Safe storage and disposal of prescription medications is important for your health. We can often lose track of where we put our medications. The first step is to get organized and go from there.
Take an inventory of all the medications in your home. Try to do this every six months, or at least once a year. In order for safe storage, look at the expiration date. If the medicine has expired, it may not be as effective as it once was. This includes eye drops and ear drops. If they have been sitting around for too long, fungus and bacteria could be growing.
Check to see if the disposal of prescription medications is necessary. Not only is the expiration date critical, so are a few other things. See if the medication is discolored or if it is dried out. If it looks different from what it did when you first started using it, then it is time to toss it out. Discard prescriptions that were left over from a previous illness.
After you have collected all of your useful medicines, it is time to find a place for the safe storage of prescription medications. Choose a convenient location that is cool and dry. Heat and humidity can destroy the effectiveness of medicines. Even if you have a bathroom medicine cabinet, do not use it for prescriptions.
Once you have identified a place for safe storage of prescription medications, make sure that it is secure so that a child or pet cannot get into them. You also want to find a place where a stranger will not find them. I had a friend who found a strange woman in her bathroom looking in her medicine cabinet. I also had two three year old grandchildren get into my thyroid medication and eat it. It was a fun night at the emergency room.
Safe storage and disposal of prescription medications is an ongoing process. Stay in the habit of keeping your prescriptions in the same place rather than having them scattered in different places around the house. That way you can keep track of them at all times. Never throw any unused medicine down the drain or it could contaminate the water supply. Check with your community. Often they will organize specific drop off points so that they can dispose of medications for you.
I just went through our medicines today and disposed of everything out of date or that hadn't been used in a long time.
Since we don't have anywhere safe to dispose of them I dumped them all in a vinegar bottle that still had about a 1/4 of the vinegar in it. I was kind of scared it might explode but it didn't. A pharmacist told me to this a long time ago to destroy the pills.
Great smart list indeed!
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