Medication Safety and Spring Cleaning
Part of spring cleaning is tackling your cupboards and drawers, especially keeping in mind medication safety. When was the last time you looked in your medicine cupboard and checked expiration dates?
I know that mine had been neglected when I found a jar of Vicks medicated rub from when I was a kid. Yes, that was a long time ago and yes, it was about time that it was thrown out. I have no idea if that stuff ever goes bad, but I probably should have thrown it out years ago. I have carted it from my bedroom, to my residence room, to my first apartment, and then from one home to the next with my family.
Medication errors are said to affect at least 1.5 million Canadians per year according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. And those mistakes can be disastrous. Click to tweet
Medication safety isn’t just about an expiry date. It’s about safe storage. Knowing what medications may interact with other medications, food and supplements. About telling your doctor about any side effects you may have had from previous prescriptions and what supplements or over-the-counter medications you may be taking.
Beverly’s Hot Tips For Building Resiliency and Celebrating Medication Safety Week:
- Check your prescriptions periodically for expiration dates
- If possible, purchase all of your medicines from one pharmacy
- Don’t share medicines with friends or family
- Prescriptions should never be stored in a bathroom, on top of the fridge, beside the stove or on a windowsill. These areas can have high levels of humidity, heat and light that may alter the drug’s chemical stability. Keep them in a dry location at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.
- Dispose of medications properly. Most pharmacies will take your old drugs for proper disposal. Avoid putting them in trashcans or into the toilet
- If you are traveling through several time zones, consult your doctor or pharmacist to work out a plan for adjusting the timing of your medication. This will prevent you from taking too much or too little
- Remember that the term “natural” does not necessarily mean “safe”. Treat all supplements and herbal remedies with the same respect as you would any prescribed medications
Make Sure That Your Family Stays Safe And Healthy
Sometimes we are not as diligent as we should be with our medications. Now that my boys are older, I don’t store them as safely as I probably should. Take a few minutes, sort out your medicine cabinet or box and make sure that they are safe and that your family stays healthy.
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