What To Do With Expired Medication?
It’s no secret that medicines have a shelf life. Until the expiration date, the manufacturer guarantees that the drug meets the requirements, and this is the last day when the medication is safe.
It is dangerous to take medicines that have expired, because the active and auxiliary substances contained in them may break down, and no one knows what chemical processes may occur in the medicine after the expiration of the shelf life. Therefore, such drugs should be destroyed.
Do not use expired medications!
If your painkiller or cold powder has lost some of its properties, this is not the end of the world. However, if you accept something that is vitally necessary for you, the medicine should be 100% efficient. Fox’s Drugstore advises you to immediately throw away medicines that quickly lose their properties or can seriously affect your life. Here are some of them:
- anticonvulsants (for example, phenytoin, carbamazepine, lamotrigine);
- thyroid preparations (for example, levothyroxine sodium);
- oral contraceptives;
- various eye drops.
It really makes sense, because if you are taking birth control pills or constantly need insulin, then you always need the full effect of the drug.
When is it time to throw out the medicine
- About once every six months, you need to check your home first-aid kits and discard not only expired drugs but also those which look suspicious. So, be sure to throw away the pills that fell out of the blister, even if you know exactly what kind of drug it is. First of all, there is always the possibility that it is a completely different medicine. Secondly, unpacked pills violate storage conditions, which means that its beneficial properties can also be lost;
- Also, all cracked and crumbling pills should go to the trash bin – the spoiled appearance may indicate that they were stored incorrectly and have lost their healing properties;
- The changed color can say the same thing – if it is written in the instructions that the medicine should be bright yellow and it became almost white, throw it away without regret;
- Liquid products, such as drops, syrups, solutions, should be sent to the trash if they become clouded, began to smell strange, changed their color or if precipitate formed on the bottom or sides of the container;
- A change in color should alert also in the case of ointments and liniments (liquid ointments melting at body temperature). Also, the reason for throwing them can be a loss of uniformity of the ointment, the appearance of lumps, grains, wateriness;
- Often drugs are wrapped not in pill form but in a capsule shell. The reason to throw out such drugs can be a violation of the shape of the capsule, as well as sticking of the capsules together. Medical candles should be sent in the trash if they have cracks or damage. However, you need to do it correctly – so as not to harm the environment.
What to do with expired medicines from the first-aid kit?
Fox’s Drugstore can recommend the following actions:
- liquid dosage forms should be sent to the sewage system – to the toilet;
- tablets should be crushed and sent to the sewage system, and the packaging itself should be thrown away. Modern tablets are often produced in bright and beautiful shells and packages, can be pleasant to the taste. If you just throw them in the trash, on the street, near the containers, children can find them and eat them. Such sad cases are very common;
- ointment should be squeezed into plastic bags and disposed of in the trash, tubes should be discarded separately. It is very dangerous to throw away unopened ampoules, packs of pills, etc., people can pick them up and use them.
It is also extremely important to store medicines correctly. Due to temperature fluctuations and constant exposure to bright light, some drugs may lose their properties partially or completely and become unsuitable for use. This is especially true of automobile first-aid kits, which are constantly in the cars – you must change medicines in them more often than at home.
Category: Health Care
Tags: expired medication, health behavior, health problems, healthy lifestyle, medications