It's important to regularly clean out your medicine cabinet to avoid taking unnecessary, expired or harmful medications.
Why should I clean out my medicine cabinet regularly?
It’s true that cleaning out your medicine cabinet requires a little time and effort. However, it can have many benefits, including:
- gain storage space
- take stock of the medications you have in your home
- avoid unnecessary purchases
- prevent drug intoxications, and
- reduce the risk of medication errors
Medication errors are real health risks. Each year, a number of people have to go to the emergency room, see a doctor or be hospitalized because of medication misuse. Regularly cleaning out your medicine cabinet helps to reduce this risk.
How often should I clean out my medicine cabinet?
It is up to you to decide how often you should clean out your medicine cabinet, taking into account not only your preferences, but also how often you use your medications. If you take several medications and have a complex drug regimen, it may be appropriate to clean out your medicine cabinet a little more often than if you hardly ever take any!
Many pharmacists recommend cleaning it out at least once a year, and ideally at the change of season.
How should I store my medication?
There is no hard and fast rule for storing medications. Some should be stored at room temperature or within a certain temperature range, and others in the refrigerator. Sometimes, a product must be thrown away after it has been opened or diluted. Your pharmacist can tell you how to store each medication.
Here is some advice on the best way to store your medication:
- Keep all your medication out of the reach and out of sight of children and pets.
- Do not store them in the bathroom. It is the worst place to store them due to temperature and humidity variations.
- Keep them in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight.
- Keep them in their original containers.
- Never put different medications in the same container unless you are using a pill organizer. Carrying or storing multiple medications in the same bottle can increase the chance of mix-ups, leading to errors.
For additional information about how to store medication, read the text here.
How can I effectively clean out my medicine cabinet?
There is absolutely no point in keeping medications that are no longer good or necessary. If your health condition no longer requires the use of a medication, if you have had side effects or if your doctor has told you to stop taking it, you should get rid of it.
Medication should not be thrown away in the garbage, down the sink or toilet, as they can be harmful to the environment. Always return them to the pharmacy. Pharmacy staff will dispose of your old medications in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.
A tidy medicine cabinet, free of unnecessary products, makes life easier and prevents errors or unfortunate incidents. This is another simple and easy way to take good care of your health!
A tidy medicine cabinet, free of unnecessary products, makes life easier and helps avoid mistakes or unfortunate incidents. This is another simple and affordable way to take good care of your health!
Don’t hesitate to speak to your pharmacist for additional information on the optimal and safe use of medications.