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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day: April 27, 2019

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day: April 27, 2019

With the onset of warmer weather and longer days comes the annual ritual of spring cleaning. This year add a new habit when freshening up your home. Spring clean your medicine cabinet! Chances are you have some medications that you no longer take, have put away “just in case” you need them later, or have expired. It’s easy to put medication away for later use and completely forget you still have them.

 April 28, 2018 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. (The link below will help you to locate a collection site near you!) This event, which happens every April and October, is the perfect way to safely get rid of medications you no longer need or use. It is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). When going through your medicine cabinet, keep these points in mind:

 Check the Dates:

  • Examine everything in your medicine cabinet, including ointments, supplements and vitamins. Discard any item that is beyond the expiration date

  • Discard any prescription medications that are more than a year old. Remember to write the date you opened a new medication on the container and get rid of all things opened or partially used after one year

Discard any items that have changed color or smell funny

  • Regardless of the expiration or use-by date, these items should be thrown away

Discard unmarked containers

  • If something is no longer in its original container and can't be identified, get rid of it.

  • In the future, try to always keep medications in their original containers so that you can easily recognize every medication

Remove any personal identifying information on the prescription label

  • Remove the label or black out any personal information prior to disposing the container

Inspect adhesive bandages

  • Bandages and tapes have a limited lifespan, too, and should be replaced before their adhesive breaks down

If your medicine cabinet is in the bathroom, consider relocating it

  • The temperature and humidity changes that come with the shower running can lower the potency of some medications

  • Medications should be kept in a cool dry place, away from children, pets, and scavengers. Consider a locked drawer or a locked box on a shelf


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