What to do with Unused Medications

It happens to many of us. You open a cupboard or medicine cabinet and realize there are medications that are no longer used or have expired. If the medications are a year old or longer then they have lost their potency. How do you get rid of them safely? Here are a few tips:

  • The safest way to dispose of medications is through the DEA-registered ‘Take Back’ program. Collection sites are at local hospitals and clinics. Visit the DEA’s website for possible mail-in options or call 1-800-882-9539.
  • Check the fda.org for a list of safe disposal by flushing medications.
  • Before throwing the medications away, check the label to see if that drug has specific disposal instructions. Failure to do so could cause harm to others.
  • If all else fails, throw the medications in the trash mixed with kitty litter or dirt. This reduces the chance of animals or children ingesting them.
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