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Pharmacists Encourage Consumers to Practice Safe Medication Storage and Disposal
Date:12/10/2009

New Year Viewed as Good Time to Clean Out Medicine Cabinets

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Americans look forward to the coming year and begin considering their New Year's resolutions, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) is encouraging the public to resolve to clean out their medicine cabinets -- a task that pharmacists recommend be conducted at least once a year.

Because each season brings a host of new illnesses and conditions, it's easy for medicine cabinets to become cluttered with unused or expired prescription, over-the-counter medication, vitamins and herbals that can potentially be harmful to one's health. Hanging onto old, expired or unused medications can increase the chances of taking the wrong one. Old expired medications can lose their potency thus reducing or providing no value to the condition being treated, and unused medications have the potential to be abused and misused by teens.

"Medications play a vital role in treating certain conditions and diseases, but they must be taken and handled with care," said Kristen Binaso pharmacist and APhA spokesperson. "Consumers should be aware that if medications are disposed of incorrectly, they could potentially harm the environment, pets and/or children. If people follow a few simple steps when storing and disposing of medications it can have positive implications for their personal health and their family's health."

Tips for Storing and Cleaning Out Your Medicine Cabinet or Other Medication Storage Areas:

  • Medications should be stored in a secured area that has low humidity, a stable temperature and adequate lighting.
  • Check the date on everything in your medicine cabinet and dispose of anything that has passed the expiration date.
  • Properly dispose of anything you have not used in the past 12 months.
  • Properly dispose of any prescription medications you no long
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SOURCE American Pharmacists Association
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