Spring clean your medicine cabinet

Posted on April 25, 2016

Pill iconSpring is a time of renewal and starting fresh. If you're giving your home a good spring cleaning, de-cluttering, dusting and removing items that you no longer need or want, don't forget your medicine cabinet! It is important to clean your medicine cabinet or wherever you store your medications regularly, so unused and unwanted medications do not collect over time.

Why clean the medicine cabinet?

  • Leftover medications can easily get into the wrong hands. Prevent children, animals, family members or guests in your home from accidentally taking or abusing prescription drugs by removing this access. Knowing what you have for medication on hand, you can keep a watchful eye on any medicine that may go missing.

  • Cleaning out old medication also prevents you from taking pills you no longer need or that are no longer effective.  Look at the expiration dates on all your pill bottles and over the counter medication.  Properly dispose of any medication that is past its expiration date or that you no longer take.

  • Throw unwanted or expired meds the right way. The FDA suggests flushing some, but not all drugs down the toilet. But the best way to is get them out of your house with a take-back program. Many towns host take-back programs and collections sites may also be available in your area. To find a take back program near you, go to The American Medicine Chest Challenge and type in your zip code. You can also contact your local police station to see if they have an area to drop off medication.

Take stock

Keep a list of all the medication you do have on hand, including over the counter medication and herbal supplements.  Bring this list with you to your doctor.  All of your physicians and specialists should know what medications and supplements you are on to avoid any harmful combinations. 

You can also go to the drug interaction checker through Healthwise Knowledgebase. Click on the Drug Interaction Checker link to see how your medications and supplements may interact with each other.

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The information written about in this blog is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek care from a medical professional when you have a health concern.