The Problem With Expired Medication

A medicine cabinet packed with old or unused meds can be risky. Here's how to give yours a good spring cleaning.

Accidental drug overdoses are surprisingly common. From 2006 to 2011, unintentional poisonings from prescription opioids alone accounted for 138,603 trips to the emergency room. And according to Dan Budnitz, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Medication Safety Program, a major risk factor for drug overdoses in children and adults is easy access to multiple medications.

Storing meds on a high shelf out of sight will help protect children, and regularly disposing of unused and expired drugs will reduce risks for all ages.

But many people forget to do that. A 2017 nationally representative survey of 1,006 American adults by Consumer ­Reports found that about one-third of Americans haven’t cleaned out the medicine cabinet in the past year; nearly one-fifth haven’t done so in the past three years.

To read the full article, visit Consumer Reports.