Older Patients' Compliance with Drug Storage Recommendations

Nicolaas D. Vlieland, Bart J. F. van den Bemt, Charlotte L. Bekker, Marcel L. Bouvy, Toine C. G. Egberts, Helga Gardarsdottir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Whereas storage conditions are regulated and closely monitored in every stage of the drug supply chain before drug dispensing, it is unknown if patients store drugs at home according to storage recommendations. Objective The objective of this study was to investigate how older patients store their prescription drugs at home and to what extent they comply with drug storage recommendations. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study between October 2015 and March 2016. Forty-four participating Dutch community pharmacies selected four home-dwelling patients (aged >= 65 years) using at least one prescription drug. A complete drug inventory at patients' homes was performed. Drugs were considered to fulfill the storage recommendation when these met all drug quality (Q) and information (I) criteria: adequately stored according to drug product label storage recommendations for temperature, light, humidity (Q1); expiry date not passed (Q2); integer primary package (Q3); drug identifiability (I1); drug package insert or information leaflet availability (I2). Results One hundred and seventy patients [53.5% female, mean age 74.9 (standard deviation 7.3) years] were included and 1133 prescription drugs stored at home were registered. More than half of the patients (51.2%) complied with all storage quality and information criteria. Assessment of the individual criteria showed that 76.4% of patients were compliant with criterion Q1 while 90.6, 95.3, 97.1 and 71.2% of patients complied with criteria Q2, Q3, I1 and I2, respectively. 53.2% of drugs that should be kept refrigerated according to storage criterion Q1 were not stored between 2 and 8 degrees C. Conclusion This study illustrates that more than half of the older patients comply with general drug storage recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-241
Number of pages9
JournalDrugs & Aging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


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