Storing and Discarding Medications

 

Now is a great time to see if any of your medicines should be discarded because they are too old or no longer needed.

This list from FDA tells you what expired, unwanted, or unused medicines you should flush down the sink or toilet to help prevent danger to people and pets in the home. Flushing these medicines will get rid of them right away and help keep your family and pets safe.

A woman packing for vacation put a week's supply of her various medicines in an empty prescription bottle. When she returned home, she then stored the last few doses of her father's medicine in the empty prescription bottle so she could take his current bottle to the pharmacy for a refill.

As each New Year begins, it's a great time to see if any of your medicines should be discarded because they are too old or no longer needed. On prescription bottles, the label will often tell you when the medicine should be discarded. On over-the-counter medicines and sample medicines, the expiration date (the date it should be discarded) is often printed on the label under "EXP," or stamped without ink into the bottom of a bottle, carton, or the crimp of a tube.

Where do you keep your medicine? Preferably, not in the medicine cabinet in a bathroom! Surprisingly, the medicine cabinet in a steamy, moist bathroom is the worst place to keep any medicine; prescription or over-the-counter (OTC). The heat and moisture in a bathroom can make medicines weaker.

Some medicines come in patches that you attach to your skin. Examples include: NicoDerm CQ (nicotine), used to quit smoking; Climara (estradiol), used to treat symptoms of menopause; Duragesic (fentanyl), used to relieve serious, long-term pain.Patches are designed to give a constant amount of medicine over a certain period of time, usually several days. New patches contain lots of medicine, but used patches can still contain medicine after you take them off. Both new and used patches can be dangerous for children or pets.

Traveling on vacation can be hectic enough without the added problem of worrying about your medications. Keep in mind that medications are sensitive to temperature extremes. Therefore, if you're traveling to a hot and humid climate, take extra care to keep your medicines in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

Medication Safety Alerts

FDA Safety Alerts

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