Old Medications?


Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday!  The calendar says it’s spring now – even if the weather forecast hasn’t gotten the word yet – so you may have started your spring cleaning.  Your medicine cabinet is a good place to start with spring cleaning to make sure you’re stocked with first aid items and that you’re getting rid of outdated medications or medications you’re not taking.

The effectiveness of medications certainly declines over time.  If you take an expired aspirin or cold pill, it might not hurt you although it may not be as effective as it once was.  But if you have outdated/unused prescription medications you should probably dispose of them.

The FDA recommends that you dispose of old medications following these steps:

  1. Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds.
  2. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag.
  3. Throw the container in your household trash.
  4. Scratch out all personal information on the prescription label of your empty pill bottle or empty medicine packaging to make it unreadable, then dispose of the container.

Want to know more about drug expiration dates?  Check out this WebMD.com article.