How to clean your medicine cabinet in 5 easy steps
Here are some tips to tidy up your medicine cabinet in no time:
Ask your pharmacist for an up-to-date list of the medication you are taking.
Take the time to review it with the pharmacist so you understand the purpose of each medication and how it should be taken. This will give you a better idea of what should stay in your cabinet.
Gather all your medications together, then compare them with the list you got from the pharmacist.
Set aside any that are not on the list or are from another store. If there are several bottles of the same medication, do not put them all into one bottle. Check the date on the pharmacy label instead and only keep the most recent.
Do the same for all forms of medication.
Examine creams, syrups, drops, needles and inhalers, not just pills. Check the expiration dates of over-the-counter medications, natural health products, and others (e.g., first aid or personal hygiene products) and set aside any that are expired or that you no longer use.
Follow these general directives to determine if a product is still good or not:
|Product Type||Shelf Life Once Opened|
|Solid medications (tablets, capsules, caplets, softgels, etc.)||In a container: 1 year
Individually packaged (blister pack): manufacturer’s expiry date
|Liquid medications (syrups)||1 year|
|Creams, ointments (except for the eyes)||In a tube: 1 year
In a container: 90 days (higher contamination risk)
|Eye drops or ointments||30 days* (higher contamination risk)
*Some drops can last up to 90 days once the packaging is opened. Follow the manufacturer’s indications.
Pay also careful attention to your Cold & Flu medicine and make sure you have these items in handy in case of illness:
|Pain Killers||Electrolyte Replenisher|
|Devices and other supplies||Sinus Relief|
If you have questions about any of your medicine cabinet products, just give your pharmacist a call. They’ll be happy to help you find the right product for your symptoms.
Make a list of all the products you use and give it to the pharmacist.This is important especially if you found medication from multiple stores. Your pharmacist will check that they are compatible with your prescription medications and will advise you whether it is prudent or worthwhile hanging on to them even if they are not expired.
Return all your unused or expired medication to your pharmacy.
Do not discard them in the toilet or with household garbage.
To protect the public and the environment, Quebec pharmacies participate in a medications return program. All returned medications are destroyed by a specialized company with strict adherence to environmental standards.
Getting rid of medications safely and in an environmentally friendly way is also a way to protect your health.
The pharmacy services presented in this section are offered by pharmacist owners who are affiliated with Uniprix. The pharmacists are solely responsible for the professional activities carried out during the practice of pharmacy. These services are offered in participating pharmacies only. Certain fees and conditions may apply.
* The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.