How to Dispose Expired Medicine

my collection of expired medicine ready to be disposed

Everyone has expired medicine sitting around at home, if you don’t think so, look again. As I was spring cleaning last month, I realized that half of the medicine in our home was expired! While cleaning each room I collected expired medicine, prescription creams, and vitamins in a large Ziploc bag and set them on a high shelf. Remembering my mom mentioning proper ways to dispose of these items, I decided to find out what to do. Simply throwing away medicine is dangerous not only to toddlers or others that could fish it from the trash (my daughter is like a dog with the trash. She loves fishing treasures out and bringing them to me), it is also dangerous to the environment. Trash goes into landfill, medicine leaches into the soil, etc. You get the point. If that is the only option follow the proper steps when throwing away the medicine from the FDA .


 What NOT to do with expired medicine:

  1. Do not flush medicine down the toilet. Do you want medicine to get into your drinking water? Didn’t think so. There are certain medicines that may be o.k. to flush down but a general rule of thumb is to NOT flush.
  2. Do not leave your name, date of birth, and dr. info on your prescription medicine boxes or bottles. Tear these off and throw away in a separate trash can.

 What TO DO with expired medicine:

  1. Collect all of your expired medicine and put in a high, out of reach place from your children and/or pets, until you can safely dispose of it.
  2. Contact your local police department or look at their website to see if they collect unused expired medicine. Our local police department has a drop box where you can drop your expired medicine into.
  3. Contact your local pharmacies to see if they take back expired prescription and/or over the counter medicine.
  4. If there are no drop offs in your area follow the instructions on the FDA website.

Goal for this coming week

Collect your expired medicine and take action!

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One Comment on “How to Dispose Expired Medicine

  1. This has been on my to do list for months. Thanks for the reminder to properly dispose of the medications. I didn’t know to contact the police department. Great tip.

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