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Proper storage and disposal of medicines is important to help keep patients, family members, and caregivers safe. All medicines can be dangerous if not stored properly, if not taken as directed, if taken by the wrong person, or if not thrown away safely.
Safe storage of medicine protects patients and family members from harm. Medicines that are not stored properly can result in accidental poisoning. Every year, about 60,000 children go to the emergency room because they took medicine when an adult was not looking. When not stored properly, medicines may not work as well or can become harmful. Safe medicine storage tips include:
It is important to get rid of medicines when they are no longer needed or when they may be harmful or not work as well. Dispose of medicines when:
A few simple steps can help ensure medicines are disposed of safely. If you have any questions about when or how to get rid of medicines, ask your pharmacist.
1. Mix with an unappealing substance such as kitty litter, dirt, or coffee grounds.
2. Place the mixture in a sealed container such as a zip bag, empty can, or butter container.
3. Throw the sealed container containing the mixture into a trash bin.
4. Scratch out all personal information on the original prescription label on the medicine container, and throw it away.
Reviewed: August 2018