Many Iowans follow the tradition of doing a major housecleaning with the new year and one expert says not to forget your medicine cabinet in the routine. Dr. Patrick Fuller, at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, says it’s important to make sure all your medications are up-to-date.
"Go through prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medications and update their list with their physicians and go through their medicine cabinets to look at which medications may have expired," Dr. Fuller says. If you find expired medications, he says to dispose of them properly so other people or a pet can’t get into them.
He says to "grind them up or put them in with coffee grounds or kitty litter or some other unwanted type of substance and you put them in a zip-lock bag and seal it and throw it in the trash." Fuller says it’s important that expired medications be tossed out.
"We don’t want to take an expired med that would potentially lose its potency. We want patients to take medications that are potent and are safe and effective," he explains.
Fuller says it’s also good idea to check with your doctor about what you should have in your medicine cabinet such as pain reliever, band aids, gauze, Neosporin and cough drops.