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Give Your Medicine Cabinet a Makeover for the New Year

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Revised on August 9th, 2022

When you start to sneeze or cough, the first thing you probably do is head to your medicine cabinet looking for something that can relieve your symptoms. But side effect warnings, expiration dates and possible drug interactions can make you think twice about what’s in that cabinet. Now that the New Year is upon us, it’s an ideal time to give your medicine cabinet a makeover. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Check expiration dates on both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs. Medications lose their potency over time, so remove them if expired. Check to see if the medication has changed color, consistency or smell.

2. Start purchasing single-dose drops whenever possible to avoid contamination or having the preservatives break down in the medication.

3. robern-m-medicine-cabinet-with-cold-storageScan the drugs for warnings about potential risks from certain ingredients. Visit the Food and Drug Administration's website, www.fda.gov/Drugs, for specific drug information and warnings. Remove any medications that don't have labels or are not stored in their original containers.

4. Re-stock your medicine cabinet with essential homeopathic medicines like Oscillo for flu-like symptoms, Coldcalm for cold symptoms, and Chestal for coughs. These medicines don’t cause drowsiness or sleeplessness, and they won't interact with other medications or mask symptoms that might indicate a more serious condition.

5. Reorganize the medications in the cabinet so those you use more frequently are within easy reach. Group together similar medications, and keep an emergency contact information list naming the medications, known drug allergies, and other important information on the inside of the cabinet, so it can be accessed quickly by paramedics and other emergency personnel.

6. When disposing of unwanted or expired medications, don't dump them down the toilet, unless the patient information tells you to do so. Instead, mix pills with undesirable matter like kitty litter or coffee grounds before placing in a sealed plastic bag for the trash. Also, remove all personal information from the bottles. Contact your local government to see if the community has a drug take-back program.

All of us here at Boiron wish you a healthy, happy new year!

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Comments (4)

Barbsays:

Is Chestal safe to use part expiration date? The bottle had never been opened.

MJsays:

Hi Barb, the general rule about homeopathics is five years. Expiration is more of a guideline, and since yours hasn’t been opened, it hasn’t been exposed to any elements. The worst thing that can happen with expired homeopathics, provided they haven’t been exposed to anything like being touched, etc., is that their efficacy might diminish somewhat. Absolutely no harm, just not as effective.

I’ve taken homeopathics even outside that 5-year range with success.

(There are no dates on the comments, so I have no idea if you posted this in 2022 or far from it! Today is 2 July 2022.)

MJsays:

Because I’ve been unable to find this information by any other means: I believe Boiron acquired Dolisos, and am wondering if there is familiarity or knowledge about where the expiration or manufacture date can be found on the square yellow containers in which the homeopathic was dispensed under the Dolisos name. The two numbers types on the bottle are listed NDS (with number following) and LOT (with number following). Obscure question, but who knows? Someone might know. Thank you. (I am purging to restock.)

Boironsays:

Hi MJ, unfortunately we’re unable to determine information about the expiration of Dolisos products. Boiron acquired the homeopathic line of Dolisos products in 2000 but they are no longer in production. It is likely this product is expired.

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