Many of you will have guests to your home at this time of year which may include young children or teens. If you take prescription or over-the-counter medication, vitamins or other supplements, store them in a locked cabinet. Many young children see them as candy. There are over 60,000 emergency visits each year due to young children consuming medicines or vitamins. Teens may want them for “pharm parties” or to sell.
If you haven’t done so in awhile, go through your medicine cabinet and dispose of any expired or unused medication. Some may be harmful beyond their expiration date. Others will have less potency. Don’t take a risk. Dispose of them. NEVER give prescription medicines to someone else to use.
How do you dispose of them? The best way is to check with your city or county government to see if they have a take-back program. Your pharmacist may also know of these types of programs in your area. You can also put them in your trash but you first need to check your local laws and ordinances to make sure you can do this. If it is permitted, you need to mix the whole pills and capsules with a substance like sand, kitty litter or used coffee grounds and put in a sealed baggie and place them with your regular trash. Some can be flushed. Here is a listing for those from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA):http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/UCM337803.pdf. Again you want to check with your local laws to make sure you can do this.
Let’s all be safe and clean out our medicine cabinets!