Has it been a year, maybe more, that you’ve cleaned out your medicine cabinet? It is time to do it once again. However, it is not always simple to know what you can keep and what you need to throw out. Here are 10 tips on how to clean your medicine cabinet which in the end, will help you stay healthy.
1. Keep or throw away
Numerous off the shelf medication can be kept even after the expiry date without them being dangerous for your health. However, they will probably be less effective.
2. Medicine that can save your life
The expiry date indicates the moment when the medication has lost 5% of its effectiveness. It is very important to get rid of or to replace medication that won’t be able to help someone after this date.
3. The expiry date has passed
Once the expiry date has passed, we ignore the speed at which the effectiveness of the medication decreases. It could be 93% after 6 months or it could be more like 33%. If you don’t wish to take a chance of taking a non-effective medication, replace your pills once the expiry date has passed.
4. Solid versus liquid
This choice is simple: keep solids and throw away liquids. After their expiry dates, not only do liquids lose their effectiveness more quickly but bacteria can also form.
Store your medicine in a dark, cool and dry place so they conserve themselves better. The expiry date has been calculated according to these conditions and corresponds then to the lifetime of medication stored in similar conditions.
Avoid taking antibiotics once the expiry date has passed. This can create a resistance to the medicine. Some can even become toxic.
7. Prescribed medication
Medicine distributed by pharmacies have been taken out of their original packaging and placed in a new container with a new expiry date. These types of medication tend to lose their effectiveness more rapidly than medication found on the pharmacy’s shelves.
8. Visual cues
Some hints can help you think twice and inform you that it is better to avoid taking some medication. If a pill or tablet decomposes itself in your hand, for example, don’t take it. As for Aspirin, it smells like vinegar when it is too old.
9. Medication for children
Don’t take any chances with medication for children. Throw them away right when the expiry date has passed. Moreover, most medicine for children is liquid and can develop a lot of bacteria.
Some may be tempted to put their medications in different containers or put similar pills in the same jar, but never do this. It is important to keep the original container so that you can refer to the date it displays. The pill weekly organizer is an exception since its contents will be consumed in a short time. However, get rid of the cotton pads that are sometimes found as they accelerate decomposition.
- Woman’s Day