Your Medicine Cabinet
I have found a website that celebrates some of the lesser-known national days for America. I think a few of them are well worth adopting ourselves. Today, April 15, is National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day in America. It occurs annually on the third Friday in April. It is something we don’t do regularly enough but at least I hope this will prompt you to check medicines around your home today. Many of us have unused or expired medication around the house, be it over-the-counter tablets or prescribed medication, in medicine cabinets, nightstands or kitchen cabinets. Now is a great time to check through it all.
The risks of keeping leftover or expired prescription or over-the-counter medication in your home are definitely not worth it. Drug addiction, overdosing, poisonings, and even deaths have been related to leftover medications.
Review your medications (as well as those of your pets) wherever you store them. Check your medicine cabinet, nightstand, kitchen cabinets, and bathroom drawers. It’s easy to miss some which you may have forgotten were there.
Check whether they are still in date, or even still needed. Then dispose of them safely. This can be done by taking them to a pharmacy. Flushing medications into the water supply can negatively impact fish and the water we drink. When discarded into general household rubbish, medications can leach into, and contaminate, the soil.
It is also a good time to check that the medicine is stored in the best possible place. Unless advised otherwise medicines are best kept in cool, dark and dry places. This helps them to best maintain their potency.
The potency of some medications can decrease over time. The amount of deterioration, however, will depend on the medication and how it was stored. Now is a good time to dispose of old medications which may not be effective due to their age, and replace them with new packets.
Indeed, some medications can increase in potency over time. This is yet another good reason to ensure that medications within your home are within a current expiry date.
Enjoy the rest of your long weekend, though spending an hour or two cleaning out your medicine cabinet would be a very beneficial use of this extra time.
Maybe you can now associate this activity with Easter, and do this every year ;)