Resources and Guides

It’s Spring – Time to Clear Out Unused Medication!

Springtime not only signifies a change in weather. But, it’s also a time of year synonymous with deep cleaning of our homes. Many of us look upon it as a rite of passage to the next season or a chance to get organized. If you’re like me, you’ve had a mental checklist since Christmas of all the areas you want to clean up and clear out in your home. We include everything from our windows, closets, cabinets to cluttered drawers and garage.  

There is one item I urge you to add to your list this year: medication. Clear out and properly dispose of any expired, unused or unwanted medication!  Medication is typically overlooked. If you have expired medication collected in a bag and tucked away under your counter, you need to get rid of it. Here’s what you should consider:

Gather expired and unused prescribed and over the counter medication. Don’t forget vitamin supplements.  

The sheer number of medications you have hiding away in your cabinet will surprise you. I have to admit that I had that bag of expired medications under the counter. There were old prescriptions for both Catherine and myself as well as over the counter cough medicine and a couple of bottles of vitamins.

Confirm before you flush medications or pour them down the drain.

Flushing your prescriptions or medications down the toilet may seem like an easy option, but it is generally not recommended. You can check the label, ask your pharmacist or check the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the proper way to dispose of certain drugs.

Dispose of your medications in the proper manner. There are a number of options available to you and all of them are safe and easy to follow. In recent weeks, we opted to dispose of old meds at a kiosk at our local pharmacy. See which of the options below are best for you.

WHATWHENHOW
National Prescription Drug Take Back DayApril 27, 2019 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM (Occurs twice annually)Offers a safe way to properly dispose of unused or expired prescription and over-the counter medication at no charge to the consumer.
Sponsored by local law enforcement agencies and is supported by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Check the website for your town or city to find out more information.
Medication Disposal Programs at your Pharmacy
OngoingThe two top pharmacies CVS and Walgreens both have disposal bins and drop boxes at various locations around the country.
Both will not accept illegal drugs, needles and syringes, inhalers or anything containing mercury.
Check websites for more information on locations.
Household Disposal
As needed4-Step Process recommended by the Food and Drug Administration: https://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm101653.htm#steps

Proper disposal of medications will not only support your spring cleaning efforts, but it will help combat the opioid crisis we face in this country. It will also protect us and our loved ones from taking medications we no longer need.  Take the time this spring to move old meds out.


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