Proper Disposal of Prescription Medication

Proper Disposal of Prescription Medication


Do you have a cabinet full of unused, unwanted, and/or expired medicines and prescription drugs? Well, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the disposal of prescription medicines also demands the use of appropriate methods.

As the common conception goes that your medicine is for you and as it is beneficial to you, it may even be harmful to someone else. Therefore, the best prescription medicine disposal methods can ensure your and others’ safety. So, let’s learn the proper disposal of prescription medication. 

Proper Disposal Methods

Using the Household Trash

Nearly all medications reach our household trash whether they are neutral, harmful, or extremely harmful. Some of them might include creams, drops, pills, patches, etc. However, did you know that not all of the medication is supposed to reach the trash cans or bags?

Here is a step-by-step guideline on how to dispose of prescription medication using household trash to avoid any harmful consequences and get rid of unwanted drugs.

  • Initially, grab the medication from their containers to mix them along with other household trash such as dirt or coffee grounds. You should know that this would result in the drugs becoming nearly inseparable and less appealing to someone going through the trash in search of drugs.
  • A re-sealable storage zipper bag or perhaps an empty can may allow you to enclose the mixture without the risk of leakage or spills.
  • Then, you can dump the new container (whatever you chose) in the garbage.

To maintain privacy and identity, consider ripping off the prescription labels and personal info from the containers or medicine itself.

Flushing Prescription Medicine

Some medications require specific methods of disposal such as flushing as they may be extremely harmful if left in garbage disposals or household trash. If you no longer need prescription medication or it’s expired, you can sink it in the toilet or washbasin.

But how do you know that flushing them through the toilet in the wastage water lines will not cause further harm to the environment or a living being? You can try to stick with the recommended list of drugs and medications that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows for flush disposal. Also, make sure you read the labels on the medication carefully.

The FDA of the United States is highly concerned about the flushing of specific medications as they affect the environment adversely. Despite there being no signs of noticeable damage to the environment through disposing of medications by flushing, FDA was keen to publish a paper in regard with the concern.

About Drugs Take-Back Programs

What you will like to know are the “drug take-back” programs that allow easy disposal and in some cases, the reuse of unwanted prescription drugs. In fact, the DEA of the United States sponsors several drug take-back communities nationwide including National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Moreover, communities exist nationwide that carry their own drug take-back programs. You can search for a said drug collector near you by contacting local law enforcement and drug officials. Be sure to look for a medicine drop-off box the next time you visit your pharmacy.


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Give us a call at (435) 740-8296 to schedule your first and hopefully your next appointments with Dr. Davis. Check out our official website to learn more. 

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