It’s the end of the year and there’s a seasonal change usually (from Rainy season to Dry season, though Climate change seems to be messing up the schedule a bit). This is the time when runny noses and coughs develop in full swing for kids. So you open that bottle of Paracetamol, pour out a measure and…put it back on the shelf. But did you read its label as to where it should be stored?
My Dr first clued me in: he prescribed an antibiotic for my toddler and casually mentioned to keep it in the fridge once opened.
Cold storage is important for some medicines (insulin and vaccines etc). But if you look up what Doctors abroad recommend, some will say that if it’s not necessary, don’t put your medicines in the fridge. Why? Because once you open them, bacteria starts entering the bottle. And trapping that bacteria in and putting it in the fridge means that Condensation occurs (a sweating bottle). So the bacteria gets to the liquid syrup faster and the whole bottle goes bad.
But why is it the opposite in Nigeria?
Hot, hot, hot!
Unfortunately, most of the medicines we take in Nigeria are not developed for the tropics. Which is where you live, with temperatures of over 30°C easily being reached by supposedly cooler cities like Lagos (Abuja residents, you have my sympathy).
When you read your bottle of Benylin Cough Syrup, it may say “store below 30°C”. Same with some Antibiotics. So that probably means pop into a fridge (because there’s nowhere in Nigeria that cool during this period).
Some Multivitamins will even go “Once opened, store in a Fridge”.
So it’s important to READ YOUR MEDICINE LABELS, people!
Drink it up, fast
If you’re like me, you probably have 5 bottles of Children’s PCM open at the same time….and they’ve been opened for 6 months! They all need to be thrown away.
Once you’ve opened your syrup medicine, don’t store it for long. Most will tell you 2 months is the longest you should store liquid medicines once you have opened it. So no constantly going to the hospital and letting them give you a fresh bottle of Ibruprofen which you forget you have an opened one at home. Save your money, tell them to keep the fresh one.
So guys, the most important thing to take away from this is, Read your medicine labels. because you may need to toss the opened bottle in the fridge.