Medicine Clean up
When we think of Spring Cleaning, we think of all the places in our house that need to be cleaned and organized. Getting the cupboards and walls washed, the blinds and screens cleaned and all the other dirty jobs that get left all year makes us feel so good when they are completed.
Unfortunately there is one area in the house that tends to get neglected and avoided. Our Medicine Cabinet! Sometimes its years before we get this done or we just don’t ever do it at all. So while you’re dusting off all the other corners of your house, take a few minutes to go through your stash of medications. Decluttering this tiny section of your home will rid of dangerous and outdated items.
All Prescription and non-prescription medications will have an expiry date so take the time to locate all expiry dates. Expired medications lose their effectiveness and in some instances can become dangerous. If you are having trouble locating the expiry date, phone your pharmacist as they can help you with this.
Here are some guidelines to help you with your cleaning:
1. Remove prescription medications that are expired.
2. Remove expired non-prescription medications including cough/cold, pain, first aid and vitamins.
3. Remove partially used prescriptions and old prescriptions that you no longer take.
4. Remove medications no longer in their original containers or with labels that can’t be read.
5. Remove medications that have changed color, smell or taste.
6. Remove duplicate items that aren’t used often.
7. Remove improperly stored items. Medications stored in a hot humid area like a steamy bathroom can evaporate leaving them more concentrated and dangerous.
Now that you have separated the good from the bad, what do you do with all those medications that now need to be disposed? Throwing them in the garbage puts children and pets at risk. Flushing them down the toilet can contaminate the water supply. Simply put all your old medications in a bag and bring them to your pharmacy. If you have sharp needles, place them in the appropriate sharps container, seal it and place in a bag. Your pharmacy will accept these too.
Pharmacists can ensure the safe and appropriate disposal of expired medications according to environmental regulations. By collecting the public’s leftover medications we also protect human health by decreasing the risk of accidental poisonings and recreational use and abuse that can result from keeping these products in your home.
Tammi Hanowski, BSP, Pharmacist
514 Queen St, Saskatoon, S7K 0M5
306-653-5111, 1-800-695-4788, 306-653-1661 Fax
Visit us online at www.cheethamspharmacy.ca , and www.pharmacysaskatoon.ca your Trusted Saskatoon Pharmacy