Prescription Medicine Safe Storage and Disposal Guide

Open Prescription Container

Safe Storage

  • If children are around, find an area that you can lock up your medicines such as a cabinet or drawer with a lock on it. Ingestion of medication is a leading cause of poisoning in children.
  • Lock up any controlled substances that have been prescribed to you.
  • Keep your medicines separate from those of your spouse and family members making it less likely that you take the wrong ones by mistake.
  • Store your medicine in an area that is cool and dry. Since heat and humidity can damage your medication, do not store medication in a bathroom unless it is well ventilated.
  • Every 6 months do an inventory of your medications; check the expiration date on the bottle, look for medicines that are discolored, crumbling, or show other signs that they are past their prime. Keeping old medication can be dangerous. Old prescriptions can cause confusion and can be deadly if they get in the wrong hands.

Safe Disposal

  • Do not flush medications down the toilet or sink.
  • Follow the steps below:
    1. Take unused, unneeded ,or expired medication out of their original containers and throw the containers in the trash.
    2. Make the medicine unusable.
      • Crush or dissolve pills with a small amount of water.
      • Mix them with undesirable substances such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter.
      • Absorb liquid medication with flour or table salt.
    3. Then place the unusable medication in impermeable containers, such as cans or sealable bags and place the container in your household trash.

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The Flu Ends with U!

Tea Cup and Tissues

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The flu usually comes on suddenly with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Flu season mainly occurs in the fall and winter with peaks between December and February.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a yearly flu vaccine to protect against influenza. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. It is recommended to receive the flu vaccine by the end of October however receiving a flu vaccine during any part of flu season can be beneficial. Children under 5 years old, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, and people 65 years and older are at high risk of flu complications.

To help stop the spread of germs frequently wash your hands with soap and water and avoid close contact with sick people. If you are ill, limit contact with others. Make sure to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Frequently disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with germs such as door knobs, faucets, and tables.

Our office has flu shots available.

Call 440-816-2761 to schedule your flu shot today!

Kelly Blevins, BSN, RN Joins Southwest Family Physicians

Kelly Blevins, BSN, RN

Kelly Blevins, BSN, RN is a graduate of Normandy High School. She graduated from Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2009.

Kelly worked in the Coronary Care Stepdown Unit before becoming the Infection Control Nurse for the Sheriff’s Department. Before accepting our position, Kelly was the Director of Nursing at the Sheriff’s Department.

Kelly enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband, traveling, reading, and dining at new restaurants. Kelly is a member of the American Diabetes Association.

Her full bio can be found under our “Staff” section of the website.

Hepatitis A: What You Need to Know

Patient Being Vaccinated

Did you know the Ohio Department of Health declared a statewide community outbreak of hepatitis A?

From January 5, 2018 through October 1, 2018 there has been 538 cases of hepatitis A throughout the state of Ohio. In Cuyahoga county there has been 9 cases of hepatitis A.

What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable highly contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. It can range from a mild illness to a severe illness lasting months. Hepatitis A spreads when a person unknowingly ingests fecal matter (even in microscopic amounts) from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the stool of an infected person. Hepatitis A can also be spread through close personal contact with an infected person.

Who is at an increased risk of developing hepatitis A in this outbreak?

  • People with direct contact with someone who has hepatitis A
  • People who use street drugs; both injection and non-injection drugs
  • People who are incarcerated
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • People who have traveled to other areas of the United States currently experiencing outbreaks (Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and West Virginia)

What are the symptoms of hepatitis A?

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

Can hepatitis A be prevented?

Yes! The best way to prevent hepatitis A is through vaccination with the hepatitis A vaccine. Practice good hand hygiene by washing hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.

Contact your healthcare provider if…

  • You believe that you are at high risk for hepatitis A infection.
  • You know that you have been exposed to someone with hepatitis A.
  • You are experiencing symptoms of hepatitis A.

Mallory Burroughs, CNP, FNP-BC, MSN, RN Joins Southwest Family Physicians

Mallory Burrough, CNP Joins SWFP

Mallory Burroughs aspired to be a nurse practitioner early on when she began working in the healthcare field as a patient care assistant in 2008. It was clear that helping and caring for others came natural to her and she began her journey to achieve this goal. Mallory graduated from Cuyahoga Community College in 2011 with her nursing degree. She then began working as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as she continued to pursue her education. Mallory graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Ohio University in 2013. Mallory has worked in direct patient care of critically ill patients as a bedside nurse and also served a role in leadership.

In August 2016, Mallory graduated from The University of Cincinnati with her Master’s Degree in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner and is board certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. This specialty focuses of care across the lifespan including pediatrics, adolescents, adults, and older adult populations. In her clinical training, Mallory spent time with focused rotations on primary care, pediatrics, and women’s health.

Mallory enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, traveling, shopping and reading. Her many achievements have served as a testament to her proficiency and dedication to the medical profession. Mallory is excited to join Southwest Family Physicians and looks forward to serving the communities healthcare needs.

Her full bio can be read under the “Staff” section of our website.