Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Keeping Your Medicine Cabinet Healthy

Tips for Tuesday

Keeping  your medicine cabinet stocked is important to your well-being.  Just as important is keeping an eye on the contents.  If your medicine is out-dated, it can be life-threatening rather than life-saving.  Perform the following checks on your medicine cabinet every six months.
  • Discard expired medications.  Take them to your city's hazardous waste collection or ask your local pharmacy if they accept expired meds.  Never put them in the garbage or down the sink.
  •  If you can't find an expiration date, but you've had the medicine for at least two years, discard it.  Chemical changes over time can change the effectiveness of medications.
  • Discard any prescription medications you have not taken in over a year.  These also have a limited shelf life and can undergo chemical changes.
  • Discard any medication without a label.
  • Discard old toothbrushes
  • Discard rusty nail clippers, tweezers, etc.
  • Place often-used items near the bottom of the cabinet, and less-used items at the top. 
  • Place bottles and boxes with labels facing outward so you can easily locate what you need.
  • If more than one person uses the medicine cabinet, store each person's prescription items on a different shelf.  With prescription bottles from the same pharmacy all looking the same, one can easily grab the wrong bottle in the middle of the night and take the wrong tablets if they look similar to their own.
  • Call your pharmacy for refills of prescription items when you notice you are down to about five pills.  The pharmacy will have it ready for you on time, even if they have to order it from their supplier or call your physician for refills.  Never wait until you take the last pill.  Something may come up that day which will prevent you from picking up your prescription when you need it.
  • Use plastic cups or containers to hold small items such as ointment tubes, cotton swabs and nail clippers. 
  • Store like items together--hair care, skin care, etc.
  • Discard any cosmetics over a year old.

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