What do I do with unused medications?
To protect both the environment and fellow humans, it is very important to follow the proper steps when disposing of prescription drugs. Please note that most prescription drugs should not be flushed down the toilet or drains for disposal. The following are suggestions to help you safely dispose of prescription drugs:
- Take unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs out of the original container. Remove all personal information from packaging (i.e. use a black marker) before throwing the container in the trash.
- Make the medication unusable by mixing with an undesirable substance, such as coffee grounds or kitty litter. You can also crush or dissolve the medication with a small amount of water, and absorb the liquid medication with flour, table salt, or another non-toxic substance.
- Next, put the disguised/destroyed medication in a non-descript, impermeable, non-transparent container, such as an empty can or plastic container.
- Flush prescription drugs down the toilet only if the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs doing so. Please refer to the Office of National Drug Control Policy website at www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov for a list of medications that the FDA advises flushing down the toilet instead of throwing in the trash.
- Keep an eye out for community prescription drug take-back programs, which allow the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal. This is the best way to dispose of unused prescription drugs!
Disposal of Household Generated Sharps
Information on disposal of household generated sharps: