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Beacon of HOPE Wellness Committee: Do you know what’s in your medicine cabinet?

November 13, 2019
By NANCY BUTHMAN, APRN , Pine Island Eagle

If you are like many of us you kind of know but not really know what is in your medicine cabinet. You may find medicines that expired many years ago and you don't even remember what they were for. One study in Australia found that 75% of the group had kept their medicines so they could use them in the future or let someone else use them.

A well stocked medicine chest will have medicines for recurring conditions such as headaches, the common cold and mild pain. It will help you treat minor cuts and bruises. It may have vitamins or over the counter supplements. Then you have your regular medicines.

You should not have any antibiotics saved for the future. In the first place, it is very important to take the whole dose of antibiotics given to you. Also, if you take it too often or for the wrong reason, it may make the bacteria more resistant to treatment.

Another thing to look at is whether your medicines react with anything else in your medicine cabinet. This is why it is important to let your doctor know everything that you take. For example, Centrum Silver reacts with 80 other drugs and Sudafed with many more. Grapefruit reacts negatively with a number of drugs. An interesting site where you can check for drug interactions is

How do you get rid of old drugs? In one survey, 65% of people disposed of them in the garbage and 23% poured them down the toilet. There are risks from medicines ending up in surface and drinking water. It's one thing if one person is doing it but it's different when it is millions of people. It can affect plant, animal and marine life.

In our area old medicines can be dropped off at the Cape Coral Police Department at 1100 Cultural Park Blvd.

The Beacon of HOPE is located at 5090 Doug Taylor Circle, St. James City. For more information, call 239-283-5123.



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