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13th Jul 2012

Are You Guilty of Taking Out-of-date Medicine?

A new survey has revealed that half of us take out-of-date medicine on a regular basis...

When you have a headache, are you guilty of just grabbing any auld bottle of painkillers out of your medicine cabinet without a second thought? If so, you might want to read the following…

The Irish Daily Star reports that pharmacists have warned that half of the population are putting their lives at risk on a regular basis by taking out-of-date medicine.

The warning was issued after a new report from researchers revealed that 50 per cent of Irish adults tend to ignore the expiry date on medicines that they have lying around in their home and 1 in 6 people admit that they take medication even if it is out of date.

Even more worryingly, at least a fifth of people who were surveyed as part of the research revealed that they regularly take medicine which is not prescribed for them and 1 in 8 can’t actually remember the last time that they cleaned out their medicine cabinet.

The research was conducted for DocMorris, a large pharmacy chain in Ireland.

“The National Poisons Information Centre receives more than 4,000 calls annually about children who have been accidentally poisoned,” said Joanne Kissane, a pharmacist.

“The majority of these children are under the age of five. It is important that parents dispose of these medicines appropriately to ensure there are no unused medicines in the home and no mix-ups with newer or recently prescribed medications,” she added.

If it’s been awhile since you cleared out your medicine cabinet, it’s probably a worthwhile thing to do this weekend.