A well stocked medicine cabinet can prevent many annoying trips to the store when you or your family members do not feel well. I don’t know how many times I thought I had something in my stock only to find out I didn’t or that it was expired. Although taking expired meds will probably not kill you, they rapidly lose their effectiveness.
The first thing you should do before stocking your medicine cabinet is to take stock in the first place. Go through everything and read labels. Is it expired? Is it damaged? You should make sure your medicine cabinet is in good repair, preferably with a seal of some sort. Medicines can become damaged by steam from a shower, so keeping them well updated is vital.
What should you keep, at the very minimum in a family medicine cabinet? Here is a list below of some of the basics I keep in mine:
- Bandages of all sizes
- Triple antibacterial ointment
- Pain medications such as ibuprofen and tylenol
- Saline nose spray
- Diaper Rash Ointment (I use this for a variety of things. Mainly for any sort of rubbing type rash from clothing or shoes, but can also treat hemorrhoids and other minor skin irritations)
- Eye Drops
- Cough drops
- Anti-itch creams
I don’t recommend keeping prescriptions or vitamins in your medicine cabinet because of how steam can damage labels and the medicine inside.
Also, keep in mind that it is not a good idea to throw away old medicines down the toilet or drains. This ends up in water supplies and is nearly impossible to get out. Call your local pharmacy on your state and city’s rules regarding throwing out old medications. Many pharmacies have certain times of the year where you can drop off unneeded medications to them and they destroy them properly.
What do you keep in your family’s medicine cabinet?