Medicine Cabinet Check-up

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Medicines can lose potency over time and should be evaluated annually:

# Store medications in a cool, dry place.

# Evaluate whether the medication is still needed. Has your doctor advised you to stop taking it? Is there a new condition to consider? Have you advised your doctors of all medications you#re currently taking?

# Are all medications in their original containers, labels firmly attached and easily readable?

# Any medications that have exceeded expiration should be discarded. And any that have changed in color or smell should also be thrown away.

Take a look also at over-the-counter medications. Think through your uses of these products:

# They should only be used for the temporary relief of minor symptoms, not on a regular basis. A doctor should evaluate symptoms requiring regular use.

# Don#t take them for longer than the directions indicate. If your symptoms persist, contact a doctor.

# Nursing mothers and pregnant women should check with their doctors before taking any medication, as ingested drugs pass to babies.