Take back your unused and expired medications!
This Saturday, April 30, 2016 is the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 11th Annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
Dr. Brad Uren, assistant professor of emergency medicine, explains why it’s important to safely dispose of your prescriptions and other medications:
“Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them away is often not the safest way to dispose of these drugs. In some cases, it may even be illegal. These take-back events are a safe, responsible and convenient way to remove unwanted, unneeded and expired medications from your home.
Here are a few additional quick tips to keep in mind about prescription drug use:
- Safely dispose of medications that have expired. Even though you may have heard that some medications may remain effective past their expiration date, there is seldom a reason to keep medications after that date.
- Medications can interact with other medications. Many safeguards exist with modern electronic medical records to double check how prescriptions will interact with each other in a patient. Sharing medications with someone else, or keeping them for years to come when new medications might have been prescribed, puts individuals at higher risk for interactions and is never a good idea.
- Prescription drugs aren’t the only problem. Even common over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or even iron supplementation can be deadly if taken in large amounts. A small child only needs to ingest a fraction of the amount that an adult would to reach a toxic level.
- Safety first when it comes to medications and children. Be sure to store all medications in child resistant packaging and keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children.
Take the time now to check your medicine cabinets, drawers, desks, purses, briefcases, vehicles and anywhere else you may be keeping medications. Remove and properly discard any expired medications or unneeded previously used medications that you have by taking them to a local take-back location this Saturday.
And don’t forget: Before taking your medications to a medication take-back location, it’s often suggested that you scratch out or remove any personal information from the bottle or packaging such as name, birthdate or address.”
Can’t get to a take-back location on Saturday? The Division of Pain Research in the Department of Anesthesiology is hosting their next Pain Medication Take-Back Day next weekend, on May 7 at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor.