Every savvy survivalist should be aware that proper storage of stockpiled medication is critical to preserve its effectiveness and potency. All of your prep work and stockpiling will be for naught if you neglect to store your precious pills properly, and who wants that? That is why we have compiled these 3 helpful tips to store your survival medication:
Global warming and nuclear winters can wreak havoc on a molecular level. Heat and moisture are the two major threats to pharmaceuticals. Studies have shown that high temperatures and humidity can affect the stability of drugs. So, make sure that when you store your survival medication, it is in a cool, dry place such as an airtight container or Ziploc bag, and keep certain antibiotics under refrigeration (if you’re lucky enough to have a fridge).
Make that when you store survival medication, the different types of pills are easily identifiable – preferably in separately labeled containers, as space permits. One case published in 2010 describes a woman who accidentally took methotrexate (a chemotherapy agent that causes birth defects) during her pregnancy. The round brown tablets looked similar to the folic acid supplement she was prescribed, and they resided in the same cabinet as her mother’s meds. Though subsequent testing showed no abnormalities, but she miscarried a month later.
Nothing should ever be assumed; even the numbers, trademarks, and other inscriptions etched on pills are difficult to rely upon, because these identifiers can change over time and vary between brand-name and generic manufacturers. Take time to familiarize yourself with the medications you have on hand and what they are used for. There are excellent handbooks available that can help identify unknown pills and tablets based on color, size, and shape (see the Suggested Reading section at the end of this book). At a minimum, label medications appropriately with the drug name (both brand and generic), strength, and dosing instructions (e.g., “Take one every morning” or “Take as needed for pain”). If you’re not 100% confident about the identification of a medication before you take it, do not proceed any further. Unless it’s an emergency, there’s no point risking an adverse reaction because what you thought was a birth control pill was actually Propecia.
Don’t have your stockpile yet? Check out our article “How To Build a Survival Medication Stockpile” for more useful info!