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It’s time to clean out your medicine cabinet

It’s time to clean out your medicine cabinet

It's time to clean out your medicine cabinet!

Almost everyone has one, that cabinet or drawer somewhere in your home where you hoard pills, prescriptions, and medicines you’ve accumulated from countless Doctor visits. You may not pass a glance at your collection but here’s why you should.

In your cabinet, it is best to glance over and make sure you have no expired prescriptions. Expired prescriptions may lose potency but that does not remove the risk of ingesting expired pharmaceuticals. Effects of ingesting old medicine includes but is not limited to : nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, ulcers, seizures, and even death. Even if you may know these risks, children or mentally handicapped individuals that may reside in your home may not be as aware. To prevent overdose or misuse of medication it is best to make sure all unused or expired medications are rid of the home to protect family members and little ones. By removing these older prescriptions you also remove the risk of taking medications that are no longer needed or necessary. There can be undesirable side effects from taking unused/unnecessary medications as well as the threat of growing a drug dependency or drug abuse. Certified Nurse Midwife for Providence Womens Healthcare, Amanda Zimmerman suggests “Periodically go through your cabinets to ensure you do not have expired or unnecessary medications. Make sure to dispose of leftover medications properly and make sure that they are out of the reach of children and people who may take them inappropriately. It is important to avoid taking medications unless they are truly indicated.”


Do not throw away, flush, or garbage dispose of any old or unused medications. Most doctors offices, Fires stations, and Police Stations will accept medications for disposal. Stations may have designated “take back” days and will dispose of the medications for you. You can also call your healthcare professional and check with them to see if they offer the service or can suggest anyone who can if they are unable to do so. Disposing of medications properly helps ensure the safety of others and the environment. It is important to enforce this method of disposal so that the effects of doing so incorrectly no longer becomes an issue.

Happy cleaning!

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