Medications are used to cure or mitigate a disease or the symptoms of a disease. Understanding your medications is a key component of your health and well-being. Additionally, proper storage and disposal of medications helps improve the safety of your loved ones and our community by decreasing accidental ingestion by pets or children, minimizing prescription drug abuse, and reducing the effects medications may have on the environment. We are encouraging you to be smart about the prescriptions in your medicine cabinet by taking part in the Medicine Cabinet Clean-Out Challenge. Below are three easy steps and a few questions to keep in mind when completing them. Our hope is that by having others complete this challenge at home, they can become fully informed about the proper way to handle their medications, safely and responsibly.
- Know your medications
- Secure your medications
- Dispose of your medications
• Keep a list of medications, food, or other substances you are allergic too or that might have cause a bad reaction.
• Do you understand how to take your medications?
• Do you understand the common and serious side effects of your medications?
• Are your medicines stored in a secured location to prevent accidental ingestion or misuse?
• How do you monitor the amount left in each medicine?
• Do you know how/where to safely dispose of any unused or expired medications?
• Have you checked to see if any medications are recalled?
By educating others about the proper way to store and dispose of our medicines, we can have a lasting impact on drug abuse, medication safety, and our environment.
By Nicolas A. Forcade, PharmD, MSPhr, BCPS; Pharmacy Clinical Manger, St. David’s South Austin Medical Center