August is National Drug Drop-Off Month: Tips for Cleaning Out Your Medicine Cabinet

Many prescription drugs that have a high potential for misuse come from the medicine cabinets of friends and families

If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned out your medicine cabinet, now is the time to dig out those old pill bottles. In support of the second annual National Drug Drop-Off Month, this August London Drugs is joining Drug Free Kids Canada to encourage all Canadians to secure their prescriptions and return all unused or expired medications to pharmacies.

As communities throughout the province grapple with the devastating effects of the opioid crisis, this month-long campaign highlights the problematic use of prescription drugs by teens and emphasizes the need for safe disposal to reduce the instances of abuse, overdoses as well as accidental poisonings.

While our pharmacy accepts unused medication for safe disposal every day, National Drug Drop-Off Month reminds us that everyone has a role to play in reducing the potential harms of prescription drugs on our communities.

Cleaning out your medicine cabinet and safely disposing of unused and expired medications at the pharmacy is a simple way we can all help reduce the potential harms of prescription drugs. Many prescription medications, over-the-counter products and health supplements remain in medicine cabinets and kitchen drawers long after their expiry date, while others are simply unused. Properly disposing of these drugs as well as medical sharps is important not only for the safety of loved ones but also for the environment.

 Follow these helpful tips for cleaning out your medicine cabinet

 

Many prescription drugs that have a high potential for misuse come from the medicine cabinets of friends and families. Whether intentional or accidental, ingestion of these prescription drugs is a very real risk to the health of our communities. Once you’ve collected your unused and expired medications, find your closest London Drugs location to drop off them off for safe disposal.

  1. Check expiration dates and remove products that are expired.
    Pharmacists recommend cleaning out your medicine cabinet annually since virtually every medication – from vitamins, to prescription medications, to over-the-counter products – have expiry dates. Keep in mind that some products can expire before the date on the label once opened. When in doubt, ask a pharmacist.
  2. Remove any medication not in its original container.
    If you can’t remember what a medication is for or who it was for, get rid of it. As much as possible, keep your medication in its original packaging. Mixing different medications in the same container or storing them outside of their original packaging increases the likelihood of accidental overdose or poisonings.
  3. Place unwanted and expired drugs in a clear plastic bag.
    Medications in blister packs and forms of liquid and cream medications can also be included in the plastic bag.
  4. Drop off your unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications at any London Drugs.
    These medications will be safely incinerated, preventing them from being abused, entering landfills or the sewer system. London Drugs also recycles medication bottles, lids and medication vials. Please be sure to remove personal information by taking off the label.
  5. You can bring your medications to the pharmacy year round.
    Unwanted and expired drugs are accepted every day at any London Drugs location. Instead of flushing pills or throwing medical sharps in the garbage, bring them to the pharmacy for safe disposal. Approved sharps containers can also be purchased to dispose of medical sharps.

Many prescription drugs that have a high potential for misuse come from the medicine cabinets of friends and families. Whether intentional or accidental, ingestion of these prescription drugs is a very real risk to the health of our communities. Once you’ve collected your unused and expired medications, find your closest London Drugs location to drop off them off for safe disposal.

 

Hepatitis C screening urged for all Canadians born between 1945 and 1975

London Drugs now offers accessible hepatitis C screening at locations in BC and Alberta

London Drugs Pharmacist. Get tested. Get Treated. Get Cured. Hepatitis C Screening Clinics.

Nine in ten people living with viral hepatitis are unaware that they have the life-threatening infection because it can take decades before symptoms become evident. New testing guidelines recommend that all Canadians born between 1945 and 1975 get screened. There is an elevated risk among that age group due to inferior infection prevention and control practices, and blood products that went unscreened prior to 1992.

Anyone can now be screened for hepatitis C with the simple finger prick test at London Drugs locations throughout BC and Alberta.  The test, called the OraQuick HCV rapid antibody test, is more than 99% accurate at detecting HCV antibodies and provides results in 20 minutes. The cost of the test is $24.

In the case of a positive antibody result, pharmacists will notify the patient’s family physician so that a confirmatory blood test can be ordered.  In the case of a positive result, the patient is referred to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment.  Pharmacists provide education about the curative therapies available and support patients throughout their journey from treatment to cure. The treatment is relatively simple; it involves taking antiviral medications daily for eight to 12 weeks. Current therapies can cure over 95% of people with hepatitis C.

In an effort to improve access to testing and treatment for the potentially liver-destroying virus, and reduce the stigma associated with the blood-borne illness, London Drugs is hosting hepatitis C screening events at London Drugs locations leading up to World Hepatitis Day on July 28th, 2019. Hepatitis C Educators will be at stores to help increase awareness about the need for screening. These specially trained pharmacists will be offering expert advice and encouraging testing, particularly among higher-risk populations. A complete list of event times and locations can be found here.

5 Reasons Your Pharmacist is Awesome

Everyone knows that your pharmacist is the expert in filling your prescriptions, but everyone may not know that they provide many other super helpful services as well. We’re celebrating World Pharmacists Day by shining a light on all of the ways your friendly, neighbourhood London Drugs pharmacist can help you maintain and improve your health.

1. They can give you your jabs

Getting immunized isn’t exactly fun, but pharmacists can take the sting out of it by making it easy and convenient. If you’re planning a trip overseas, your pharmacist can help you prepare by reviewing your immunization history, letting you know which vaccines you’ll need for your destination, administering them, and issuing you an International Certificate of Vaccination if you need it.

London Drugs’ Certified Injection Pharmacists are also able to administer influenza vaccinations, as well as the Zostavax vaccine for Shingles.

If you would like to get a vaccination at a London Drugs pharmacy, just ask for more information at the pharmacy counter.

2. They give great advice

Although sometimes necessary, getting in to see a doctor can be time-consuming and complicated. If you’re looking for quick advice about minor ailments or wellness, your pharmacist can be your first stop on the road to good health. You can meet with a London Drugs pharmacist one-on-one to get trusted health advice on anything from allergy relief, diabetes management, nutrition, cough and cold remedies, pain management, stomach health, and eye care. Here’s the best part–no appointment necessary!

3. They help with the kids

Becoming a new parent can be scary, especially if you think something is wrong with your precious little bundle. If you have questions about your child’s health, pharmacists are an accessible resource. They can recommend over-the-counter medications that are safe for your children and provide information on proper dosage to help you treat common baby health conditions such as diaper rash, eczema, cradle cap, constipation, pain and fever, rashes, teething and more. Pharmacists can also refer your child to a doctor or other health professional if they feel your little bundle of joy requires a closer look.

4. They can help you find out for sure

You can never be too careful with your health, and pharmacists make it easier to put your mind at ease. Health screenings are a great way to take control of your health, and London Drugs provides the following convenient screening services and clinics at most of our locations:

5. They care about the community

Pharmacists are not only healthcare professionals, they are caring members of the community that they serve.

For example, last year during the British Columbia wildfire crisis, they provided life-saving services in the affected communities. While London Drugs helped assemble essential supplies and support staff, London Drugs pharmacists assisted those affected by accessing medical histories and contacted insurance providers to ensure quick access to essential medications for people who had to evacuate their homes.

Do you have a great story about how your super-pharmacist saved the day? Share it with us in the comments or on Twitter! #ilovemypharmacist