How to Save Money on Medicine

Make Your Meds Last

Use these tips to store your medications properly -- they'll stay effective longer.

Relocate.

If you keep drugs in the medicine cabinet, move them, stat. Heat and humidity from the bathroom shower can cause medicines to break down. Store them in a kitchen cupboard or in a basket in a closet. And every six months or so, check to see that none of your medicines are dried out, discolored, or crumbling -- all signs they're past their prime.

Use the original containers.

An amber-colored or opaque bottle protects medicine that's sensitive to light. Plus, you can easily see label information and expiration dates. A note: seven-day pill organizers are a great way to organize your weekly meds, but stick to the bottle the meds came in for long-term storage.

Toss the cotton.

If there's any in the pill bottle when you first open it, get rid of it. Cotton absorbs moisture and can cause tablets to degrade faster.

Teresa Dumain is a health writer in New York City.

Originally published in the May 2009 issue of American Baby magazine.

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