Spring is here, which means it is time for some spring cleaning – where better to start than your medicine cabinet? This coincides with National Prescription Take Back Day which is taking place on April 30.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day gives the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by making it convenient to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
Here is an easy guide to clean out your medicine cabinet in preparation of National Prescription Take Back Day.
- The one-year rule. Throw away any prescription medications that are older than one year or expired. Medications may lose their efficacy after the expiration date and some may even be toxic.
- Throw away unmarked containers. If something cannot be identified or is not in its original container, throw it away.
- The smell, color or taste rule. Your senses are your first line of defense against expired medication. If it smells, looks or tastes off, discard it.
- Relocate your medicine cabinet. All medications should be stored in a cool and dry environment away from children. The humidity and temperature changes that occur in a bathroom from showers may lower the medication’s efficacy.
“Overall, the best way to get rid of unwanted medications is to bring them to a medication take back center,” John Sorboro, MD, ABPN, head addiction medicine services physician at Mercy Health Youngstown’s New Start chemical dependency program, shares. “However, if you are unable to do so you should follow the FDA’s recommendations for proper medication disposal.”
To find a take back location near you, visit the DEA’s website.
And visit the FDA’s website for information about safely disposing of medications at home.