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Medicine Cabinet Update

It’s time for a renewal…in the bathroom. Whether it’s disposing of expired prescription medications, refilling your first aid kit or updating commonly used over-the-counter medicines, take this as your invitation to reset your medicine cabinet.


Safety First

Always keep medications, vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements away from children and pets. The best place to store medicine isn’t necessarily in your medicine cabinet next to the shower and above your sink. Light and moisture can break down pills and tablets. Consider organizing medication in a plastic storage box out of sight and reach of children and pets in a linen or towel closet.


Check Dates

If you have old prescriptions you haven’t finished, verify that expiration dates haven’t passed. The same goes for common over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, seasonal allergy and cold medications.

For commonly used medicine, get refills accordingly while disposing of older versions safely. The best option is not tossing them down the toilet, since medications will contaminate our waterways this way. Rather, place pills, capsules and tablets in a sealable plastic food storage bag mixed with dirt, coffee grounds or cat litter and in the trash. Or speak to your pharmacist about medication disposal programs available through them or in your area.


Refill Ahead of Time

Whether it’s bacitracin, bandages or cough syrup, your supplies need to be fully stocked for illnesses and injuries. When you’re replacing expired medications, look for bargains on basic first aid necessities as well. Save money and get more with store brands since their quality is the same as name brands.


Prepare for Emergencies

Get the details of your family’s medical needs for when emergencies occur. Have a medicine and allergy listing for each family member. List medications by name with their timing and dose. Additionally, have healthcare providers’ names and contact information on hand as well.

Consider preparing a small grab-and-go emergency kit in case of weather emergencies. Especially for individuals with conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy, having to leave home in the case of an unexpected event can become a matter of life or death if medication is left behind.

Published 8/21/2023