Spring Cleaning... For Your Medicine Cabinet - SBH Health System
Image of Medicine Cabinet

Spring has sprung! You have cleaned your home and reset the clocks, which means the only thing left to do is to clean out your medicine cabinet.

  • Throw away any medication that you no longer need or is expired. You do not want to confuse them with the medication that you do need.
  • Limit the amount of drugs you receive. When your doctor gives you a prescription for 30 days and you only need to take the medication for a few days, ask the pharmacist to give you only the amount needed.
  • When throwing away your medication, take advantage of the many drug take-back programs that are offered through local pharmacies, government events, and mail programs: NYC Department of Sanitation: Pharmaceutical Voluntary Take Back Programs (www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/stuff/takeback_pharm.shtml); DEA National Drug Disposal Initiative: Got Drugs? (www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/)

You can also throw away medication on your own by following these tips, recommended by the Department of Health:

  • Take your prescription drugs out of their original containers.
  • Mix drugs with cat litter or used coffee grounds.
  • Put the mixture into a disposable container, such as an empty margarine tub or a sealable bag.
  • Remove any personal information, including the prescription number, on the empty containers by scratching it off, or covering it with black permanent marker or duct tape.
  • Place the empty containers and drug mixture in the trash separately.