jeudi 19 novembre 2015

Crucial Guidelines To Consider Regarding Pharmaceutical Disposal

By Mattie Knight

Drugs are an important aspect of disease prevention and treatment. The process involved in getting rid of drugs that have expired or are no longer relevant is what is referred to as pharmaceutical disposal. At the household level, expired medication is usually discarded in the bin unless it is contraindicated by instructions on the label. On a large scale, guidelines are necessary to ensure correct and safe disposal. Such guidelines exist in California.

An example of situations where drugs have to be disposed in large amounts is donations made by companies to regions that have been hit by certain calamities. These disaster stricken areas may lack the necessary resources to store the drugs and sometimes the cargo may arrive close to the date of expiry. Even when they come in early, long before due date, the people on the ground may take advantage of the durability and mismanage the drugs. Other than that, instructions may be written in a foreign language or the medication may not be suitable for those affected.

To avoid wasting donations, a few simple guidelines need to be observed. This includes donating only those drugs that have durability of more than one year from the time of shipment unless the recipient health institutions have the capacity to effectively accommodate the drugs. Donors should also confirm that medication being shipped is actually appropriate for those meant to receive it.

Any method can be used for disposal on condition that keeps the environment safe from pollution. Improvisation can be done in countries that are not able to afford more advanced methods such as incineration which is commonly used in industrialized regions. Very high temperatures of above one thousand two hundred degrees Celsius are necessary for effective incineration.

It is very important for one to be physically protected when taking part in the process. A number of items may be required depending on the method. For instance, if crushing is being used as one of the techniques, masks are mandatory as a protective measure for the face. Other forms of protection may include boots, overalls, and gloves among others. Before the actual process begins, sorting must first be done.

A method known as land filling is common method of waste disposal in low resource settings. In this technique, waste is disposed off at a given site and left to accumulate. This however poses the risk of pollution to the environment. Apart from that, opportunists may hang around and reclaim harmful drugs such as narcotics. Disposers should therefore consider setting up security if their purpose of successful disposal is to be achieved.

Alternatively, expired medication can be collected in a container until it is approximately seventy five percent full after which additional harmless material fills up the container forming a block. This material may be in form of lime combined with cement or plain cement. Care should be taken that not potential explosives are present in the containers.

There are drugs that can simply be flushed down the toilet or sink. Some of this may include intravenous fluids and syrups. An exception to this are antibiotics that are not capable of being biodegraded as they interfere with the treatment process of the sewerage systems. Disposal of anticancer drugs into water systems is also contraindicated as it causes contamination and destruction of aquatic life.

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