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How to dispose of old/out dated medicine
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How to dispose of old/out dated medicine

Do not flush or pour medicine down a sink or toilet!  

Be a part of the solution! 

Check your medicine cabinet-  Individuals and families are all likely to find a variety of unused, expired and unneeded medicantions in their homes.  Any left-over medications should be disposed of properly for the following reaons:

  • It is UNSAFE to reuse medications.  If a person thinks a prescription medication is needed, they should contact a doctor.
  • Unused medications ar often ineffective because they have been kept past their expiration date or they have been stored improperly.
  • Unused medications can make a person's home the target of burglary or theft by drug abusers.
  • Unwanted medications can be found and ingested by children or pets, resulting in accidental poisoning.

Protect You and Your Family

Educate your family about taking medications as directed to reduce the amount of unwanted medications in your household in the future.  If you don't know how to take your medications, ask your pharmacist.  Additionally, check the expiration dates of your medications every six months and properly dispose of expired products.  Consider purchasing small quantities of medications to prevent "leftovers".

Don't flush medications- If flushed down the drain, unneeded or expired medications can contaminate our water.  In 2002, the United States Geological Survey released a study that detailed very low concentraions of medications in 80% of 139 waterways across the country.  Seven streams and groundwater samples in Nebraska were included in this study.  Nonprescription durgs, like acetaminophen, were found most frequently.  Less commonly found were prescription drugs, such as antibiotics, hormones and even antidepressants.

Protect the Environment

Step 1:  Place unwanted medication in a plastic bag and crush it or add water.

Step 2:  Mix in coffee grounds, cat litter or sawdust.

Step 3: Place in the trash.  DO NOT flush or pour down the drain.

Remove all personal health information before disposing the prescription container.  Recycle the prscription vial with other plastics or place in a bag and put into your trash.


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