Before we delve into the details of how to store and dispose of apixaban, it’s crucial to understand what the drug is and why it’s used. Apixaban, also known by its brand name Eliquis, is a type of anticoagulant or blood thinner. It’s commonly prescribed to prevent strokes and blood clots in people with certain heart conditions or those who have undergone a hip or knee replacement surgery. As a medication, it’s imperative to handle it with care and responsibility.
Proper Storage of Apixaban
Like any other medication, storing apixaban correctly is important to maintain its effectiveness. It should be stored at room temperature, between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). Always keep it in its original packaging until it’s time to take it, as this helps protect it from light, heat, and moisture.
Protection from Extreme Conditions
Extreme conditions can damage apixaban and render it less effective or even harmful. Therefore, never store it in areas that are exposed to high heat, such as near stoves or heaters. Similarly, places that have high moisture like bathrooms or kitchen sinks should also be avoided. Freezing the medication is also not recommended.
Out of Reach and Sight of Children
Apixaban, like all other medications, should always be kept out of sight and reach of children. Accidental consumption can have serious consequences. Therefore, it’s best to store it in a locked cabinet or a high shelf where children can’t access it. Also, remember to always close the lid of the container securely after using it.
Monitoring Expiry Dates
Expired medications can lose their effectiveness and might not help the condition they were intended to treat. In some cases, they can even be dangerous. Always keep a check on the expiry date of your apixaban and never consume it beyond that date. If you find expired medication in your home, it should be disposed of properly.
Proper Disposal of Apixaban
It’s not advisable to simply throw away expired or unused apixaban in the trash or flush it down the toilet. Instead, it should be disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly manner to prevent accidental consumption by children, pets, or others, and to avoid contamination of water supplies.
Using Medicine Take-Back Programs
Medicine take-back programs are the best way to dispose of unused or expired apixaban. These programs collect unwanted medications and dispose of them properly. You can check with your local waste disposal facility or pharmacists to find out if such a program exists in your area.
Disposing of Apixaban at Home
If a take-back program is not available, you can dispose of apixaban at home by following a few steps. Mix the medicine (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance like dirt or kitty litter. Place the mixture in a sealed plastic bag and throw it in your household trash. Then, remove all personal information on the prescription label of the empty medication container before discarding it.
Consulting a Health Care Provider
If you’re unsure about anything regarding the storage or disposal of apixaban, don't hesitate to consult a healthcare provider or pharmacist. They can provide accurate information and guide you through the process. Remember, proper handling of medications is not just for your safety, but also for the safety of those around you and the environment.