Spring is here, which means it is time for some spring cleaning. Where better to start than your medicine cabinet?
This also coincides with National Prescription Take Back Day on April 30, a day that gives the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by making it convenient to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
Here is an easy checklist to follow while cleaning out your medicine cabinet.
- Throw away unmarked containers. If something cannot be identified or is not in its original container, throw it away.
- Over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications expire, too. Check your cough and cold treatments, pain relievers and first aid kit for items to discard and replace.
- Relocate your medicine cabinet. All medications should be stored in a cool and dry environment away from children. The humidity and temperature changes that occur in a bathroom from showers may lower the medication’s efficacy.
- The one-year rule. Throw away any prescription medications that are older than one year or expired. Medications may lose their efficacy after the expiration date, and some may even be toxic.
“As a rule of thumb, unused or discontinued medications should be disposed of right away. This is especially true for pain medication and antibiotics,” Ginger Berrie, RPh, director of retail pharmacy with Harness Health, shares.
Find out more about safely disposing of medications at home on the FDA’s website.
Looking to take advantage of Drug Take Back Day? Find a take back location near you on the DEA’s website.