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Photo: Charleston Moms

When you take a lot of medication, errors can easily happen. This can range from missing a dose to overdose. Managing your medication effectively can help reduce potentially fatal errors.

Here are 7 organisation tips will help ensure your medications are taken timely and safely:

1. Gather all your medications and put them in one place.

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Photo: Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia.

If you have medications in different places throughout your home, gather them all and put them in one place so you can begin organizing. A good place to store medications is in a location that’s not too warm, not too cold, and beyond the reach of children and pets.

2. Check the expiration date on each medication and safely throw away any that have expired.

Once all your medications are together, find the expiration date on each bottle or package. Create one pile for expired medications and a separate pile for those that haven’t expired yet, as cited by GoodRx.

Place the expired medications in a bag so that you can safely dispose of them at your local pharmacy. If you prefer to get rid of them at home, you can do so safely by mixing the medications with old coffee grounds, cat litter, or dirt, and then throw them away.

3. Decide how you prefer to group your medications.

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Photo: Leavitt Group News and Publications

Your approach to grouping your medications might depend on how much space you have in your storage area and who in your household has medications. You might choose to put each person’s medications together (e.g., mom, dad, son, daughter, grandparent). Or you might choose to group the medications more broadly (e.g., adults, kids, and pets).

4. Create labels for each person or each group.

Make a label for each group you create. You’ll use this to the label to identify which medications belong to which people.

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Photo: Resource Label Group

5. Place your most commonly used medications in front of each category for convenience.

Now it’s time to organize the medications for each group. For convenience, put your most commonly used medications in the front of each group. If there are any medications that will expire soon, you may want to mark them with a bright highlighter so that you’ll know to check the date before using them, according to Home Storage Solutions.

6. Call your pharmacy to ask for clarification if you don’t know what a medication is for.

If you find that you don’t know what a certain medication is for, give your pharmacy a call. You might be holding onto a med that you aren’t taking any more or one that could be dangerous to take with your other medications.

7. Every six months, go through your medicine cabinet and toss any expired medication.

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Photo: Woodstock Vitamins

Every 3 – 6 months, it’s a good idea to go back through each group and dispose of any medications that have expired within that time period.

There you have it - a beautifully organized medication cabinet! Whenever you go into your medications cabinet to take a medication, be sure to double-check the name and instructions. Even with labels, it can be easy to make a medication mistake.
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