If your medicine cabinet is currently filled with expired or unused medications, it’s time to dispose of them right away. Once medication reaches its expiration date, not only does it lose its effectiveness, they also pose a risk to children, teenagers, seniors, and other family members at home in the case of accidental ingestion.
But how does one properly discard old medication? It’s said that expired and unused medications that didn’t undergo proper disposal handling can also pose a threat to the environment. Listed below are some of the recommended ways that you may safely dispose of them properly without causing any intentional harm to others.
- Avoid Flushing Down Medications In Your Toilet
Even though experts don’t really recommend doing it, many people simply dispose of expired and unused medications by flushing them down your bathroom toilet. This disposal method is potentially harmful to Mother Nature. If you dispose of old medications via the drain, the drugs may enter and contaminate the local sewage management system. It’s said that this type of foreign contaminant isn’t usually eliminated by water treatment.
Additionally, the contaminated water could also be transported back into rivers and other bodies of water which may end affecting drinking water quality or in the sea and lakes where fish and other food are sourced. Even the smallest amount of medication mixed in potable water can bring about harmful effects to the body.
It’s noteworthy that officials permit a limited number of drugs to be flushed down the toilet. It’s advised to check out with the authorities and concerned regulatory bodies to be sure if the old and unused drugs you have at home are safe to be disposed of via the home’s toilet.
- Take Advantage Of Different Medicine Take-Back Programs
Many pharmacies such as Wizard Pharmacy and law enforcement agencies offer medicine take-back programs so consumers can have a place where they can safely dispose of expired, old, and unused drugs – both over-the-counter and prescription medications.
With the help of these take-back programs, consumers may drop off unusable medications at a certain location and let pharmacology experts take care of the safe disposal of these drugs. These types of events, however, are usually only available seasonally. Nevertheless, you should check out any possible permanent drop-off location in your area that’s managed by a non-profit organization or a local law enforcement agency.
- Try Returning Them To The Pharmacy Or Your Doctor
It’s believed that some pharmacy establishments or doctors are open to taking care of their patient clients’ worries by taking on the responsibility of handling medicine disposal. However, keep in mind that they’re not required by law to take back expired and unused medications.
Some sponsor ‘clean out your medicine storage’ campaigns for their consumer to return any old, expired, or unused medication in their possession. Your doctor or pharmacist may also help you by handing out helpful tips as to how to safely dispose of old and unused medications.
- Properly Dispose Of Old Drugs Via Your Garbage Bin
If you don’t have any local medicine take-back programs in your area, you may throw some of your medications in your regular household trash.
But there are a couple of steps you’re required to follow on how to properly dispose of expired and unused medications in your trash. They’re:
- You can mix medicines, but avoid crushing tablets and capsules with other unpalatable waste such as dirt, used coffee grounds, or cat litter.
- Place the medicines in a sealed container or plastic bag.
- Be sure to remove all personal information found on the prescription label on all medicines before throwing them out.
However, not all medicines should be discarded this way. Dangerous drugs such as narcotic painkillers and other controlled substances should never be thrown away via your household trash.
Medicine and safety experts discourage consumers from simply tossing dangerous medications into the nearest trash bin where younglings and pets may locate them. Your trash can end up in a waste facility, where your old medications can cause harm to our environment in the event they leach off.
Many municipal trash services are said to have local household waste programs that offer services where you can safely drop off your medications for incineration. Call your local trash service provider for options available in your area.
- Seek Out A Medicine Disposal Company
One of the best ways to dispose of unwanted medicines is to contact a private professional company that specializes in medicine disposal. Having a dedicated medication disposal company will take your expired medicines without damaging them and will safely dispose of them safely. These companies will typically charge a nominal fee for their services. Compare and contrast different providers to have a look at which one’s package offering would suit your needs.
Knowing how to safely dispose of old and unused medicines can save a lot of headaches later. Used-up prescription medicines, including antibiotics and blood pressure medication, are said to be notorious for leaking off hence the need for them to be properly disposed of in the name of you’re and your loved one’s safety.