Learn how to properly dispose of your old medicines
Spring-cleaning is the perfect time to clean out your medicine cabinet and get rid of expired medications and those you no longer need. Keeping old medicines around can be dangerous, especially if they are in reach of children. Knowing how often you should clean out your medicine cabinet and how to properly dispose of medicines will help to avoid accidental ingestion and even abuse of medication.
Prescription drug abuse is a rising issue in the U.S., which is one reason it’s so important to safely and properly dispose of any expired and unused medications you may have in your home. Often, the medication labels provide disposal instructions. The DEA also coordinates the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which is scheduled for April 29, 2017. It provides a convenient and responsible way for you to dispose of your prescription drugs.
If a take-back day isn’t offered in your area of Shreveport, Louisiana; Nachitoches, Louisiana or Little Rock, Arksansas, consider calling your local pharmacy to verify if they have a way for you to ensure safe medicine disposal.
How to safely dispose of medicines
Some medicines don’t include disposal instructions on their labels and some areas of the country don’t offer take-back programs for medicine. In those instances, as a last resort, you can ensure safe medicine disposal by following these four steps:
- Empty the medicine from its original container into a container that you can seal tightly, like a coffee can or a plastic bag.
- Mix the medication with dirt, cat litter or even used coffee grounds. Don’t crush the tablets or capsules as some medications are absorbed through the skin when you crush them.
- Throw the sealed container into your trash.
- Remove your personal information from the medicine bottle or make it unreadable and put that in the trash as well.
The FDA offers a list of approved medicines for disposal via flushing. Some include Oxycodone Hydrochloride and Percocet.
If you have additional questions about safe medication disposal, please call one of Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center’s walk-in clinic locations or contact the FDA at 1-888-463-6332.
Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo
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