Vital Signs
1:00 am
Mon January 7, 2013

4 Good Ways To Get Rid Of Unused Medication

Disposing of unused prescription drugs the wrong way can have serious consequences. Jeena Connor, Director of Pharmacy Services at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, explains in this segment of Vital Signs.

4 Good Ways To Get Rid Of Unused Medicine:

Medicine Take-Back Programs

Medicine take-back programs for disposal are a good way to remove expired, unwanted, or unused medicines from the home and reduce the chance that others may accidentally take the medicine. Contact your city or county government's household trash and recycling service to see if there is a medicine take-back program in your community and learn about any special rules regarding which medicines can be taken back. You can also talk to your pharmacist to see if he or she knows of other medicine disposal programs in your area.

Pharmacy Locator For Take-Back Programs:

http://disposemymeds.org/

Disposal in Household Trash

If no medicine take-back program is available in your area, consumers can also follow these simple steps to dispose of most medicines in the household trash:

* Mix medicines (do NOT crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds;

* Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag; and

* Throw the container in your household trash

Flushing of Certain Medicines

There is a small number of medicines that may be especially harmful and, in some cases, fatal in a single dose if they are used by someone other than the person the medicine was prescribed for. List of medicines recommended for disposal by flushing. For this reason, a few medicines have specific disposal instructions that indicate they should be flushed down the sink or toilet when they are no longer needed and when they cannot be disposed of through a drug take-back program. When you dispose of these medicines down the sink or toilet, they cannot be accidently used by children, pets, or anyone else.