It is very important to know why ,how and where to store these life-sustaining products

AT SOME POINT IN OUR LIVES WE BEGIN TO USE MEDICATIONS AND SUPPLEMENTS EITHER FREQUENTLY OR INFREQUENTLY ,THUS STORAGE BECOMES IMPORTANT.Every one is aware of the fact that their medication has a finite SHELF-LIFE and beyond a certain date ,they should not be using them and that the medications should be discarded.
But do you know why?This is first and foremost a health and  safety issue.
In Canada,the manufacture,distribution and sale of medications is controlled by the Health Protection Branch(HPB) by authority of the FOOD AND DRUG ACT.
All medications must be properly researched before they are sold to the public.Prescription medications go through a rigorous approval process under the supervision of the HPB.Included in this process are examinations for efficacy for  each therapeutic claim made,human trials to substantiate those claims and stability studies to demonstrate that
the medication(s) can deliver those claims.Medications are them given a unique DRUG IDENTIFICATION NUMBER(DIN) based on its therapeutic classification(as determined by the HPB),its dosage form e.g.tablets,injection and its type ,the route of administration e.g.oral , rectal ,intravenous  and the strength of the drug e.g. 5 mg vs 10 mg per dose This DIN must be displayed on each drug container to which that DIN applies.When you receive your medication from the pharmacy OR you purchase a product off the shelf,you will always find that DIN displayed on the  dispensing container/bottle/box which you receive along with the TRADE NAME e.g.Tylenol Regular 325mg Tablets and the associated  ACTIVE DRUG NAME e.g.Acetaminophen .This regulatory process ensures your safe use of the drugs if you follow the  instructions for use on the labels.If you are ever in doubt as to how a product should be used,never be afraid to ask your pharmacist or health professional as to its proper use.Further,each container should have an EXPIRY DATE affixed to the container to indicate when that medication or food supplement should be discarded.
The EXPIRY DATE is usually assigned by the manufacturer ,unless after repackaging or further compounding by the pharmacist a new and different EXPIRY DATE is assigned.
The storage of these medications and supplements is CRITICAL to maintain the integrity of the product and food supplements during the SHELF LIFE of the the product so that it can be used efficaciously until that EXPIRY DATE is reached.During drug product testing the manufacturer conducts ACCELERATED and  ACTUAL SHELF LIFE testing to establish the EXPIRY DATE.Accelerated tests involves subjecting the drug and its various drug products to higher than normal temperatures and higher that normal humidities to determine how long the product would take for the drug and its excipients to deteriorate to a point whereby the content claims are compromised . The drug may not only degrade but may also interact with its excipients(fillers,lubricant,disintegrants,colours etc) to form products which could be harmful to the user.
Let us take tablets as an example.
There are many different types of tablets and each one requires different storage conditions.Some medications are contained in dark  containers to protect them from SUNLIGHT. Sunlight can cause the drug material to degrade or to interact with the excipients resulting in the possibility of a deleterious byproduct or inactivate  the drug.Therefore,if a tablet comes in a dark container from the manufacturer ,DO NOT REMOVE IT TO A CONTAINER WHICH IS NOT AS LIGHT RESISTANT AS THE ORIGINAL CONTAINER.Sometimes it is convenient to place ones tablets momentarily in a dosette so that it is available for use at ones convenience.This should only be done for no more than a week and less if possible.
When most substances are subjected to heat ,there is a thermodynamic tendency for degradation or interaction with other substances to accelerate.Therefore,it is critical to store one's medication and supplements in a location which is NOT SUBJECTED TO TEMPERATURES HIGHER THAT 21DEGC(72DEGF) OR TO FLUCTUATING TEMPERATURES.
All  water soluble products are susceptible to degradation and interaction as soon as they come into contact with water.Tablets can be severely and rapidly degraded when they come into contact with any form of moisture as would be found in a bathroom and a kitchen.Yet ,these two places are the ones most often chosen  for  storage of medications.
The best places to store your medications and food supplements are in a drawer or cupboard or in cool room which does not fluctuate in temperature very much ,which is not humid , and which is OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN..
Finally,when it is time to discard these medications  ,it is best to take them to a pharmacy to have them safely destroyed .DO NOT FLUSH THEM DOWN THE TOILET BECAUSE THEY COULD GET INTO THE ECOSYSTEM AND CAUSE UNTOLD HARM TO OUR DRINKING WATER AND TO THE ENVIRONMENT.

Monthly Meeting of BCOCCA Directors

7:00 PM, 3rd Tuesday, each month

Metrotown Community Meeting Room

4650 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC


BCOCCA President - Neville Thomas

Neville Thomas 200px

As President of British Columbia Organization of Caribbean Cultural Associations, I am grateful for the opportunity to work on behalf of the Caribbean Community to identify and execute Community Building initiatives which embrace BCOCCA'S mandate.



Our Vision

"British Columbia Organization of Caribbean Cultural Associations (BCOCCA) is a Leading Advocacy Linkage Community Awareness Umbrella Organization consistently providing reliable and dependable Programs and Initiatives for its Members."

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