Do you regularly clean out your medicine cabinet?

It's important to regularly clean out your medicine cabinet to avoid taking medication that is unnecessary, outdated or harmful.

Why should I clean out my medicine cabinet regularly?

It is true that cleaning out your medicine cabinet requires a little time and effort. However, this process can have a number of advantages and, among other things, allow you to:

  • gain storage space
  • take stock of the medications you have in your home
  • avoid making unnecessary purchases
  • prevent drug intoxications, and
  • reduce the risk of medication errors

Medication errors are real health risks. Each year, a significant number of people must go to the emergency room to consult a doctor or to be hospitalized due to improper use of medications. 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 by taking into account not only your preferences, but also how often you use the medication. If you take several medications and your drug regimen is complex, it may be appropriate to take stock of them more often than if you hardly ever take any.

Many pharmacists recommend doing a clean-up at least once a year, and ideally, at the beginning of each season.

How should I store my medication?

There is no single rule when it comes to storing medication. Some must 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 inform you about the storage methods for each medication.

Here is some advice on the best way to store your medication:

  • Keep all of your medication out of reach and out of sight of children and pets.
  • Do not store them in the bathroom. It is the worst place to do so, because of varying temperatures and humidity.
  • Store medications in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.
  • Store medications in their original container.
  • Never place different medications in the same container unless you are using a pill organizer. For instance, do not put several different tablets in the same pill bottle.

For additional information about how to store medication, read the following text: Store your medication properly.

How can I effectively clean out my medicine cabinet?

  • Check the expiry date of each product in your medicine cabinet.
  • Set aside all of the outdated medications or the ones that you no longer take.
  • Additionally, discard medications:
    • that are no longer in their original container
    • whose labels have become illegible
    • whose appearance, consistency, colour, odour, or taste has changed
  • Check if medication in your home is stored other than in your medicine cabinet. Keep all of your medications in the same place.

Take the opportunity to ask yourself if there is a better place to store your medication.

How should medication that I no longer need or that is outdated be disposed of?

There is absolutely no advantage to keeping medication that is outdated or that is no longer needed. If your health no longer requires that medication be taken, if you have had adverse effects, or if you doctor has told you to stop taking the medication, you should get rid of it.

Medication should not be thrown away in the waste basket, sink or toilet, as they can be harmful to the environment. Always return them to your pharmacist. Pharmacy staff will dispose of your old medication safely and ecologically.

A tidy medicine cabinet, without superfluous products, makes life easier and prevents errors or unfortunate incidents. This is another simple and easy way to take good care of your health!

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Do you regularly clean out your medicine cabinet?

It's important to regularly clean out your medicine cabinet to avoid taking medication that is unnecessary, outdated or harmful.
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