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How to Dispose of Prescriptions

What’s in your medicine cabinet? Aspirin? Vitamins? Antibiotics?

Dentist Dr. Garry Smith openly educates patients about the dangers of what is in medicine cabinets. Moisture from showers can create mold inside prescription bottles and changes the chemical components of your prescription.

Watch Out for Expired Medicines

Simple aspirin infiltrated with moisture from a shower Moisture changes the chemical makeup of aspirin from acetylsalicylic acid to salicylic acid.

Salicylic acid is not a treatment for pain or headaches, in fact it treats acne and use as an acid to dissolve corns on feet. If ingested, salicylic acid can cause bleeding in the lining of the stomach.

If Aspirin smells like vinegar, it means moisture has gotten inside the bottle. Throw it out! Drugs made to dissolve in the mouth are more susceptible to the chemical breakdown dangers.

Keep Vitamins Dry

At our Anderson dental office, because it has been in business for more than 35 years Anderson residents know they can depend on us to help them safely dispose of old prescriptions. Our newer practice, the Fishers dental office, is also now offering the same option as a community service. Safety is Smith Family Dentistry’s top concern for our patients and their families,” said Dr. Garry Smith, an Anderson dentist and owner of Smith Family Dentistry in Fishers and Anderson.  Vitamins are likely to break down if exposed to moisture. They are best stored in a dry area, not in the bathroom or refrigerator. It is also better to store medicine with it’s cap on tightly, even though you may have trouble getting the cap off.

How Long Should I Keep a Prescription?

If a prescription is over a year old, it is probably best to throw it away.

When prescription drugs get old, they lose potency. Saving medications for later use is dangerous – they could conflict with new medications, and NEVER give your medications to a friend.

It is also dangerous to save prescription drugs and take them with a new prescription you might receive of another medication without first asking your doctor.

Disposing of Old Medications

Our Anderson dental office and Fishers dental office both offer a free drug disposal service to patients. Our goal is to preserve your family’s health.

When disposing of bottles, do so in a way that children and others cannot get to them. In our office, we have trash that is sent to be incinerated at high temperatures.

If you need to dispose of medication that we or another health provider have prescribed, we will be happy to put them in our trash for incineration at no charge to you at the Anderson dental office and Fishers dental office. Call Smith Family Dentistry for information (see right column).

Schedule Your Visit Today!