It’s March. Time for Spring Cleaning Your Medicine Cabinet!
Spring is the time for cleaning out those closets, donating your junk to people who want or need it. But tell me, do you ever clean out your medicine cabinet? I wish I actually had to clean mine out for expired medicines, cough syrup, and other remedies, but most are used up due to the fact that I am sick all the time.
Here are my rules for my medicine cabinet:
1. Anything Expired – chuck it! Most over the counter drugs have a few years, as compared to 1 year with most pharmaceuticals. After the time period that medications expire, their chemical components can start to break down as well, which is definitively not something that I want in my body!
2. Any discontinued or recalled medicine – this is a fairly no brainer, if the FDA or other governing body recalled a medicine then I do not want it. I play enough roulette with my daily cocktail of medicines; let’s not add any additional risk factors.
3. Ineffective or half used medicines – If you took half an antibiotic and then your doctor switched you to a new one, there likely isn’t enough left to kick a future infection.
4. Dispose of everything properly – If you use needles for injections of any kind (all legally prescribed, I hope!), remember to dispose of your sharps container properly.
5. Replace any over-the-counter medicine – Due to the nature of my autoimmune diseases, and the fact that I seem to catch every cold that I come in contact with, I tend to keep cough syrup, throat drops, and Sudafed on hand at all times. As a parent this is a definite must, unless you fancy midnight trips to the pharmacy.
Occasionally my doctors will stop or switch my medications before I use the whole prescription, so sometimes I am left with bottles of medication I no longer use. For the most part this doesn’t happen, but I have been known to have an allergic reaction once or twice that has required suddenly stopping and not restarting medications. As a general rule, my pharmacist will take any unused bottles of medication back and dispose of them with there expired medications. Check with your local pharmacy for local regulations, specifically pertaining to narcotic pain relievers.
Article written by Staff Writer, Ashley Morgan.
Ashley has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia since 2005 after spending five years undiagnosed and many misdiagnoses. Other secondary diagnoses include: Lupus, Hyper-mobility Syndrome, and Sjögren’s Syndrome. Originally from Glendale, California, she now calls San Antonio, Texas home. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering with youth at her Church and spending time with her husband and step-sons. She can be found on Twitter at @Ashiemorgan