Why is the Medicine Cabinet in the Kitchen?

The other day, I needed heartburn medication and so I went to our kitchen drawer. Food generates heartburn. There’s no sense walking to the master bath for a simple roll of Tums. The kitchen seemed a logical location.

Why is the drawer full?

At first, I couldn’t find the Tums. That’s because the drawer was loaded with over-the-counter medications. From Gas-X to Tagamet to Advil. From Tylenol to Aleve to Mucinex. Alka Seltzer Cold and Flu, Gaviscon, Nexium and chewable Vitamin C. The drawer was brimming with health remedies. It made me wonder. Are we really this ill? 

Medicine Cabinet

We don’t have a medicine cabinet in our house. Instead, we have drawers in the bathroom that provide ample space for everything we might need. Upon recent inspection, we seem to need a lot. How many first-aid creams are required to heal a cut? Does Airborne protect you when you fly? Does magnesium really support a healthy immune system? We live in a pill-popping society. Perhaps with a healthier diet, we could skip the Pepto-Bismol and Dulcolax.


Once a year, I think about going through all the meds to check expiration dates. But I don’t. It just seems too overwhelming. Instead, I commit to checking before using any of the products. Frankly, I think it’s a waste of time to do that with cough syrup. Robitussin is so disgusting—going bad can only improve the taste.

Aging or convenience?

So when did the medicine cabinet move to the kitchen? Is it a function of aging or convenience?  And are you experiencing the same phenomenon in your home? If you get a moment, leave a comment on my blog by clicking here.

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  • Lisa says:

    Brad, you are so right! We are a pill-popping society. My Mom rarely took all the meds I have in my closet. (Which is akin to your kitchen drawer, other’s bathroom cabinet) We don’t tough it out, ignore it or keep silent about it. It is never JUST a headache or stomachache. It is The Worse Pain Ever… until the next time. Easy to see how the opioid epidemic escalated. But back to the OTC drugs. I’m trying to verbally complain less (mentally I still b***h my head off), be tougher and use less than ever. Maybe it is easier because my collection of prescription drugs is ever-growing. 60. Not blissfully delightful.

  • Rob Raymond says:

    So true. In our housethere’s meds & creams and lotions in the upstairs master bath, presumably so one can apply after getting out of the shower. Then there is the drawers in the downstairs guest bath for all the stuff I don’t know what they are for but my husband does. The Aleve, Tums and Asprin are in the cabinet next to the stove, right next to the spices. Suppose if the spices give us a headache, upset stomach or some sort of pain it’s best to have the remedy tight next to the culprit.

  • Eric says:

    Yes, we do have a medicine cabinet in the kitchen – literally one of the kitchen cabinets. But most of that’s driven by the fact that the meds kept there are taken with food. However, we also have medicine drawers in all 3 bathrooms (and yet only Ric and I live here). How many kinds of otc painkillers do we really need? And skin cream – my God!!! And frankly it’s not doing any good.

    But old habits die hard. And it’s not like this is really a bad habit. Just a somewhat annoying or embarrassing one

  • Louise Mason says:

    Growing up our medicine cabinet was always in the kitchen – yep right next to the spices (!) and stored in one of those biscuit selection tins you get at Christmas!

  • Brad Graber says:

    Medicine in a biscuit tin? Oh – I’d be so disappointed every time I opened it!

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