Medicine Cabinet Must-Haves

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Cleaning Out Your Medicine Cabinet

Try to clean out your medicine cabinet about once a year. Get rid of any OTC medications that are out of date. Drugs can lose potency over time. In addition, some drugs can actually become toxic if kept too long. At the same time that you are doing this, keep an inventory of what you will need to replace the next time that you go to the drug store.

Follow manufacturer's suggestions on how to dispose of the medications. Don't flush anything down the toilet that doesn't have an instruction to do so. Before throwing any drugs away in the trash, take the meds out of their containers and mix the medications with something unappetizing like kitty litter to make the drugs unappealing to children or pets.

Toss any leftover prescription drugs. Like OTC drugs, prescription drugs can lose potency or become toxic over time. Even if prescription drugs are still valid, it is not wise to use leftover medication that was prescribed for one member of your family for to treat a "similar" illness that another member of your family is experiencing. The medication prescribed is usually specific to one individual's illness, weight and age. In fact, any family member should always finish taking all of the drugs prescribed by your doctor even if the family member is feeling better.

Don't forget to remove personal information from prescription drug containers before you throw the containers away to help protect your privacy.