Medication Disposal

Periodically it is necessary to check your medicine cabinet for expired medications or items you no longer use. Throwing certain medications straight into the toilet or trash could cause environmental contamination, so it’s important to know how to dispose of medications properly.

Many communities have National Prescription Drug Take Back Days. Check with your local law enforcement officials to find a location near you. Several pharmacies also have programs or disposal sites for unused medicines.

If a take back program isn’t readily available, there are safe ways to dispose of medications in the trash.

1. Check all labels to see if there are any specific disposal instructions.

2. Take medications out of their container and mix with something like dirt, coffee grounds, or kitty litter which makes it undesirable for children or pets.

3. Put the mixture in something you can close like a zip lock bag or container with a lid to keep the medicine from spilling or leaking.

4. Throw in the garbage.

5. Scratch or mark off any personal information on the original container to protect your identity and dispose of it.

Always check with your pharmacist or doctor if you have any questions about medicine disposal.

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