How To Properly Dispose of Your Medications

Posted on May 11, 2010


It is not uncommon to have expired or no longer used medications and prescriptions in your medicine cabinet. Many people are unaware of the correct way to dispose of their medications. Here are some guidelines from the FDA about how to properly dispose of your medications.

  1. If there are disposal instructions on the bottle, make sure to follow them. Do not flush the medication down the toilet unless the information that came with the medication told you to.
  2. If there are no instructions, you should put the medications in your household trash. You should remove the medication from its original containers and mix it with another “undesirable substance” such as used coffee grinds that will make it less appealing to children, pets or people who might intentionally go through your garbage. You should also seal them in a closed bag or container to ensure that they do not leak or fall out of your garbage bag.
  3. Check with your city or local community government to see if your neighborhood has community take-back or recycling programs for prescriptions. For more information on drug disposal in Boston from the Boston Public Health Commission, call 617-534-5966.