To-Do List for Your New Year Medicine Cabinet Cleanout

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Keeping your medicine cabinet up-to-date is one of the most important ways to protect your health. Learn more about how to clean it out for the new year.

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs can do a lot to treat or manage health problems, but they do not last forever. Making sure that your medicine cabinet is ready for the new year means going through it and checking every item in there. Use the following tips to help you do a thorough job.

Get Rid of Expired Medications

How long is a prescription good for? Knowing how long you should keep these drugs around is important for your health. Using prescription drugs that have expired might not necessarily lead to life-threatening results, but it is not good for your well-being. Expired medications are not usually as potent as ones that have not expired, which means you might not get the results you need. This can be harmful if you need medications for managing a chronic condition. Dispose of any medications that have passed their expiration date, so that you will not be taking chances with your health.

Dispose of Medications Safely

If you have prescription or over-the-counter medications that have expired, do not flush them down the toilet or throw them in the garbage can. Instead, take them to a local police department to utilize their drug disposal box. Flushing them in the toilet can be harmful for local water supplies, while tossing them in the garbage can put other people or animals at risk if ingested. Dropping them off at the police department helps to ensure that they are discarded in a safe manner that does not put others at risk.

Replace Medications 

If you have to get rid of expired medications in your medicine cabinet, make sure to replace them with fresh ones. When you are choosing over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers and cold medicine or ordering prescriptions, consider the difference between name brand drugs and generic drugs. Generic drugs can save you a considerable amount of money at the pharmacy while still providing you with the results you need. If you are unsure about which generic drugs to purchase, you can discuss your concerns with a pharmacist.

Stock Up on Other Supplies

Although it is called a medicine cabinet, there are other items you should have in there in addition to medications. Your medicine cabinet should also contain common items that you and your family might need in the new year for minor illnesses and wounds. These include adhesive bandages, antibacterial ointment for cuts and scrapes, and alcohol pads for cleaning wounds. If you have these items in your medicine cabinet already, check the dates on all of them and discard any that are expired.

If you need to fill prescriptions, get rid of expired prescriptions, or stock up on over-the-counter medicine, please contact Smith-Caldwell Drug Store in Benton by calling (501) 392-5470. Our compounding pharmacy in Arkansas carries a wide range of items for your medicine cabinet.