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
- 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.
- 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.
- Was any medication exposed to extreme temperature or humidity
which may destroy it? Look on your packaging for the correct
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
Review and Renew
- 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
- 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.
- 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.