May 1, 2018

Thinking about your inhalers this World Asthma Day

Today is World Asthma Day, which is an annual event dedicated to asthma prevention, diagnosis and treatment and aims to improve the awareness and care of asthma around the world.  Approximately 2 million Australians live with asthma today and the most important aspect of controlling asthma is education.

Along with being educated about the condition, it’s important to be educated about the medication you use if you are an asthmatic. Ensuring that your medication is up to date is very important, along with knowing what to do with your empty inhalers. If you have empty inhalers at home, its important you replace them with full ones, and then dispose of your old ones.

There are very specific instructions for inhaler disposal. If the inhaler or canister is empty, it can go in the usual rubbish collection. If you aren’t sure if the inhaler or canister is empty or if there is still some medication left, return it to your pharmacy for disposal. You can put the puffer’s plastic case in the household recycling bin. It’s also dangerous to leave them in the cupboard at home, as you might reach for it during an attack and realise that it is empty!

The correct way to dispose of inhalers that still have medication in them properly or any other household medicine is to follow the three simple steps of:

READ: Go to the areas in your home where you store medicines. Read the labels, check expiry dates and review all medicines. Consider whether you actually need them.

REMOVE: Remove all expired and unwanted medicines from your home medicine area, take them out of their packaging and place them in a bag or container.

RETURN: Return your expired and unwanted medicines to your local pharmacy.  Your pharmacist will put them in a secure bin for safe disposal. Prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, herbal or complementary supplements, gels, liquids, creams and veterinary medicines can all be disposed of in a designated The RUM Project bin.

For more information on inhaler, visit The National Asthma Council Website

The Return of Unwanted Medicines Project is a free service that offers a way to dispose of unwanted or expired medicines safely and conveniently at your local community pharmacy. Find out more about the service here.

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