Proper Disposal of Unused Medicines

I doubt there are many people among us who have not taken any medicines in their life time. Apart from three basic necessities (Food, shelter & clothes), medicine is the fourth one.  Most people who take it there is a good number who never complete their entire course of medication. In most household  we will find our cabinet filled with expired or unused medications that we no longer use. So how to deal with them? FDA has a nice guidelines how to deal with unused and expired prescription. If you like to read the longer version then you can read it here. If you do not have much time to read the entire article but want to have enough basic ideas then read the summary (important facts, Do & Don’t) below.

Basic steps/precautions needs to be taken:-

Do not:-
1. Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet or throw in the trash unless the information on the vial specifically instructs you to do so.
2. Do not give your medications to your friends or relatives. The drug is prescribed according to your personal requirements which could be dangerous for others.

Do:-
1. Before throwing your medication along with container, scratch out your name and personal information on the prescription label to protect the privacy of your personal health information.
2. If there is no instructions on the drug label or take-back program information, then throw the drug in trash. But do it as follows:
a. Take the pills/medications from their original containers and mix them with used coffee grounds or kitty litter. Put them in a sealable bag or container and then discard into trash. Dispose the trash bag as soon as you can.

Call your city or County  government’s recycling service to find out if there is a community drug take-back programs available in your area.

And the last thing is when in doubt, ask to your local pharmacist regarding proper disposal method. The disposal methods for prescription drugs could apple to over-the-counter drugs as well.

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