This week (March 8-15) is Patient Safety Awareness week. To do our part, we took the Medicine Cabinet Clean-out Challenge, and decided to share it with you! If you’ve ever been unsure of how to clean out your medicine cabinet, this post is sure to help.

1.    Know your medications
– Do you take your prescriptions as prescribed?
– Do you understand all possible side effects?

Going through some of our medications at home, we realized that not all of us were aware of which prescriptions needed to be taken on a full stomach or at the same time each day. We were also pretty surprised to learn of some of the possible side effects of these drugs — a few seemed to outweigh the positive effects.

2.    Secure your medications
– Are your medicines stored in a secured location?
– How do you monitor the amount left in each medicine bottle?

For most of us, our medicine cabinets were up high where kids can’t reach them. However, most of us didn’t have a system to monitor the amount left in each bottle. Those of us who did seemed to keep medications that were running low toward the front to remind us to refill or dispose.

3.    Dispose your medications
– Do you know how/where to safely dispose of any unused or expired medications?
– Have you checked to see if any medications are recalled?

To check if your medications have been recalled, you can check with the American Recall Center. When you have unused or expired medicine, you can’t always just toss it into the trash. In the past, we’ve covered this topic in depth. You can find more info about disposing of medications in a previous blog post.

If you’ve taken the challenge, share your experiences with us!

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