Medications can do a lot of good, if they are used properly and in the right hands. If they are misused or not stored right, they can cause more damage than good. This is not just true for prescription medicines, either, OTC (over the counter) medications can be just as dangerous if misused. Luckily, this article will tell you everything you need to know about storing and disposing of your medication properly.
Let’s start by talking about the types of medicine misuse that there is. Medicine misuse occurs when someone who isn’t the person prescribed the medication takes the medication. When you take too much of a medication or taking a medicine anyway that it wasn’t prescribed to be taken. Doses, side effects, and instructions are different for everyone and are not the same for everyone, making misusing medications very dangerous.
The most common type of misuse is when someone takes someone else’s medication. Specifically people that are under 18 that find prescription drugs in an unguarded place, like behind the bathroom mirror. Make sure to talk to any children and teens about the dangers of taking medicine that isn’t theirs, in order to avoid this.
The safest way to store your medication, that you were prescribed or that you bought over the counter, is somewhere locked away that other people cannot access. If you need to refrigerate the medication, lock it up in a box to keep it safe and away from any food. Also as recommended by Canadian Pharmacy make sure to listen to your doctor or pharmacist if they specify anything about storing a specific medication.
If you have a teen or child that has to take medication, make sure to monitor the entire process. Make sure that they are taking the right amount and taking it at the time that you have planned with your doctor. If they have a prescription medication that they need to take, it is recommended that you only give them the amount that they are supposed to take at that moment and lock away the rest until it is needed again. It may even be a good idea to keep a family log on the refrigerator, so that you and the child know when and how much was taken each time.
There are a few ways that you can safely dispose of medication, whether you don’t need to take it anymore or it is expired (make sure to talk to your doctor before discontinuing use). Sometimes your pharmacy will give you a package with ‘disposeRx’ which is a safe and easy way to dispose of your medicines. If your pharmacy did not give you this you can use a medicine disposal kiosk or a drug mail back. If none of these options work for you, talk to your pharmacist and they will give you a way to dispose of your medications properly. Make sure to never just throw your medications in the trash, as a child or animals may get a hold of it and be at serious risk.