Preventive Care Services: Take Charge of Your Well-being
Do you drink expired milk? If no (which I hope is true), then why would you take expired medications? If your prescription drugs are past the expiration date, taking them can be dangerous.
So, ask yourself: Are expired medications collecting dust in my medicine cabinet?
If yes, it’s time for a clean up and clean out. One option is to take your medications to a collection center near you on one of the two National Drug Take Back Days.
All medications have a “shelf-life” — the length of time the drug will last at maximum effectiveness and safety. Beyond that date, your medication may become weak, which means you’re not getting the full benefit. Worse, expired medications may be unsafe. It’s just not a risk worth taking. Besides, the more medications you have around the higher the risk of abuse, misuse and accidental ingestion.
Then, you may be feeling conflicted about the idea of protecting the environment vs. having out-of-date medications around. Want to hear something shocking? Data from a few years ago suggested that small amounts of pharmaceutical drugs were being found in rivers and drinking water around the country. What does this mean for us? Well, I personally don’t want to question what’s in my drinking water…
So what should you do with medications that are out-of-date?
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines suggest the following:
If there are no instructions for disposal and no take-back programs in your community, you can throw your drugs in the trash. But not yet! First take the following steps:
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