Today’s tip comes from our client Sanford-Brown, a national health care college with campuses throughout the United States – and it has a New Years’ theme!
Sanford-Brown College's Pharmacy Technician program has one very easy resolution that anyone can keep – clean out that medicine cabinet!
According to Sanford-Brown, most prescription drugs only have a shelf life of about two years, and drugs that are past their expiration date have lost a lot of their potency, are wasteful and even potentially hazardous.
Prescriptions that have expired and are left sitting in a cabinet are at high-risk for contamination as well.
Another client, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, echoes Sanford-Brown and adds that after expiration, chemical composition of the drug can change. Even small changes such as color, smell and/or texture may signal serious risks to patients, including toxicity to the liver.
Sanford-Brown recommends discarding any pills that are discolored, powdery or have a strong odor; any liquids that are cloudy or filmy; or any creams that are hard or cracked within the tubes.
But don’t toss them all in the trash.
In order to correctly dispose of prescription drugs, we recommend putting the pills into a Ziploc or other sealable bag, then smashing and mixing them with undesirable trash like coffee grinds, egg shells or kitty litter.
And don’t flush the drugs down the toilet – it contaminates the water source.
Happy New Year and good luck with this easy resolution!