So What’s in Your Medicine Cabinet?

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One of the goals I had this summer was to de-clutter my home. I went through all of my kitchen cupboards, closets, and medicine cabinet and removed everything that I no longer needed, hadn’t used in years, or had expired.

Taking everything out of my medicine cabinet, I looked for the expiry date (on the box or container) and if it was expired I put it in a ‘dispose of’ pile. If I couldn’t find the expiry date or remember buying it in the last few years, its fate was sealed and I added it to the pile. There was also a prescription medication I had just bought that unfortunately I had had a severe reaction to, so off it went into the ‘dispose of pile’ as well.

I was surprised to find a lot of expired over-the-counter and prescription creams, drops, liquids, and tablets dating back almost 10 years! I could have sworn that I had just bought that anti-nausea mediation for my trip to Mexico! How time flies!

I brought all the pharmaceuticals to my local pharmacy and they we’re happy to take it off my hands as they have a program to collect and safely dispose of these types of products. My pharmacist informed me that it’s important to not use expired drugs because drugs degrade over time and can become less potent, more potent, or can even change to a different chemical which may become toxic. As well, pharmaceuticals should not be flushed down the sink or the toilet as they may leach into the water table and contaminate nearby water supplies.

Rule of thumb – if you have any prescription or over-the-counter drugs that have expired or you’re no longer using, bring it to your local pharmacist for safe disposal.

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