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Eliminate Danger of Medications That Are Expired or in Children’s Reach

What’s in the medicine cabinet is supposed to promote health, not endanger it.   But if medications have expired or are within the reach of children, they can indeed be dangerous.

To confront that danger, the American Medical Association urges a medicine-cabinet checkup and is offering a new online Medication Safety Checklist to help get it done.  It’s part of the AMA’s annual “Know What’s in Your Medicine Cabinet” initiative.

The AMA’s effort is timed to mark National Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 6-12), an annual education and awareness campaign for healthcare safety led by the National Patient Safety Foundation.

“National Patient Safety Awareness Week provides an excellent opportunity for patients to clean out their medicine cabinets annually,” says AMA board member Edward Langston, M.D. “The AMA encourages patients to not only dispose of their expired or unused medications, but to also keep medications out of reach of children.”

The AMA’s new checklist provides patients with helpful tips to keep track of prescription medications, vitamins, home remedies and alternative therapies and encourages patients to provide that information to their physicians, promoting conversation about medications. “The Medication Safety Checklist fosters a partnership between patients and their physicians focused on eliminating medication errors,” Dr. Langston says. “By talking to their physicians about all medications and supplements, whether or not they are prescribed, patients take an active role in healthcare safety.”

The checklist is available at

More information about this year’s theme for the week can be found at,


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