A health trust has started a campaign to stop thousands of pounds being lost by wasted medicines.
The campaign will warn about out-of-date medicines
Derwentside Primary Care Trust estimates each year around £250,000 is wasted through unwanted medicines being collected and never used.
It says the money could be used instead for staff or treatment.
People are being urged to order only medicines they need and not order "just in case", to avoid stockpiles being built up.
Trust medicines management project facilitator Lee Middleton said: "We hope that the campaign will help patients to understand how to order their repeat prescriptions and encourage them to talk to their GP surgery if they stop taking their medicines.
"Local doctors surgeries and pharmacists will be supporting the campaign by displaying posters and distributing postcards to patients as well as talking to patients about the medication on their repeat prescriptions and the dangers of out of date and unused medicines."