Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Protecting pills and vitamins
Display Avatars Sort By:
Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
Protecting pills and vitamins on 04/04/2010 12:06:10 MDT Print View

How do you protect your pills/vitamins - in a lightweight/low-bulk fashion that also maximizes the shelf life of the pill?

How long is the shelf life of a vitamin or a prescription pill, anyway? (Does it matter if it's in pill or capsule form?)

I've always just used ziplocks...but something tells me that will only work on very short trips. (I suspect the ziplock really does not protect the pills from moisture.)

??

Edited by mariposa on 04/04/2010 16:38:48 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Pills on 04/04/2010 12:26:04 MDT Print View

All pills are different for shelf life.

I have some that are only good for three months once they've been exposed to air.

I wouldn't be afraid of a Ziplock bag. I wouldn't be afraid of the standard pill bottle either. If you are concerned, put one inside the other.

I've seen some hikers portion out a whole day's collection of pills and use a Seal-A-Meal to seal them into their own airtight compartment. That seems excessive to me.

--B.G.--

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Pill containers on 04/04/2010 12:39:27 MDT Print View

I use Nalgene's polyethylene screw-top containers. They're both water- and air-proof. They come in all sizes, so you can use different ones for different trip lengths. You just need to remember which pills to take in the morning, and which at night. Or, you could take an "AM" bottle and a "PM" bottle. Heck, some of those bottles are so small that you could use a different one for each med. At home, I store my meds and vitamins in 2 oz. bottles, which hold over a month's worth of vitamin-sized pills.

My pharma buddy thinks most pills will have an effective shelf life of about a year, providing you keep them away from the demons of heat, moisture, and direct sunlight.

(edited for shelf life comment)

Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 04/04/2010 12:42:13 MDT.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Pills on 04/04/2010 15:44:04 MDT Print View

Every pill has different temperature and humidity responses, which affect shelf life. For Prescriptions, there is a "use by date" printed on the pill container. For OTC, there is one printed on the box. Most last a year. This is also a conservative estimate, meant to protect consumers at the fringes.

I use a small BPL pill organizer I got from someone on here and it works well and is super lightweight. Wouldn't hold horsepills, and just use it for advil, stomach, and altitude medication if needed. If you put this in a stuff sack inside your dry sack inside your pack, it shouldn't get wet.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Protecting pills and vitamins on 04/04/2010 19:46:45 MDT Print View

I use a cheap pill reminder box and carry it in a ziploc bag.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Protecting pills and vitamins on 04/04/2010 19:53:25 MDT Print View

"cheap pill reminder box"

But aren't those for OLD people?? :)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Protecting pills and vitamins on 04/04/2010 19:57:37 MDT Print View

"How do you protect your pills/vitamins - in a lightweight/low-bulk fashion that also maximizes the shelf life of the pill?"

For hard pills I use a very small Zip Loc baggie; for gelatin capsules I use a screw top pill vial, the ones sold here on BPL.

How long is the shelf life of a vitamin or a prescription pill, anyway? (Does it matter if it's in pill or capsule form?)

The expiration date for OTC, as mentioned is stamped on the package. Pharmacists routinely specify an expiration date of 1 year from date of filling Rx. However, I have had several docs tell me that most last at least 2 years and, if you really want to save money, ask the pharmacist at the time of filling to tell you the expiration date on the bulk container he's filling your Rx from. Example: I use Celebrex occasionally and it is a fairly pricey drug. The last 2 times I have asked the pharmacist, the actual expiration date has been more than 2 years out from filling date. Big savings given I only use perhaps 1/3 of the Rx in a year.

If you are really concerned about moisture, consider putting a dessicant packet in with your pills.

I've always just used ziplocks...but something tells me that will only work on very short trips. (I suspect the ziplock really does not protect the pills from moisture.)

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Protecting pills and vitamins on 04/05/2010 02:12:04 MDT Print View

>> I suspect the ziplock really does not protect the pills from moisture <<

I accidently took a dunk on a recent fly fishing trip and here's what happened to my mini-ziplock pill stash. I was only under for a second or two but the ziplock proved useless. This may be an extreme water test but it happens!

ziplock

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Protecting pills and vitamins on 04/05/2010 09:04:06 MDT Print View

Yes Ben, they are fer old people....and people who are scatter brained. Lol!

As soon as I got one I haven't forgotten a pill since.