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Old 03-01-2009, 11:40   #1
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Medicine Storage

I know that this is going to sound a little silly and there are probably lots of solutions. But, does anyone have any cool ways to store prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, and things like vitamins. We'll be in hot and humid climes.

I suppose that putting all of the bottles in an airtight plastic container and stowing it in a cool place is one way. But everytime you open the container you just let the humidity in. As a chemist, I think that humidity is probably a bigger problem than temperature but they certainly combine to make things worse.

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Old 03-01-2009, 12:02   #2
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temperature is an issue. We had a lot of prescriptions drugs on board, but they expire pretty fast anyway...
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Old 03-01-2009, 13:43   #3
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One thing that might help protect from dampness is to vacum seal them in plastic, using a food sealer. That would help for stuff that you don't need right away, or stuff carried for emergency use only. For medications you use regularly, you could separate them into smaller increments (say a one week supply), and seal them. That way only the stuff you are using at the time is exposed to moisture, the rest is still protected.
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Old 03-01-2009, 14:00   #4
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Originally Posted by AK_sailor View Post
One thing that might help protect from dampness is to vacum seal them in plastic, using a food sealer. That would help for stuff that you don't need right away, or stuff carried for emergency use only. For medications you use regularly, you could separate them into smaller increments (say a one week supply), and seal them. That way only the stuff you are using at the time is exposed to moisture, the rest is still protected.
Exactly !
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Old 10-01-2009, 23:19   #5
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Originally Posted by AK_sailor View Post
One thing that might help protect from dampness is to vacum seal them in plastic, using a food sealer. That would help for stuff that you don't need right away, or stuff carried for emergency use only. For medications you use regularly, you could separate them into smaller increments (say a one week supply), and seal them. That way only the stuff you are using at the time is exposed to moisture, the rest is still protected.
Yes, exactly. This is where having the lid attachment for the vacuum sealer pays off as storing all of the meds in their own containers inside of a mason jar is then easy to open and reseal (vs snipping and resealing a plastic bag). My nitro is humidity sensitive and I keep that stored in its bottle inside a mason jar and then refill my "walking around" bottle as needed - based upon age, not use, thankfully.
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Old 17-01-2009, 07:22   #6
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Karl,

I knew this old coot that used to have a "walking around" bottle. I think it was "port".

On the serious side of things, How many diabetics are out ther and how do you store the insulin?
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Old 18-01-2009, 01:40   #7
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Karl,

I knew this old coot that used to have a "walking around" bottle. I think it was "port".
Sounds like a great "plan B" in case the nitro doesn't do the trick.
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Old 18-01-2009, 05:05   #8
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I think this is the one issue that worries me the most, as my wife is diabetic. I think this will force me to have a good (reliable??) reefer on board. I have built a new install into my budget for this very reason.

I wonder if those little dessicant packest would help much inside the sealed bag? To suck up and residual humidity and to give a visable warning when there may be any seepage. The little "Do not eat" packages that come in everything now days.
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Old 18-01-2009, 12:27   #9
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Well, we've sort of figured things out. We purchased a watertight box from one of the dive outlets. We can keep the bottles, tightly closed, in it. I think then we'll take a week's supply out at a time.

I think that those little "do not eat" packages should work well. They could be dried out by putting them in a relatively low heat oven for a short period (maybe 1/2 hour). Do it before you leave home and perhaps regenerate them in some fashion when on shore power. I'll have to have a look and see if there isn't a way to regenerate in the sun, without a solar oven. Maybe a simple little black box would do it.

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Old 18-01-2009, 13:31   #10
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Good suggestions on pills! For the short term I use a weekly pill dispenser sealed in a zip lock. Insulin goes in small tupperware container packed with paper (from paper towels). If it's smooth sailing in the morning, fill your syringes for the day (I use four-to-five) and wrap them in paper towels with the needle guard on and stash them in the fridge/ice box. Hope this helps.
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Old 18-01-2009, 13:44   #11
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Having a water proof container with all of your medication AND a dehumidifier canister may solve the problem... There are a number of locations to buy them and they are reusable by heating in an oven when they become saturated. They are made of silica gel, the same stuff you find in the "do not eat" packets. The link below is one location I've seen them, you can also find them on some gunsmith supply sites (Brownell comes to mind). Lee Valley will send a nice catalog with a great selection of hand tools as an added bonus.
Silica Gel Dehumidifiers - Lee Valley Tools
The large one is good for a gun safe on land of course, it may seem like a bit of overkill for this application, but medication is pretty important...
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Old 18-01-2009, 15:02   #12
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Silica Gel Dryers

I decided to go ahead and check on the drying agents. The most common and useful one is silica gel, as Grasshopper noted. You can buy it in all different sized containers for different sized spaces. Here is an interesting one because it has an indicating patch that will let you know when to regenerate.
Amazon.com: Adorama Silica Gel with Indicator in a Reuseable Canister.: Sports & Outdoors
or
Desiccant

When I was a practicing chemist we used to use a lot of silica gel for keeping chemicals dry in our desiccators. We used an indicating gel that turned from blue to pink when it was time to regenerate. It turns out that the indicator is Cobalt Chloride, which in pure form has been listed as a carcinogen. In the silica gel it is very dilute and bound to the gel so it shouldn't be a problem, unless you decide to snort it! But the idea of recycling all of those little packets is intriguing to me. And the price is right! There are other indicating silica gels but I haven't found a source that is appropriate for the average cruising sailor. They contain organic indicators that don't have the carcinogen problem.

Anyway, to regenerate the gel should be heated to about 275 F for 15 min to an hour depending on the size of the gel particles and how they are packaged. The gel should not be heated above about 350 F or you will risk collapsing the porosity and then it won't work. In principle you could regenerate it in the oven as you are baking bread. Then it would smell nice too!!

I think I'll start collecting those little packets and figuring out how to reuse them.
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Old 20-01-2009, 23:43   #13
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I used to travel the US and remodel Payless Shoe stores. When you remove the bottom rack, the carpet is covered with those pellets. Sometimes we would just use the dust pan to scoop them up they were so thick. They were in varying shades from white to amber to dark red. I didn't understand their properties at the time or I'd have taken some home and put them in the oven.
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