When to Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet
May 10, 2018

When to Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet

It’s easy to build up a collection of old, unused, or unwanted medications; maybe you had multiple surgeries throughout the year, sick children, or you are the caregiver for a family member that lives in your home. Regardless of the reason for that overstocked medicine cabinet, it’s important to know when it’s time to clean it out.

UNWANTED or UNUSED MEDS

These are medications that you no longer need but may have kept because they haven’t hit their expiration date yet, or you may think, “Oh I will keep them around, just in case.” By doing this, you are actually chancing either yourself becoming addicted to opioids (by using them for minor reasons rather than what they were intended for), or you are putting other members of your household at risk for addiction or experimentation, including your children and teens.

These medications should be thrown out the moment you no longer need them. Most opioids are prescribed for short periods of time. If you do not use all of the medication in that period of time, then chances are you did not need them, and they need to be properly disposed of.

EXPIRED MEDS

Many people believe that when medications expire that they still have more time before they are actually toxic. This information is not exactly accurate. According to Consumer Med Safety, “It’s the date up until which the drug manufacturer can guarantee that the medicine is fully potent and safe to take based on product testing. Expiration dates are typically conservative to make sure you get what you paid for—a fully potent and safe medicine.” The key words here are: potent and safe.

When you consume a medication after the expiration date, there is no longer a guarantee that the medicine will fully work, let alone be safe for consumption. Although studies have shown that some medications can continue to be consumed months or even years after the expiration date, studies are being done every single day about new warnings, dosages, or side effects. Chances are, if you reach for that medication that expired one year ago, you may not know the latest information about the medication.

Keeping your medicine cabinet stocked with unwanted, unused, or expired medications may seem harmless at first glance. The main question here is: Why take the risk? Why risk your teens reaching for that bottle of Oxycontin because they heard about it from their friends at school? Why risk opioid addiction for yourself when you think that your headache needs something as strong as what you were prescribed for your knee surgery last year? WHY TAKE THE RISK AT ALL?

Medication disposal is crucial to household safety and the safety in any healthcare facility or pharmacy. At Rx Disposal, we know that most medication disposal methods are time consuming and often inconvenient. When you get your bottle of NarcX, not only can you render medications immediately non-retrievable right in your home, but the bottle can be safely disposed of in your trash can when you are finished with it.

Don’t take the chance. Be part of the solution. 1.303.434.1630

Sources:

http://www.consumermedsafety.org/safe-medicine-storage-and-disposal/what-does-a-medicine-s-expiration-date-mean

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