Proper Disposal of Expired or Unused Medication: A Guide

Apr 7, 2024 | Ask our Pharmacist, Featured 2

Proper disposal of expired or unused medication is crucial to ensure the safety of individuals and the environment. Disposing of medications incorrectly can have harmful consequences, including accidental ingestion, misuse, or contamination of water sources. In this guide, we will outline safe and responsible ways to dispose of medication while emphasizing the importance of proper disposal. If you have any further questions, you can also contact MedMinder customer support for assistance at 1-888-633-6463.

Check Medication Labels

Before disposal, carefully read the labels on each medication. Some medications may have specific instructions for disposal. Follow any guidelines provided on the label or packaging.

Follow FDA Recommendations

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends specific disposal methods for various types of medications. Visit https://www.fda.gov/drugs/safe-disposal-medicines/disposal-unused-medicines-what-you-should-know for information and a helpful instructional video.

Do Not Flush

Flushing medication down the toilet or drain is not recommended, unless it is on FDA’s Flush List, https://www.fda.gov/drugs/disposal-unused-medicines-what-you-should-know/drug-disposal-fdas-flush-list-certain-medicines. It can contaminate water sources and harm aquatic life.

Community Take-Back Programs

Many communities have designated locations, such as hospitals or police stations, where you can safely drop off unused or expired medications. Check with your local authorities for information on these take-back programs, or search on Google Maps for “drug disposal near me” to easily find a site.

Dispose in Household Trash

If no specific disposal programs are available, for non-flushable medication, you can dispose of most medications in your household trash. Mix them with an undesirable substance like used coffee grounds or kitty litter to deter potential misuse. Place the mixture in a sealable bag or container before throwing it in the trash.

Remove Personal Information

Before disposal, remove all personal information from medication packaging to protect your privacy. This can include prescription labels or any identifying information.

Proper disposal of expired or unused medication is vital for the safety of individuals and the environment. Remember never to flush medications and always remove personal information from packaging. If you have further questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to MedMinder customer support at 1-888-633-6463 for guidance. Responsible medication disposal is a shared responsibility that contributes to a safer and healthier community.

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