As you look through the many medications populating your medicine cabinet, you may be surprised to find some ancient relics. The Washington Post reported on how “many people fail to get rid of unneeded and expired drugs“. It explains that one-third of Americans have not cleaned out their medicine cabinet in a year and one-fifth haven’t done so in three years. Even though we like to hold on to things for those “just in case” scenarios, how should we keep track of expiring medications? This article provides the answer to this as well as other questions surrounding the use of your prescription medications.
4. How to Keep Track of Expiring and Expired Prescription Medications
If you are keeping a current list of all your medications, you could certainly add this column to the list: “expiration date”. Then, periodically review this list to see prescription medications that are nearing expiration.
Another idea is to regularly clean out your medicine cabinet, throwing out any expired medications and then moving those meds nearing expiration to a designated spot in your cabinet so that you will not forget about them.
5. How to Keep Your Pills Separate From Other Family Members
It could be that more than one family member is taking multiple medications and perhaps even the same type of pills. How, then, to stay organized? It is preferable to keep your meds stored in a designated place separated from other family members’. If you accidentally took another person’s pills, although the medicine might be the same, a different dosage could lead to potential complications.
6. What to Do If You Are Having Trouble Swallowing Your Pills
You may assume that the easy solution is to simply crush hard-to-swallow pills. But not all pills are deemed suitable for crushing. Some prescription medications are time-release and crushing can negate the slow-release quality of this medication. Other meds become even more difficult to swallow when crushed and may cause choking. So, what to do?
Firstly, you may find that just swallowing your pills with water does not do the trick. You could try putting your pill in a spoonful of applesauce or pudding and taking one at a time. Some people find that swallowing pills with milk or another, thicker liquid is more palatable.
Next, you could contact your physician for alternatives to the pills you are taking. There may be a liquid or crushable equivalent for this medication. If there is not, they may be able to change your prescription to another similar medication that is easier to swallow.
With these interventions in place, you can be confident that you are taking your prescription medications exactly as your doctor intended for the best possible outcome. For more informative articles on healthcare, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.