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do you keep your prescription medicines?
Are they in different places-with some
in the medicine cabinet, some in the kitchen,
and some in the bedroom or elsewhere? As
a parent, grandparent, or family member,
it’s important that you organize
and keep track of your medicines. After
all, you will want to know where a particular
medicine is when you or someone else needs
to find it. And you will want to keep your
medicines secure so that a child, a teenager,
or even a stranger, does not get into them.
That way, you can help prevent an accidental
injury, as well as do your part to stop
the possible abuse of prescription medicines.
organized means clearing out the clutter.
Too often, that clutter includes
out-dated, unused or unwanted medications;
both over-the-counter and prescriptions.
The first step in getting organized is
to take a look at all the medicines you
have. You should try to do this type of
inventory every six months, or at least
once a year.
by checking the expiration date on the
bottle-you don’t want to take any
chances with a medicine that no longer works
the way it’s supposed to. Some people
believe that expired medicines just lose
their potency and are no longer effective;
wrong! They can make you very sick; possibly
violently ill. Please don’t take expired
medicines! Also, look for medicines that
are discolored, dried out, crumbing, or show
other signs that they are past their prime.
Check the expiration date for eye drops and
eardrops too! They may no longer be effective
and, worse, could be breeding ground for
bacteria or fungus.
Next, look for leftover prescription medicines
from a previous illness or condition. You
will want to discard these since you should
never try to treat yourself (or anyone else)
with a prescription medicine. Your symptoms
might seem similar to what you had before,
but the cause could be different or the medicine
may not be the right one this time around.
flush it! The old flush-it rule
was to keep it out of the hands of people,
or even animals that may ingest it and
get sick. Guess what? It didn't work. Flushing
it has done exactly the opposite of its
is now in the water supply!
Take your prescription
drugs out of their original
containers. By removing
unused or expired medicine
from its original container,
ensuring that medicine
will not fall in the wrong
hands. Orange prescription
bottles are easily recognizable
and can be stolen from garbage
cans and landfills.
you have pills, crush them
before you throw them out.
Mix drugs with an undesirable
substance, such as cat litter
or used coffee grounds. This
extra step can prevent accidental
overdose by children and
pets and also possible drug
the mixture into a disposable
container with a lid, such
as an empty margarine tub,
or into a sealable bag. Place
the sealed container with
the mixture, and empty drug
containers in the trash.
or remove any personal information,
including Rx number, on the
empty containers by covering
it with black permanent marker
or duct tape, or by scratching
alternative to proper disposal
is to check with your local
pharmacies and county Health
Departments. Some have programs
where they will take your
expired prescriptions and
dispose of them for you.
will want to store your medicine
in an area that is convenient,
but is also cool and dry - since
heat and humidity can damage medicines.
That's why a bathroom is not a
good place to keep your medicines
unless you are able to keep the
room well ventilated.
there are children around, you
might want to find an area where
you can lock up your medicines.
A cabinet or a drawer with a lock
on it would work.
theft and abuse of prescription
medicines is a serious problem.
You play a big role in keeping
these powerful medicines out of
the hands of those who shouldn't
have them. Since it is dangerous,
as well as illegal, for anyone
but you to use a controlled substance
prescribed for you, a locked storage
area can help keep a stranger or
someone else from gaining access
About Disposing of Prescription
Take-Back Day ...
National Prescription Drug
Saturday, April 28, 2012
from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
to DEA Site Locator
DEA Web Site
Kings County Collection Day
your medicines separate from those of your
spouse or other family members (for example,
on a different shelf or at least on a separate
side of a shelf). This will make it less
likely that you take the wrong ones by
lighting near where you store your medicines
will help you make sure you are taking
the right medicine. Never take medicines
in the dark.
the medicine in the bottle it came in.
The amber color protects the medicine from
light. You will also have the information
right there including how often to take
it. The label will also have the phone
number of the pharmacy so you can call
when it is time for a refill.
Never mix different medicines in the same bottle - you might
end up taking the wrong one by mistake. It is also possible
that some of one medicine could rub off onto another and affect
how well it works.
If there is cotton in the pill
bottle when you first open it, remove the
cotton and throw it away. The cotton can
absorb moisture and affect the medicine
that is inside.
And as always, if you have any questions regarding your prescriptions,
please consult your healthcare professional.
Microsoft Clip Art/Photos
Department of Justice
to 2012 Photo Credits