Mary Alice Reporting – Ensure medications are stored and used properly to avoid potential risk.

Medication errors are the sixth leading cause of death and Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital CEO Dr. Thomas Rogers is educating residents.

The first week of April is medication safety week and raises awareness to use medicines, prescribed or over the counter, safely.

When storing, Rogers says keep them out of the bathroom, since showers can cause a damp, humid environment. Instead place them in a dry, room temperature location.

 “And when you store it, make sure you keep it away from kids. Make sure it’s an area where you know it’s located and that it’s kept away from other things, I mean, even non-medications. You don’t want to get things confused.”

When it comes to disposal, he notes to not flush them, since the medication stays in the water and makes its way to a treatment plant, where in can chemically contaminate the water, or if putting it down the drain, medicine can pollute water ways and harm aquatic species.

When you are done with a medication or it’s expired, or you no longer need it, those should be taken back on the drug take back days, or you can bring it back to the pharmacy and dispose of them properly.”

Dr. Rogers also stresses the importance, when visiting a physician’s office, to always bring a list of medications and vitamins taken, since some can interact with each other.

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