Showing posts with label medicine cabinets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label medicine cabinets. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to Revamp your Medicine Cabinet

If it’s been years since you last sorted, cleaned, and restocked your medicine cabinet, you’re not alone. The medicine cabinet is one of the most overlooked areas of the home, even though its contents are extremely important to your family’s health. Read on for tips regarding the essentials you should have on hand, as well as ideas for natural remedies to common ailments.

Why revamp your medicine cabinet?

  1. It gives you a chance to clean out prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, creams, and   ointments that have expired.
  2. You'll know which essentials you are low on and need to replace.
  3. Consider natural alternatives for everyday use.

What essentials should you keep in your medicine cabinet?


  • Thermometer
  • A pill cutter
  • Tweezers and a magnifying glass

The basics

  • Aspirin (or an alternative)
  • Gauze and a variety of bandages
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Witch-hazel
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • First-aid cream or ointment

Note: Experts recommend storing any medications in a place other than the medicine cabinet, outside the bathroom. Heat and moisture can break down both prescription and over-the-counter medications, causing them to be less effective. In the case of prescription medications, store them in a safe, locked area, especially out of reach of children and teens.

Common ailments that can affect your family

According to eMedicineHealth, here are some of the most common ailments you should prepare for:

*Cuts, scrapes, sprains, and bruises
*Pain and fever
*Rashes, bug bites, and other skin ailments
*Stomachaches and digestive problems
*Sleep issues

How can you switch to a more natural medicine cabinet?

Here are some examples of natural products and their uses:

Arnica is good for arthritic pain as well as sprains, this natural alternative is available in both a cream and tablet form.

Magnesium can be used for headaches, especially migraines and those related to tension. Magnesium is available in tablet form and is also found in Epsom Salt. It may also with sleep.

Ginger is available as a powder, in pill form, or as a tea, ginger is a great remedy for stomach upsets and other digestive ailments.

Aloe Vera is effective for treating skin irritations such as minor burns, scrapes, and sunburn. Available in a bottle or you can keep a live plant in your home.

Check out Mother Earth Living for more ideas.

What are some ways to use natural remedies for common conditions?

For bruises, use arnica cream or gel after icing the bruised area to help alleviate pain and swelling.

For a natural remedy for diarrhea, drink ginger or chamomile tea to sooth your stomach and help replace lost fluids.

If you're suffering from sleep or anxiety, try any of the following natural remedies for relief:

  • Drink chamomile tea.
  • Use Epsom Salt foot soaks or baths.
  • Enjoy a lavender bath or place a drop of lavender on a tissue and inhale the aroma.

When should you clean your medicine cabinet?

When you do spring and fall cleaning each year, add your medicine cabinet to the list.  When cleaning, don’t forget to check the expiration dates on both over-the-counter and prescription medications. In addition, also check items like sunscreen and makeup; your toothbrushes should be changed regularly, too. Visit the American Osteopathic Association website for more guidelines.

Make cleaning, restocking, and revamping your medicine cabinet a priority at least twice each year, and help keep your family safe and healthy when illness or injury hits your home.

Live Healthy. Live Smart

Friday, September 28, 2012

Got Prescription Drugs? Get Rid of ‘em!

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day-September 29

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day This means that you can clean out your medicine cabinet with the assistance of the DEA (What is the DEA?).

To get rid of  unwanted, unused prescription drugs, simply go to your nearest designated collection site on Saturday, September 29, 2012. To find out more:
    safe disposal
    National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

  According to the DEA Enforcement, the last DEA-led National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 28th of this year resulted in a record-breaking 276 tons of unwanted or expired medications for safe disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories.  

With that kind of success, the DEA believes that many more medicine cabinets have yet to be cleaned out of unwanted and expired medicines. We hope that, for your own safety and that of your family or home visitors, you take advantage of this opportunity to safely clean out your medicine cabinet.

Resources for more information

Importance of the Drug Take Back Initiative

Most people would have trouble believing that they harbor dangerous drugs in their own homes. But if you are storing unused, leftover prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet, or even if you just don't monitor your medicine cabinet, you could run into some real problems.

Teen substance abuse is a growing problem and many teens report abusing the prescription and over the counter drugs they find right in their home medicine cabinets.

  • Teen substance abuse of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin combined doesn't even come close to the number of teens abusing prescription drugs – the stuff they get right from their parents’ medicine cabinet – according to the White House Office of National Drug Control PolicyEvery day, 2,500 children between 12 and 17 years of age abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time.
  • Partnership for a Drug-Free America indicates that 10 percent of teenagers have abused common cough medicines such as Coricidin, dextromethorphan, or Robitussin by drinking the entire bottle’s contents or boiling down the medicine into a powder. The powder is sometimes added to other drugs, like Marijuana.

Partnership for a Drug Free America has tips for keeping you and your home safe.

"I have expired medications. They're not dangerous, right?"

In addition to the dangers of addiction when abusing prescribed narcotics, some expired medications could lose their potency. Expired prescription drugs can break down, especially if they are not stored in a dry place or in extreme temperatures. For example, many eye drops can develop harmful bacterial contamination that could harm you if you use them past their expiration date.

In addition to teen drug abuse, there is also an issue of elderly parents or grandparents using the wrong medication by mistake. Many elderly people suffer from dementia and could confuse their medications with those of family members. It's a good idea to make sure you only have what you need and what you are actually using in the medicine cabinet or drawer. This lowers the chance of a family member taking the wrong or expired drug.

Drug treatment admissions for prescription painkillers grew by greater than 300 percent in just five years (1995-2005), according to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. 
medicine cabinets
Safe disposal of unused medication can prevent abuse or accidental dosage.

Many people flush medications down the toilet or throw them in the trash. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service warns that flushed drugs end up in lakes, streams and in our water supply harming fish, wildlife and their habitats.  Throwing medications in the garbage is risky because either children or pets can get into them before the trash is picked up. 

Rik Moxley
Contributing Writer