Remember these tips to help you use your medicines safely:
If your tongue or mouth begins to swell or if you are having trouble breathing, call 911 immediately. This could be a sign of a life-threatening reaction. For any symptoms or problems that put life in danger, call your doctor, local emergency room, or 911. If you think you are having some other less serious side effect, you can call your doctor or the pharmacy to speak to a pharmacist.
The best way to get rid of unused medicine is through a medication take-back program. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) holds National Prescription Drug Take-Back events twice a year. On these days, they set up places in towns all over the United States where people can drop off their unused medicine.
Your police department or fire department may also have a medicine take-back program. You can also call your waste management company to ask what to do.
If your town doesn’t have a medication take-back program, read the label on your medicine to see if it has instructions on how to dispose of it. If it doesn’t, you can follow these simple steps to get rid of most medicines in the household trash. If you have leftover cancer medicine, ask if your doctor can throw it away for you. Cancer medicines should not be thrown into household trash.
Never give your unused medicine to friends. Doctors give you medicines based on your specific symptoms and medical history. Something that works for you could be dangerous for someone else.When in doubt about proper disposal, ask your pharmacist.
Any type of sharp object, like a needle, syringe, or lancet, you use at home to inject medicine or draw blood is called “home-generated biomedical waste.” You have to be very careful in throwing away these “sharps” to keep yourself and others from getting injured and to keep your home clean and safe. If you use needles, you will also get a sharps container for throwing away needles. Also find out from your local waste management company how they want you to throw away sharps containers.
If you do not have a sharps container, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says you should:
Let your doctor know right away if you hurt yourself with a needle stick or have another sharp injury.
If you don’t use needles or other sharps, you don’t need a sharps container. You should put all your used supplies such as syringes or tubing inside a bag you can’t see through. Put this bag inside a second bag and throw it away with your other trash.
Get more ideas for getting rid of medicines from the FDA or the EPA. Go online to following websites:
Each year, nearly 21 million people get injured in their homes. We want you and your family to be safe. Here are some ways to help you prevent injuries at home. Check every room in your house and make any changes that will help.
For more information about home safety, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Red Cross websites.