How to Safely Dispose of Expired Medications & Prescription Drugs



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Medications and prescription drugs have certain guidelines for safe disposal, set by the FDA. It's important that you exercise due care when disposing of your expired medicines, as some are potentially harmful-- and in some cases fatal, if ingested by anyone other than the prescribed individual. Here is what you need to know about the safe disposal of your expired prescription drugs:

1. Mix Expired Drug Prescription with Unpalatable Refuse, Kitty Litter Or Coffee Grounds.

If not stated otherwise, many prescribed medicines are suitable to be disposed of safely in the household trash. Remove your prescription drugs from its original container and mix together with an undesirable substance. Be sure to seal the medicine again carefully in an indiscrete container.

2. Dispose Expired Medications & Prescription Drugs By Flushing.

While disposal by flushing is not advised for the majority of medications, prescription drugs, and supplements available, some medicines are suitable to flush. In some cases, the FDA recommends the disposal of your drug prescription by flushing for medicines that pose serious health concerns if ingested by un-prescribed individuals. Read prescription labels carefully to see if your medicine is suitable to discard by flushing down the sink or toilet. The FDA recommends flushing prescription medicines with active ingredients which include: Acetaminophen; Oxycodone Hydrochloride Aspirin; Oxycodone Hydrochloride Diazepam Fentanyl Fentanyl Citrate Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Meperidine Hydrochloride Methadone Hydrochloride Methylphenidate Morphine Sulfate Morphine Sulfate; Naltrexone Hydrochloride Oxycodone Hydrochloride Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Sodium Oxybate

3. Ask Your Pharmacy to Safely Dispose Of Your Expired Medications & Prescription Drugs.

Your local drug pharmacy will know how to safely discard of old medicines. If you are unsure about your drug prescription, take your medicine to the nearest pharmacy to ensure proper disposal. 

4. Dispose Of Your Drug Prescription via Drug Take-Back Programs.

Drug take-back programs are designed to safely discard old, expired medicines and eliminate the chance of accidental ingestion by an un-prescribed individual. A drug take-back program is a great way to recycle your prescription drugs, especially if you are unsure about safe disposal. Contact your city's trash or recycling council to learn about the medications prescription take-back programs accept in your area.

At least once every twelve months, remove prescription drugs from your medicine cabinet that have expired or are no longer used. Read prescription labels carefully to ensure proper disposal. If you are unsure about your prescription drugs, check with your local pharmacist.

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