Have you Checked Your Medicine Cabinet, Lately?

Good Living Prompt 1

Part of a series of life prompts, hints and tips to help you mid-lifers on your journey!

Have you checked your medicine cabinet, lately?

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If you’re a fairly healthy forty something, you rarely, if at all, think about what’s in the medicine cabinet. We’re often so busy moving to the drumbeat of our daily lives, we leave low priority to-dos languishing on the low priority list.

Setting aside time to check what’s in our medicine cabinets may not ever be a real priority to us, that is, until we’ve got a splitting headache, nausea or one our kids needs the Imodium for, well, you get the point….

It happened to me recently. My poor husband was having a major sinus-related headache. He laid down on the sofa with his eyes closed. I knew that meant he was in pain, so nurse April sprang into action. I knew I had medication for sinus pain, I only needed to rummage through the cabinet to find it. It only took removing eight different bottles of medicines and vitamins to find it sitting in the back of the cabinet. But there it was, just like I knew it would be–Tylenol for Sinus!

“Here I come honey bear, I’ve got something that will relieve your pain!” I proudly proclaimed.

As I poured the juice for him to take with his medication, I noticed the expiration on the package was April 4, 2014. Darn. What to do, now?

I yelled to my husband the Tylenol had expired earlier this year. He said it probably didn’t matter and I thought it didn’t either, so I went ahead and gave it to him. Poor thing, he probably didn’t care if the expiration date was 2010, he just wanted relief from the sinus pain!

I felt bad for giving him expired medication, just on GP (general principle). Imagine if it was one of my kids? Would I want to give them old, expired medication? No and I don’t ever want to do that again for anyone in my family.

Despite the fact studies have shown many over the counter medications are still potent years after their expiration date, I choose to abide by the expiration label for another important reason–if he, someone in my family or a friend had a negative reaction to the medication I gave, who would be held legally responsible?  Since I’m not sure, I’d rather be safe, than sorry.

You can avoid having future scenarios like mine, if you so choose, by giving your medicine cabinet an annual check up. Time it with your annual visit to your doctor so you won’t forget. Set aside fifteen minutes to review what medications and vitamins you have and throw away all expired ones.

Make a list and tape it to the inside of your cabinet of the medications you have, what it’s for and the expiration date. This way, you will always know what you have and what you need at a glance.

Now that’s a good living prompt!

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2 thoughts on “Have you Checked Your Medicine Cabinet, Lately?

  1. April this is a great living prompt! I just cleared out my cabinet of expired vitamins. It is a good idea to tape a list with item and expiration to the cabinet…it would save so much time and the potential for mishaps.

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