How To Dispose Of Outdated Meds
Many of us have outdated or unused prescription medications in our homes and need to know how to dispose of outdated meds. Outdated meds not only clutter your medicine cabinet, they can also pose a poisoning risk to other adults, children and animals. It’s important to take precautions to dispose of outdated meds.
To dispose of outdated meds, you will need:
- Kitty litter or coffee grounds
- Zip seal bags or plastic containers with lids
- Cross out or remove any identifying information on prescription labels, including your name, address and phone number before you dispose of outdated meds. This will help to protect your privacy and health information.
- Follow any disposal instructions on the packaging and patient information accompanying your prescriptions. If you don’t have this information for your outdated meds, check the manufacturer’s website or consult your pharmacist to find out how to dispose of outdated meds.
- Contact your local waste management or recycling service to find out about drug take-back programs in your area. If there is a take-back program in your area, bring your outdated meds to the drop-off location for safe disposal.
- Remove outdated meds from the pharmacy container and mix them with an undesirable substance like coffee grounds or kitty litter. The idea is to disguise the meds and make them unappetizing. Seal the outdated meds and coffee grounds or litter in a zipper seal plastic bag or a plastic container with a lid to prevent the meds from leaking out of the trash bag.
- Avoid contaminating the water supply when you dispose of outdated meds. Don’t flush outdated meds or wash them down the sink unless the manufacturer’s guidelines or your pharmacist specifically instruct you to do so. For a small number of medications, this is the safest way to dispose of outdated meds and ensure that they pose the least risk of unintentional poisoning.
- Don’t sell or give away outdated meds. A prescription medication that helps you could cause serious side effects, reactions or death in another person.
- Keep outdated meds and all medications out of reach of children and pets.