It’s Spring, and you know what that means… It’s Spring cleaning time!
While you’re going about your Spring cleaning, don’t forget to clean out your medicine cabinet. It’s recommended that once a year, you toss out your expired medications. The expiration date refers to an unopened container, not opened ones. Opened containers of medicine should be tossed after a year, or sooner if it begins to smell or look strange.
Do some research and see if any local places are doing a prescription take back. If not, a trip to the pharmacy is the safest way to discard of expired medication. Tossing unused medicines into the garbage or flushing them down the toilet can be dangerous. Landfill sites and water supplies can become tainted with discarded medicines. To avoid these toxic risks, medication should be brought back to the pharmacy for environmentally-friendly disposal.
When restocking your medicine cabinet, there are FIVE medicine-cabinet essentials that should be in every home: acetaminophen, anti-diarrheal product(s), motion sickness medicine, bandages, and allergy medication. A few other products that are good to have on hand are hydrocortisone, antibacterial ointment, burn cream, and a thermometer.
Now, get to cleaning!
Tim Reynolds, MD