April 16 is National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day, so it’s a perfect day to do something many of us never do!
“Some medications after the expiration date become less effective, but some can actually become toxic if you keep them” says Shannon Miller, Director of Patient Outcomes and Pharmacy Technology Optimization at Kinney Drugs.
This applies to both prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Miller says most prescriptions should be disposed of after one year if they are not used.
“If it’s a prescription medication, if you’re going to throw it out, they actually recommend that you try to make it no so desirable in the trash. So, you know, you mix it up with kitty liter or coffee grounds and then put it like in a Tide bottle and toss it out.”
Items like cough syrups go bad, too. Miller says it’s best to toss these in the trash, and not dump them down the drain. This will ensure they don’t end up in our water supply.
After you clean out your medicine cabinet, Miller says you think should think about what you put back in.
“The best place to store your medication isn’t actually in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. In the bathroom becomes very humid, can become very warm. So it’s actually better to find a cabinet in your kitchen away from your stove to store your medications on an ongoing basis.”