Pretty much everyone has a medicine cabinet. But do you know exactly what is in yours? You should really check the contents of your medicine cabinet every six months, getting rid of expired medications and ensuring it's well stocked with the necessities.
There are two main don'ts when it comes to medicine cabinets:
* Don't keep your medicine in the bathroom. Because of the drastic temperature changes, it is the worst place for keeping medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription. A linen closet separate from the bathroom is an ideal place.
* Don't keep expired medications (either prescription or over-the-counter). Your pharmacist can help you determine whether medications are still effective and can also advise you on how best to dispose of expired medications. (Some can be safely flushed down the toilet, some should be returned to the pharmacist.)
The 'dos' relate to what you should keep in your medicine cabinet. Here is a list of some basics you should probably keep stocked in your medicine cabinet:
* Over-the-counter laxative - even the most regular people need this sometimes
* Over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medication
* Cortisone cream - for itching and bites
* Hydrogen peroxide - for cleaning cuts
* Cough syrup
* Antiseptic cream - for minor scrapes and cuts
* Syrup of ipecac - to induce vomiting (when required by a poison control expert)
* Pain relief medications, such as ASA and Acetaminophen
* First aid supplies, like bandages, gauze, a thermometer, etc.