructions are specified on the package and in the package leaflet, the product does not require any special storage conditions.

What can humidity do to medicines?

  • It accelerates the breakdown of medicinal substances.
  • It affects the appearance of medicines.
  • It affects the composition of medicines.

What can UV radiation from the sun do to medicines?

  • It breaks down the medicinal substance.
  • It makes the medicinal substance react with another substance.

Which medicines should be disposed of?

  • Medicines that have expired.
  • Medicines that have remained unused.

How should medicines be disposed of?

  • The medicines to be disposed of must be taken to a pharmacy or other collection point for medicines.
  • Mercury thermometers, iodine and bromine must be kept separate from other pharmaceutical waste, because they complicate the treatment of other pharmaceutical waste at the hazardous waste treatment plant.
  • Medicines may not be disposed of with household waste.
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