Clear Out Medicine Cabinet

Quarantine and Clean

With Spring in full bloom and many engaged in COVID-19 protective health measures like quarantining, this is a great time to do some spring cleaning around the house. Performing an audit of your personal medicine cabinet is a good place to start.

The process of disposing unwanted medications is not a difficult task, and if done properly, this thoughtful activity can support your family’s safety and the environment too!

Take advantage of “National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day,” April 17th. This national day of recognition falls on the 3rd Friday in April each year. It was founded in 2019, as a simple way to bring awareness to how unused medicines in our homes can contribute to the growing crisis of opioid drug addiction.

Studies show that many abused prescription drugs were found, and taken from, a family member or friend’s medicine cabinet. By setting aside a day to dispose of unneeded and expired medications, we can help protect ourselves and others from addiction – as well as accidental poisoning (expired meds can be toxic), overdose and even death.

Twice each year, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) provides collection sites for “National Drug Takeback Day” to gather old and unnecessary medications from the general public.  Last year they collected over 800,000 pounds of pharmaceuticals!  However, this year’s April 25th event had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 virus.

How to Properly Dispose of Medications

Now before you gather up those leftover pills and dump them in the toilet, some environmental studies have suggested that flushing medications can produce a negative reaction to fish and drinking water when introduced to our water supply. 

As a result, there now are at-home disposal kits available for purchase. These can be purchased from a variety of locations whenever the shelter-in-place order expires.

Thankfully, the FDA recommends easily executable steps to dispose of medications at home:

  1. Remove the drugs from their original containers and mix them with something undesirable, such as used coffee grounds, dirt, or cat litter. This makes the medicine less appealing to children and pets and unrecognizable to someone who might intentionally go through the trash looking for drugs.
  2. Put the mixture in something you can close (a re-sealable zipper storage bag, empty can, or other container) to prevent the drug from leaking or spilling out.
  3. Throw the container in the garbage.
  4. Scratch out all your personal information on the empty medicine packaging to protect your identity and privacy.
  5. Throw the packaging away.

Compounding with Care, Quality You Can Trust

While you won’t find products from Fagron Sterile Services US (FSS) in your medicine cabinet, we understand the hidden dangers associated with of improper use of pharmaceuticals.

As a FDA and DEA registered 503B outsourcing facility, FSS compounds several controlled substances for hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and clinics across the country (licensed in all 50 states).

Following stringent FDA, DEA, cGMP, GDP and cGLP guidance and regulations, supports proper pharmaceutical compounding and handling of these medications at both of our Wichita, KS facilities. This combined with our industry-leading in-house quality testing labs and environmental monitoring allow FSS to offer state-of-the-art quality and safety standards.

We encourage everyone to embrace the spirit of spring cleaning, take a break from the Netflix binge and celebrate “National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day!” We are in this together and we can all make a difference.

Sean Jones, MBA
Marketing Manager at Fagron Sterile Services, with over a decade of experience within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.