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Is Your Bathroom Cabinet a Museum for Barely Remembered Illnesses? How to Safely Get Rid of Old Medication

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Bathroom Cabinet a Museum for Barely Remembered Illnesses? How to Safely Get Rid of Old Medication

How often do you clean out your bathroom cabinet? Like many people, yours is probably home to many different types of expired medication, possibly for illnesses you don’t even remember. Your bathroom cabinet should not be treated as long term storage for expired medication, and old medications need to be disposed of properly. There are some common misconceptions about the best method for disposal, but some of these methods can in fact be harmful. So what is the most appropriate way to rid yourself of medication you no longer need? Don’t Flush It Away Flushing it all down the toilet might seem like the most convenient method of disposal, but this is not advised. While your toilet can certainly take care of a few pills and capsules, you need to think about where these items will end up. Many types of prescription medication have active ingredients that can maintain a certain amount of potency, even after the expiration date. These active ingredients are evident in trace amounts even after passing through a water treatment facility. They can then be dispersed into local waterways where they can harm the environment. There’s actually evidence that flushed contraceptive pills have affected the reproductive abilities of wildlife. Don’t Throw It Away You should not simply throw unused medication away with your rubbish. Your rubbish is sent to a local landfill, and this medication can then leak into the soil. This causes problems similar to when medication is allowed to flow into local waterways. There’s also the risk that some pills or capsules might be spilled during the transport process, and even if they are simply scattered on the street, they can be a dangerous temptation for young children and pets. Take It Back to Where It Came From So it might not be exactly where you picked up your prescription, but you should take your unused medication back to a local chemist. There is a free national scheme where all pharmacies operate as drop off points for out-of-date or unused medication. This is for both prescription medication and anything bought over the counter. The medication is securely stored before being transported to an incinerator for safe disposal. This ensures that there’s no chance of the medication making its way into the local environment. So perhaps it’s time to go through your bathroom cabinet and check how much expired medication is in there. Your local chemist will be happy to take it all off your...

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