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Self-care starts at home

Self-care starts at home

With International Self-Care Day coming up on the 24th of July, now’s a good time to take stock of our health and, where necessary, take steps to improve our lifestyle habits for better wellbeing.

A good place to start is with your medicine cabinet. We all have one in our home, however small or big. The important thing is to take charge of it and make sure you always have a good supply of products and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to treat minor illnesses and injuries at home.

Where’s the best place for my medicine cabinet?

For many of us the bathroom cupboard is a favourite spot to store medicine – it’s convenient and usually high enough, away from little hands. However, after a bath or shower, the humidity in the air can force its way into that closed cabinet and start to break down your medicine. Rather opt for storing your medicine in a cool, dry spot like a bedroom drawer or kitchen cabinet, and away from windows to avoid the affects of outdoor elements. If you have small children, for their safety and your peace of mind always make sure that your medicine cabinet is secure and out of their reach.

What should my medicine cabinet contain?

If you find yourself looking at a medicine cabinet packed with medicine bottles, which aren’t quite familiar anymore, and leftover pills that were prescribed to you months ago, it’s time to clean up and re-stock.

The first step is to clear out and dispose of any old or expired medicines. Never dispose of them in the washbasin, kitchen sink, toilet or dustbin. Return all unused and expired medicine to your pharmacy. Your pharmacist knows how to dispose of unwanted or expired medicine safely and legally in order to protect the environment.

 The second step is to make sure your medicine cabinet holds a good supply of products and OTC medicines to treat minor illnesses and injuries quickly and effectively:

Here’s a useful checklist:

Pain and fever

-Pain relievers

-Thermometer

-Pain-relieving rub or cream

-Heating and cooling pads

 Coughs, colds and sore throats

-Cough medicine

-Decongestant

-Throat spray and/or lozenges

-Rubs

 Allergies and skin rashes

-Antihistamines

-Eye drops

-Anti-itch cream or lotion

 Stomach and digestion problems

-Anti-diarrhoeal medication

-Antacid or acid reducer

-Laxative

-Anti-nausea medication

-Oral rehydration formulation

 Cuts, scratches, and burns

-Antiseptic spray or cream

-Bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape and shields

-Burn lotion or ointment

-Elastic bandage

 Babies and toddlers

-Nasal aspirator

-Decongestant liquid for aspirator

-Thermometer

-Colic medication

-Pain and fever medication

-Saline drops

Other

-Petroleum jelly

-Scissors and tweezers

-Safety pins

-Plasters in various sizes

-Disposable sterile glove

-Sterile eye dressing

-Distilled water

-Cotton swabs and cotton balls

-Anaesthetising ear drops

-Sunscreen SPF30 or higher

-Probiotics

Remember that your pharmacist is always available to advise and share advice on the right kind of product and/or medicine for your family.

Sources:

http://www.safemedication.com/safemed/PharmacistsJournal/How-to-Safely-Store-and-Dispose-of-Your-Medications

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000534.htm

https://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/drug-center-16/misc-drugs-news-218/storing-your-medicine-646535.html