BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - This weekend if you plan to get a head start on your spring cleaning, health experts want to remind you, don't forget to clean out your medicine cabinet.
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You should start by examining everything in your medicine cabinet, including ointments, supplements and vitamins. Keep your eye out for old prescription bottles or leftover medication that might have expired, changed or can't be identified.
4 TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED
- Check the date
-Many medications lose their effectiveness after the expiration date. Some may even be toxic.
- Follow the one year cut off rule
-Throw out any prescription medications that are more than one year old.
- Ditch any items that have changed color, smell or taste
-This includes any colors that have faded, because they may have been exposed to too much light.
- Throw out any unmarked containers
-If you can’t identify it, get rid of it.
Be careful throwing out medication. Some medicine can harm the environment. It's no longer recommended that you simply toss it in the trash or flush it down the toilet.
HOW TO THROW OUT MEDICINE
- Place all medication in a sealable bag. If there are solid medications, add some water so they can dissolve
- Add kitty litter, coffee grounds, saw dust, or any material that mixes well and makes it unappealing for children or animals to eat
- Seal the bag and put it in the trash
- Remove any identifying information on the prescription bottle, like the label
- Clean and recycle the bottle
You may also be able to safely dispose of expired and unused prescriptions at a medicine take-back location. The Drug Enforcement Administration has a list online of public controlled substance disposal locations near Baton Rouge you can drop off your old prescriptions.
This year, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for April 28, 2018. We'll let you know when local events are announced.