Clearing out your medicine cabinet might be last on your list of priorities but doing so could eliminate unforeseen dangers.

Nicole Jennings, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics, a leading pharmaceutical company, said the firm had recently conducted a poll in which it found that many South Africans fail to get rid of unneeded medicines at home.

According to their Twitter poll, about 89% haven't cleaned out their medicine cabinet in the past two years.

Jennings says one of the dangers of keeping unused medication at home is that it often leads to misuse among teenagers.

To clean out your medicine cabinet, Jennings suggests:

1. Discard expired medications and even those you've opened some time ago. Good practice is to write the date you opened it on the product itself and to discard even general hygiene products a year thereafter.

2. Throw away any medicines or ointments that have changed colour, taste or odour, which might be due to too much exposure to sunlight or heat.

3. Before disposing of medicine be sure to remove or scratch out all personal information.

4. Check that medical devices, such as thermometers, blood pressure monitors, nebulisers etc are still in good working order.

5. Always store medication on a high shelf which children cannot reach, in a dry, cool place.