How to Stock a Family Medicine Cabinet

Starting a family medicine cabinet is generally the first step in preparing for emergency situations or preparing for medical situations at home. However, with new medications on the market and updated medications on the market it may become increasingly difficult to start a medicine cabinet properly. The following are some how-to tips and advice on how to stock the family medicine cabinet with current medications on the market and how to make sure that you have the basic medical needs for your family.

Determine Your Needs

The first step in starting a family medicine cabinet is to determine the needs of your family. Make sure that you have items in your medicine cabinet that you would normally use. These items may consist of headache medicine, cold and flu medicine, cough syrup, cough drops, upset stomach medicine, antacids and medicine specifically for different age groups. You will want to make sure that the medicine you have currently, if you are not replacing it, is within the guidelines for expiration dates and that it has not been recalled. There have been several medicine recalls for over-the-counter medications for headaches, migraines and cold and flu in the past few years. The expiration date may be accurate but the medication itself may have been recalled. To determine if it has been recalled, log in to any search engine and search for current recall list for that particular medication.

Create a Supplemental Medicine Cabinet

When families build a family medicine cabinet they may remember all the medication they need including prescription medications, but they may forget the supplemental items that they may need. For example, Band-Aids, gauze, heat wraps and other items are used very frequently by families. Heat wraps are used quite often for minor injuries and gauze is used for minor cuts and abrasions. Make sure that your family medicine cabinet contains supplemental items in order to cover these issues when they arise. You may believe that your first aid kit would cover these options, however the first aid kit may not be enough if the situation is for more than one member of the family.

Locate a Dry Environment

When you are building a family medicine cabinet make sure that the medicine cabinet is in a dry environment. Though it may seem logical to put the medicine in the medicine cabinet of the bathroom, the bathroom is one of the worst places to keep your medicine cabinet for your family. Make sure that you choose a clean dry area that will allow the medicine to stay as fresh as possible. Remember that in high humidity areas, certain medications may clump or may lose their effectiveness. You want to make sure that all medications are in a dry environment that will not prohibit the effectiveness but will also keep the medication dry.

Families use a variety of medications. Make sure that the medications you choose are the ones your family uses. Do not simply go with the medication option because it is available. You want to make sure that what your family uses is what you have on hand. You want to avoid emergency trips to the pharmacy or to the drugstore to pick up last-minute items that may cost more now than they would if you would go ahead and purchase them ahead of time.

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