A tough pill to swallow

It’s hard to throw out partial bottles of medications. They can be expensive, and we hate to think we’re wasting money. There is a strong possibility that we will have a headache/ upset stomach/ aching muscle in the future, so there is also a sense of utility.

However, like food, medications have a definite “best before” date. An old stash may be weak and ineffective for your problem,  yet strong enough to harm a child or pet who finds it.t

Two things to do:

1. Get rid of the old stuff. The best way is to take it to your local pharmacy; they will usually dispose of it for you, and in a safe way. Some hospitals and health facilities will accept them as well. If not, crush the pills, mix them with something icky such as cat litter or a handful of grass clippings, and put them in the garbage. Remove and shred labels with personal information, and trash the containers.

2. When you purchase replacements, think hard about how much you will actually use before it expires. In my house, a bottle of 25 pain relievers will last well over a year, so the bottle of 100 is a waste, even if the price per pill is lower. It’s not a deal to get a low price on something that will not be used.

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