In most cases patients do not consume all the drugs prescribed to them owing to the fact that they may have negative side effects, the patient may demand dosage change or may stop taking the drugs if they have reached the expiration date. Thus, it is not unusual for patients to possess the wasteful or expired prescription drugs. Due to this happening, patients need an apparent assistance concerning the manner in which they are supposed to dispose of these prescription drugs. Education materials for clients are available bearing recommendations regarding disposing discarded medications (Allaby, 2000).
The disposal of wasteful prescription drugs from pharmacies and those administered to patients is of great significance. This is the effect of heightened consciousness, environmental concerns, and inadequate disposal choices, when prescription drugs are flushed down the toilet into the sewer system, and due to possible diversion consequences when disposing of prescribed medication. Various discarded prescribed drugs have been detected in small quantities dissolved in drinking water, groundwater, and surface masses of water. The availability of pharmaceuticals and their metabolic substances in water bodies has been accepted as possibly dangerous (Humphrey & Milone-Nuzzo, 1996).
It is unfortunate that the water treatment systems at the present do not get rid of many pharmaceutical from water suitable for drinking. Generally the concentration of the medication in the drinking water medications is slight, but getting an exposure to even small amounts of numerous medications could be dangerous. The inappropriate disposal of wasteful and expired prescription drugs makes up another easily avoidable source of pharmaceuticals which make their way into water supplies .
An expediency selection of patients was acquired from the outpatient pharmacy in the waiting room. Patients coming into the pharmacy were welcomed to participate in answering the survey anonymous questions in the waiting room. Before the respondents answered the questions administered, the program made them aware that, the word "medication" was intended for prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, was used to mean, herbals, and vitamins. The program provided favorable conditions for all questions to be responded to, thus minimizing absent figures.
The obtained data were transferred into version 12.0 of SPSS for investigation. Explanatory statistics were employed to classify patients' behavior and thinking. Unconditional responses underwent dichotomization to enable hypothesis testing because of the small numbers of various responses.
A total of 209 respondents were administered with question and finally the surveys totaling to the same number of respondents were comprehensive. The figure of patients who made their way into the waiting room for the duration of collecting data was not acquired, thus the rate of response was not computed for. Majority of the respondents were found to take six or less medications, and number of them had six or less wasteful or expired medications within their dwellings. Less than 21% of the respondents reported to have been advised by health care providers on suitable medication disposal. Of all the respondents more than half reported keeping the expired or wasteful medications in their dwellings, and more than half accepted flushing the expired or wasteful medications down a toilet. Thirteen percent reported giving the expired or wasteful medications back to a health care giver, and only 23% reported giving the expired or wasteful medication back to a pharmacy.
Currently incineration makes the best way of disposing of the expired or wasteful medication since it is environmental friendly. A number of pharmacies are starting to use this choice of incineration to do away with expired or wasteful medication. Another option is dumping in a sanitary landfill provided appropriate safety measures are observed. However, the use of landfills to get rid of medications was not explored by our study. The least wanted option to dispose of medication is flush them into the sewage system.
The consequences of this study put forward that there is a need for patient education concerning the appropriate disposal of expired and wasteful medications. Prior education was extremely related to the former 'return' of medications to a healthcare giver for appropriate disposal. Because recurrent visits to the healthcare facilities were related to prior returns to a healthcare facility and at present being on extra medications was related to previous returns to a healthcare giver, then possibly patient education is a factor.
Weaknesses were encountered in the study since the precise rate of response could not be computed. The reports of the prior practices are subject to recall unfairness and possibly will not be precise. It is clear that the study sample was obtained from the patients of the same hospital's outpatient pharmacy. It is uncertain how reasonably the results can be widespread to a wider population.
It is broadly assumed that incineration is currently the most environmentally friendly technique for disposal of expired and wasteful prescription drugs. Pharmacists and Physicians should enlighten patients that flushing these medications into the sewer system should constitute the option of last resort when disposing of drugs. Unused and expired medications should be reserved in their original wrapping with all distinguishing information removed or hidden. The original wrapping should be obscured by placing the product inside plain outer packaging for instance sealable bags which are plastic in nature.