Some of the most common illnesses that send us to the doctor’s office can be easily treated with medications; however, there
isn’t an easy, one-stop solution for every sniffle, cough or infection.
While antibiotics are one of the most frequently prescribed medications for a variety of conditions, they are not a cure-all for everything. In fact, for many common illnesses caused by viruses (flu, colds and sore throats), antibiotics are not recommended.
So when do you know if an antibiotic will help relieve symptoms?
Dirk Killelea, Manager of the NorthShore Evanston Hospital Pharmacy, offers his insight on antibiotics, including when you should take them and when you shouldn’t:
How frequently do you take antibiotics?
How often do you purge your medicine cabinet? You should plan to clean through your cabinet and properly dispose of any medications every six months. Using expired medications can be hazardous to your health. Therefore, you should not be saving unused prescription
medications for later use, nor be saving expired prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Tina Zook, Pharmacy Manager, provides the following instructions for properly disposing of medications:
There will be instances where instructions are not given on the drug label and a drug take-back program is not available. In these cases, you follow the following steps for disposing of medications:
How often do you clean your medicine cabinet? What has your process been for disposing of medications?