Expired or Unused Medication

March 16, 2011 by  

I Bet 95% of You Have Expired Meds In Your Medicine Cabinet!

It is just one of those things we don’t think a lot about, until we need it.  Expired medications aren’t usually harmful to you, they are just not as effective. But in some cases, such as severe allergies, having a medication that isn’t is not as affective can be harmful because may be preventing a life threatening reaction.

When you clean out and organize your medicine cabinet, I want you to look at the expiration date of every medication in it. The expiration dates can be in a variety of places.

expiration date

Sometimes they are hard to find.

expiration dateSometimes they are hard to read

expiration date

Don’t forget to check prescription medications too. See.. this one was expired!

expired medsThis one too.

expired meds

Here is my pile of expired medications from the cabinet above my coffee maker.


Here is my pile of expired meds from my two pantry baskets. Pretty bad huh?  But not unusual at all.


Even when some people go in and organize or straighten up their meds, they don’t think about looking for expired medications.

It is a pain to look for the expired meds!!  Trying to search all over the bottle for the expiration date. Then if you can read it without a magnifying glass your also lucky!

So how can we help solve this problem?  Simple!


Get a black sharpie marker and some sticky labels.

As you are organizing, go through each item and if it isn’t expired, you need to put the expiration date on the medication using your sticky labels and sharpie marker.

I had some clear Avery labels and decided to use those.  I first tried just writing directly on the medications label, but it was that slick plastic label and the marker didn’t go on nice, and even once it was dry, I was able to just wipe it off with my finger.  The label it didn’t do that.

When you place your label onto your medication bottle, be sure not to cover up vital information (directions and doses or concentration of the medications)

medicine labelIt is so much easier to see.

expiration date

It is just so simple! Depending on the bottle itself, you can just write directly on the surface if it writes easily and won’t wipe off.


As your medications come into your house from the pharmacy, as you go to put them away, get that sharpie marker (that you have kept right with your medications) and mark the bottles before you put them away.

There are times that the box that has the medication is where you will find the expiration date and it isn’t even on the bottle itself. I didn’t find any like that in my stash, because I don’t save many boxes…. but you won’t have any problem if you label them right away. The simpler you keep it, the more likely you will be to comply and actually keep it up.

But isn’t this much easier to see?

medicineLook at the ones I keep above my coffee maker.

medicineWhen the dates are easy to see, you will be MUCH less likely to have expired medications.

medicineWouldn’t it be nice if the drug companies did this for us?  If they won’t put them large on the bottle and easy to see and to find, wouldn’t it be nice then if they at least provided a sticker or had a surface up near the top of the bottle to make it easier for us to label them ourselves?  I sure think so!

Be sure to see the rest of my series:

Part 1 – Organize Your Medicine Cabinet
Part 3 – Disposing of Your Expired or Unused Medications
Part 4 – Be Prepared for Illness

Your mission is to LABEL your medications with EXPIRATION DATES! I want to see them! You might have another idea that could help us all.. please share it!

Be sure to link them up to my Organizing Mission Link party!

Organizing Mission Monday

I LOVE your comments!!

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One Response to “Expired or Unused Medication”
  1. Cathy says:

    I have made it a habit to mark everything once it has been opened. Everything that goes into the refrigerator especially. Nothing like pulling out a bottle of salad dressing to find that it expired 2 years ago. This includes pantry items also.

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