Responsible Medication Disposal Safeguards Lives and Protects the Environment.
Medicines play an important role in treating certain conditions and diseases, but they must be taken with care. Unused portions of these medicines must be disposed of properly to avoid harm to wildlife, pets, and people.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the American Pharmacists Association, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America have created the SMARXT DISPOSAL campaign to educate consumers about how to dispose of medicines in a safe and environmentally protective manner.
A few small steps can make an important difference in safeguarding lives and protecting the environment.
Follow your medication prescriber’s instructions and use all medications as instructed. If you do not use all of your prescribed or over-the-counter medication, you have several options that can have a positive impact in safeguarding lives and protecting the environment by disposing of unused medicines properly:
DO NOT FLUSH unused medications and DO NOT POUR them down a sink or drain.
One option is to check for approved state and local collection alternatives such as community based household hazardous waste collection programs. Please understand that different regions and states have different ways of addressing this issue, so it is important to follow the laws that are in place in your part of the country for medication disposal.
Another option involves participating in the DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. These events always include law enforcement officials. Visit the NATIONAL TAKE BACK INITIATIVE site for more information and additional dates.
Also, you can safely dispose of your unused and expired medications in your household trash. When discarding unused medications, ensure you protect children and pets from potentially negative effects:
Pour medication into a sealable plastic bag. If medication is a solid (pill, liquid capsule, etc.), add water to dissolve it.
Add kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds (or any material that mixes with the medication and makes it less appealing for pets and children to eat) to the plastic bag.
Seal the plastic bag and put it in the trash.
Remove and destroy ALL identifying personal information (prescription label) from all medication containers before recycling them or throwing them away.