How many people clean out their medicine cabinet/storage/cardboard box of medicines regularly?
I do. Twice a year, usually at the fall and spring time changes. Keep those snide anti “Martha Stewart” comments to yourselves. This really is important.
How many times have you been “sick as a dog” only to find that the flu/cold medicine or worse yet, that the Pepto Bismol has separated into two murky looking halves in one bottle? Ever wonder why the prescription medication you took did not work and you find yourself sicker than when you took it? Check your expiration dates.
It is a lovely, late summer day here behind the Orange Curtain. Our heat wave seems to be ending, finally. My youngest son and I are comtemplating a trip to the movies to see “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” As he passed by me this morning, I reached over to rub his still, soft back with my hand.
Hot. Mom-Radar on Red Alert.
I headed for our medicine cabinet – the linen closet in the bedroom hallway. Armed with the digital thermometer and the Motrin, I returned to Sam. His temperature is 102.2; he gets a dose of Motrin.
I consider Motrin to be the big guns…what I use first, when the fever is over 100 degrees. When Sam was little and when my first three sons were under 8, I could tell you within a degree what their temperature was by feeling their upper back (between the shoulder blades) with my hand. I don’t know if that is a marketable talent or not. It may fall under “Mother of the Year” headings. I remember the years when the boys would spike a high fever and I would be on watch 24/7, giving them what I affectionately called the Motrin/Tylenol cocktail. (You can’t order that in your local pub.)
I spent the next 30 minutes on the phone with the pediatrician’s office and Urgent Care. They advised that if his temperature did not drop two degrees within 30-45 minutes I should bring him in immediately. Otherwise, he should be seen in the office on Monday. Urgent Care told me their office was filled with kids with flu like symptoms and I think I am asking for more trouble if I take him there.
While I waited to take his temperature again, my mother called. This event, her phone call, can often have many options…ranging from pleasant to downright exhausting. You never know who you are going to get, and she wasn’t born in June. (My apologies to my Gemini readers.)
I know that when I tell my mother that Sam has a fever, she will be calling ever 45 minutes to an hour. You would think that he was my first born and only a few months old. While we are talking she tells me about a recall of Tylenol, she heard about on the news She has a great disdain for computers, but advises me to check to find out what product was recalled.
I click on Google and enter the key word Tylenol. Up pops the first item regarding a product recall. It’s not dated three years ago. Crud.
I run down the list of products and here’s the Tylenol suspension liquid. (Sam hates to swallow pills.) I find my reading glasses and dial the number for the company. The lot numbers of the products recalled are not listed on the site. Could there be too many to list? Could they want to know how many offending bottles of the product are out there?
The customer service representative determined that the almost empty bottle of Tylenol I am holding is one that was recalled. The other bottle, that I keep in my brief case, (should I get an emergency call from Sam’s school that he is sick and has a fever) is one of the unaffected products judging by the code. The rep gets the necessary information to send me a coupon for a free bottle. She also tells me that a doctor on staff with Johnson & Johnson will call me within 24 hours. That’s very nice I tell her, but really not necessary.
Ps – We love your baby shampoo.
Another bit of information that she gave me was the following website with instructions for what to do with those bottles of pills and cough syrups, etc that have expired.
Sam’s fever has dropped 2 degrees and he thinks this video looks like fun. We’re going to go and clean out the medicine cabinet now. He can’t wait to crush the expired pills. I’ve got an industrial size bottle of Tylenol PM…it’s large enough to medicate a small city… It expired last December.
If you click on the link, you can watch a video, or just read the following directions.
A few small steps can make an important difference in safeguarding lives and protecting the environment.
Follow your medication prescriber’s instructions and use all medications as instructed. If you do not use all of your prescribed or over-the-counter medication, you can take a few small steps to make a huge impact in safeguarding lives and protecting the environment by disposing of unused medicines properly:
- DO NOT FLUSH unused medications and DO NOT POUR them down a sink or drain. *
- Pour medication into a ziploc plastic bag. If medication is a solid (pill, liquid capsule, etc.), crush it and add water to dissolve it.
- Add kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds (or any material that mixes with the medication and makes it less appealing for pets and children to eat) to the plastic bag.
- Seal the plastic bag and put it in the trash.
- Remove and destroy ALL identifying personal information (prescription label) from all medication containers before recycling them or throwing them away.
- Be Proactive and Dispose of Unused Medication In Household Trash. When discarding unused medications, ensure you protect children and pets from potentially negative effects:
- Check for Approved State and Local Collection Programs. Another option is to check for approved state and local collection alternatives such as community based household hazardous waste collection programs. In certain states, you may be able to take your unused medications to your community pharmacy or other location for disposal.
- Consult your pharmacist with any questions.
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