+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Behind closed doors: medication storage and disposal in the home

Behind closed doors: medication storage and disposal in the home

Annals of PharmacoTherapy 47(4): 482-489

More than half of all medications are inappropriately prescribed, dispensed, or sold and only 50% of patients take their medications correctly. Oftentimes, unwanted or expired medications are saved for later use, stored indefinitely, or disposed via the sink, toilet, or garbage. To determine how residents in Cook County, Illinois, use, store, and dispose of their medications to assess the possible impact of these medications on health care and the environment. Researchers at the University of Illinois conducted a survey of Cook County residents over a 13-week period. Residents were surveyed regarding their use, storage, and disposal of prescription and nonprescription medications. From 3954 telephone numbers generated through random-digit dialing, 445 telephone interviews were completed. Eighty-one and a half percent of respondents had prescription medications and 92.4% had nonprescription medications in their homes. On average, respondents possessed 4.4 distinct prescription and 5.5 distinct nonprescription medications. Despite possessing a number of medications, approximately 30% of respondents stated that they took no medication on a regular basis; 59% of respondents reported disposing medications in the household gar bage and 31% flushed them down the toilet or sink. Over 80% of respondents stated that they had never received information about proper medication disposal. Thirty-seven percent reported having leftover unexpired medications from a previous illness. Of these, 63% stopped taking their medications because they believed that they no longer needed them or because they felt better. Thirty-two percent of respondents expected to have leftover prescription medications within the next 6 months. Almost all respondents had excess and leftover medications in their homes. This may be a result of both overprescribing and poor medication adherence. In addition to the potential human health risk of nonadherence, disposal of excess medication raises concerns about their environmental impact and safety.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 036845064

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23535813

DOI: 10.1345/aph.1r706

Related references

Medication knowledge extends beyond closed doors. Aorn Journal 69(1): 12, 15-6, 1999

Harsh decisions behind closed doors: BBC 1 Panorama: "Behind Closed Doors," 24 March 1997. BMJ 314(7086): 1054-1055, 1997

Behind closed doors: How advanced cancer couples communicate at home. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology 2018: 1-14, 2018

Behind closed doors: in-home workers' experience of sexual harassment and workplace violence. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 6(3): 255-269, 2001

Behind Closed Doors: Involuntary Treatment in Care of Persons with Cognitive Impairment at Home in the Netherlands. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 64(2): 354-358, 2016

"Behind Closed Doors with open minds?": A qualitative study exploring nursing home staff's narratives towards their roles and duties within the context of sexuality in dementia. International Journal of Nursing Studies 74: 112-119, 2017

Medication Sharing, Storage, and Disposal Practices for Opioid Medications Among US Adults. JAMA Internal Medicine 176(7): 1027-1029, 2018

Self-Medication and Storage of Drugs at Home Among the Clients of Drugstores in Tabriz. Current Drug Safety 4(2): 107-112, 2009

Self-medication and storage of drugs at home among the clients of drugstores in Tabriz. Current Drug Safety 4(2): 107-112, 2009

Helping Older Adults Improve Their Medication Experience (HOME) by Addressing Medication Regimen Complexity in Home Healthcare. Home Healthcare Now 36(1): 10-19, 2018

In-home Drug Storage and Self-medication with Antimicrobial Drugs in Basrah, Iraq. Oman Medical Journal 25(2): 79-87, 2010

From dispensing to disposal: the role of student pharmacists in medication disposal and the implementation of a take-back program. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association 50(5): 613-618, 2011

Looking behind closed doors. Journal of the American Dental Association 121(1): 125-127, 1990

Behind closed doors. Nursing the Elderly 4(1): 44, 1992

Closed doors. Nursing Standard 1987) 21(33): 64, 2007