Time to Spring Clean your medications

I remember spring-cleaning the house with my Mother, do you? These days the intense cleaning only happens at my place firstly only when I have the time and secondly if I am fed up with clutter. Spring-cleaning our home helps us to find things, and ensures we live in a safe and healthy home. If you can take the time to spring clean your medications, you will be sure to stay safe and get the most out of your medications.


Here are a few suggestions.


Check for safety

  1. Check the expiry dates on all of your medications, especially the ones you haven't used for a while. You want to make sure any which you rely on occasionally is still good to go.
  2. Do you have medication which had a one-off use such as an antibiotic or a painkiller? Don't keep these please. It is dangerous to use medications outside the use intended and you could be placing your safety on the line.
  3. Was any medication exposed to extreme temperature or humidity which may destroy it? Look on your packaging for the correct storage conditions.


Medications can be safely disposed of by your Pharmacist into a Return of Unwanted Medications (RUM) Bin. Once filled, this bin is sent off for destruction. Flushing your old medications down the sink or toilet is dangerous for the environment.


Review and Renew

  1. Your pharmacist is an expert on your medication. You could ask for a diabetes medscheck. This is a quick and free 15-30 minute check of your medications. Or you could just get your questions and concerns ready and ask for a chat next time you visit the pharmacy.
  2. You can ask your doctor for a free home medication review. Your doctor will send a referral to a specially trained pharmacist who will come to your home and talk to you about your medications and then send a report back to your doctor.
  3. Update your medication list.  You can get a list from your doctor or pharmacist. Ensure you have the drug name, how many times a day, strength and what is for written in your list and have it accessible in case of emergency. There are smartphone apps that help you keep your medications list up to date.


What to consider

  • Have you noticed anything different? Some medication side effects may be mistaken for getting older. Ask the question "could this be a side effect?" Even when you have been taking medication for years, you could still start having side effects - this is because your body changes with time. Frequent highs or lows indicates it is time for a check-up.
  • Are you remembering all your medications? The more different types and times you have to take medication the easier it is to forget. Everyone forgets sometimes. Ask for help.
  • Do you need a refresher on how to use a device, such as an insulin pen or blood glucose monitor?


For any further information on your medications or general enquiries please talk to a health professional on 1800 177 055.

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