What to do with expired medicines and in what form they come to us…

Health Tips

How many years do drugs remain chemically active?

Medicines should be stored away from children and pets, preferably in a dark, cool place. The refrigerator is not suitable for all medicines – only for those on the packaging of which it is indicated “in a cold place” or “from +2 to +8 ° C”. It is important that medicines be stored in a dry place with a humidity of no more than 50-60%. Medicines always have an expiration date: in numbers or letters. There may be marks: “use within two weeks after opening” or “do not store after opening”.

Pharmacologists know that most drugs can work for some time after the expiration date. But this period is different, and the manufacturer no longer guarantees efficacy and safety for the patient. It is also important to remember that many drugs, even if unsuitable for humans, can remain chemically active in the environment for up to 10 years! The “champions” in terms of resistance include antibiotics, antidepressants, hormonal, anti-inflammatory drugs. And even when thrown away, they return to the person with tap water. And when applied, they exist in the environment for a long time in the form of metabolites. And this is no less a serious problem.

How to properly dispose of unwanted medicines

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Official statistics say that already now up to 50% of continental waters in Europe contain traces of medicinal formulas of exactly those drugs that were listed above. Therefore, when purchasing each new drug, it is worth asking yourself: do I need this particular drug now, or are there more “green” options? Is this exactly the amount of drug I’m going to use? And yet no one is immune from an overdose (not everyone reads the instructions, children can get to the medicines – ed.).

In fact, any overdose is poisoning. Since the reaction of children to the use of drugs is unpredictable, it is necessary to consult a doctor or call an ambulance even after taking 2-3 tablets without a prescription.

Remember the main thing: do not throw away medicines with household waste or down the drain!

Pharmaceutical waste requires special processing at high temperatures over 1200 °C. How then to dispose of it?

  • Start with competent and careful consumption – do not buy common

medicines for the future, so as not to throw them away later.

Where to take expired pills in Moscow

  • For everyday recurring situations, use preparations of natural origin – herbal remedies, homeopathy, supporting procedures. With comparable efficiency, they do not bear an environmental burden on the environment even with frequent use.

  • Only completely water-soluble preparations can be flushed down the drain.

All other drugs must be handed over for disposal.

In Moscow, a pharma ecobox has been opened for these purposes – a special container where everyone can donate expired medicines. He works on the territory of the ARTPLAY design center. Safe recycling of medicinal substances and their packaging will be provided by the National Ecological Company. In other cities of the country, there are also companies for the neutralization of medicines, and campaigns are periodically held to receive drugs for disposal free of charge. Be sure to find out this information instead of throwing medicines with the usual garbage.

How to dispose of used syringes

Finally, if you notice that the medicines have changed color, texture, began to smell differently, then you definitely should not use them. Even if the expiration date has not yet expired, the drugs could have changed due to violations of storage conditions. What to do with used syringes? According to Olga Abanina, Dean of the Medical Faculty of the Synergy University, syringes and needles are class B medical waste, which have their own rules for disinfection, storage and disposal. At home, they are difficult to follow. The main recommendation is to fold and throw away the needles in any non-piercing container, soaking them in any antiseptic beforehand. Syringes can simply be soaked in an antiseptic in a bag.

Photo: Pexels.com

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