ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Spring cleaning is around the corner and pharmacists say don't forget about that medicine cabinet.
Betsy Urick is a pharmacist at the U-Save-It Pharmacy on Dawson Road. She recommends cleaning out a medicine cabinet at least once or twice a year.
"Medications definitely have expiration dates and you don't want to take something that could either be not working or even dangerous," Urick said.
The pharmacist said to make sure that you pay attention to the date on the medicine bottle or box. The expiration date is important because after the medication expires, you can't guarantee its safety or efficacy.
Urick also recommended removing any leftover prescriptions from your medicine cabinet. A number of antibiotics have a lifespan of only 10-14 days and should be removed after that time frame.
While cleaning out your medicine cabinet, think about where you're storing your medications. If your medicine cabinet is located in the bathroom, you may want to think again.
"The bathroom is actually one of the worst places that you can keep your medicine, because it's a hot, wet environment. Room temperature is usually 75-77 degrees Fahrenheit, so the kitchen or an area where children can't get to them," Urick said.
And once you finish removing the old medications, don't just throw them inside your trashcan. Instead, ask your local pharmacist about the best ways to properly dispose the drugs.
Urick said residents in Dougherty County can take their old medications to the drug take-back box located in the lobby of the Dougherty County Courthouse.
Area pharmacies can also order you a drug take-back bag. You can put your old medications inside the bag and send it off for proper disposal.
"It's a nice way to get rid of medications, because we don't want to put them into our water supply or the landfills where they might get into our water system," Urick said.
And while you're cleaning out the medicine cabinet, don't forget about any medical tools that you may have inside your home. Urick said make sure that your medical instruments are working properly and have new batteries, if needed.