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on 03 Jan 2020 in At Home

How to Properly Dispose of Old Medication

Dispose of Old Medication to keep Your Household Safe
Make A New Year’s Resolution To Get Organized! ~

Ah, New Year’s resolutions. That annual ritual when you recommit to get organized and get the clutter out. It’s a new start. It’s a time to shed the things you no longer need and embrace the newfound space and items that you appreciate.

Your household medicine cabinet is no different. When was the last time you cleared out your medicine cabinet? Did you know you were supposed to do that?

According to a 2017 study conducted by Consumer Reports, approximately one-third of Americans haven’t cleaned out their medicine cabinet in the past year, and almost one-fifth haven’t done so for three years, even though most medications expire within just a year.

There are some real dangers to keeping old medicine bottles and unwanted, unused, or expired medicines. People can be tempted to skip medical appointments by substituting old medications for updated medicines. Since pills, capsules, and liquids can spoil or lose their potency, they’re not likely to be effective past their expiration date. And when you’re depending upon life-saving medications, taking expired medications can be life-threatening.

How to Dispose of Old Medication

There are easy ways to avoid this. If you There is a National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day on April 17, 2020, so you can start by putting that on your calendar.

Since the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) hosts “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” twice a year, that’s a great time as well. Next year the first take back day is April 25, 2020, right after the clean-out day. The DEA partners with hospitals, clinics, healthcare facilities, pharmacies, and state and local law enforcement facilities to offer anonymous, safe, and secure disposal sites across the country. And remember, this website lists kiosk site locations that are open year-round. Just check out our convenient Locator.

So How to Dispose of Unwanted, Unused or Expired Prescription Drugs?
  1. First, take inventory by gathering your household medications. Make sure to pull out ointments as they are commonly mistaken for non-medical creams.
  2. Next, check the expiration dates. Pull aside any medications that have expired. Any medications that are over one year old but do not have an expiration date should also be discarded.
  3. Visually inspect all medications to make sure they’re not sticking together, cracking, discolored, or exuding a strange smell. Medications sometimes spoil prior to their expiration dates when they’re exposed to too much moisture, like in a household bathroom medicine cabinet.
  4. Finally, dispose of these unwanted, unused, or expired medicines at a kiosk site. Make sure to first remove any identifying information from the packaging.

Encourage others to clean out their medicine cabinets too. Not only will you clear the clutter, but you’ll be keeping everyone healthier.

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