Taking daily medication to manage a health condition is a common everyday occurrence that most of us have experienced. It seems pretty simple, right? However, what many people do not realize is that your medication also has the potential to be very dangerous if it is misused. As your local pharmacy in Powell, TN, we have put together a medication safety guide that covers proper storage and disposal of medications and how to avoid undesirable interactions when taking multiple medications.

Storing Your Medication Safely

Did you know that your medication can be damaged by heat, air, light, or moisture? That is why it is incredibly important to store medicines properly. If you fail to do so and they end up damaged, the drug's effectiveness can be reduced. It is also essential to store them safely to avoid accidental use. This is especially important if there are children or vulnerable adults in the home who may not understand what the medications are. You can ask your local pharmacy in Powell, TN, if your prescription has any specific storage requirements, such as refrigeration, but as a general rule, the majority of medications can be safely stored at room temperature (68 to 77 Fahrenheit) and in an environment that is less than 60% humidity. This will help avoid heat and moisture damage.

Here are a few tips for safe storage of most medications:

  1. Keep your medication in a cool, dry location, such as the drawer of your dresser, storage closet, or kitchen cabinet.
  2. Avoid using the medicine cabinet in your bathroom since this can allow heat and moisture to damage your medication.
  3. Keep all of your medication in the original packaging in which it is dispensed. Most pharmacies use containers that will keep moisture and UV light out.
  4. Talk to your local pharmacy in Powell, TN, about special storage instructions for your prescribed medications.
  5. Keep medication out of reach and out of sight of children. You may wish to install a safety latch wherever it is stored.

Safe Disposal of Medications

When was the last time you cleaned out your medication storage? You may have out-of-date medications or items you no longer need. It is best to eliminate these, as using out-of-date medicines can be dangerous since they may deteriorate over time and become less effective. Some can even become toxic when expired. However, you cannot simply throw expired or unwanted medicine in the trash. It has to be disposed of safely so that it does not end up in the wrong hands or cause damage to the environment.

The best option is to talk to your local pharmacy in Powell, TN, about disposing of unwanted medication. They may have the facilities to take it from you and destroy it safely. Many pharmacies and other community amenities have take-back facilities to collect unwanted opioids and other medications. Information about local collection points is on the Department of Justice website. Vaughn Pharmacy a year-round collection point to dispose of unwanted medicines safely and responsibly.

If you cannot visit a collection point to dispose of your medications, do not be tempted to flush them down the toilet, as this can be detrimental to the environment. Only certain medications can be flushed, and these will be marked on the label. Alternatively, you can check the FDA's approved Flush List. If you can't get to a take-back point, the best way to dispose of drugs is to mix them with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter, sawdust, or coffee grounds taking care not to crush pills or capsules. This mixture should then be sealed in a ziplock bag and placed in the trash. You should also remove or black out any labels on the packaging before throwing it away.

How to Avoid Medication Interactions

Another key safety point when managing prescription medications is avoiding undesirable drug interactions. If you are taking multiple prescription medications, your doctor and your local pharmacy in Powell, TN, should be cross-referencing them to ensure they can be safely used together. However, it is also important to note that over-the-counter medications, including supplements and vitamins, can also be contraindicated with some prescription medications. It is also possible that the wrong dose can be given or even the wrong medication dispensed. Make sure you note how your medication looks in terms of size, color, shape, and markings so that you immediately notice if there is a mistake. Here are a few tips to make sure that you are taking your medication safely:

  • Be aware of the usual appearance of your medication
  • Check the label to ensure you take the correct dose at the proper frequency
  • Check the expiration date, and do not use expired medication
  • Do not break or crush pills or capsules unless instructed by your doctor
  • Never take medication that is prescribed to someone else
  • Ask your local pharmacy in Powell, TN, before taking over-the-counter medication

If you have concerns about taking your medication correctly and avoiding dangerous interactions, ask your local pharmacy in Powell, TN, about the VIP Pill Box! The pharmacy will prepare all your medicines and any over-the-counter products in easy-to-open packets marked with each medication's time, date, dose, and description. All you have to do is tear the next packet from the roll inside the box, and you will have your medications ready to take! This has been proven to improve compliance with treatment plans, plus it eliminates the stress of managing multiple drugs at once!

Your Hometown Pharmacy Since 1966

Vaughn Pharmacy is a local, family-owned pharmacy serving the community in Powell, TN. Specializing in providing personalized and attentive prescription programs to our patients, we believe you are more than just a number – you’re part of our family!


(865) 947-1581