Safe Medication Disposal

you always read the labels on your over-the-counter and prescription medications and take them according to directions you take care to store them up and away and out of sight of young children to avoid accidental poisoning and keep them out of the hands of those who might abuse them what you might not know is how important it is to also safely dispose of medications that are expired or that you no longer want you should never take medications that have expired or are damaged in some way because they may no longer work and can even be harmful but what does safe disposal mean more than 40% of medications sold are believed to end up unused so you're not the only one wondering what to do this film walks you through how to dispose of your medications in a way that's safe for your loved ones prevents abuse and is friendly to the environment first make sure you're not getting more medication than you need check with a healthcare professional before filling a prescription if you think you're getting more doses than you need if you get prescription medications from an online or mail-order pharmacy periodically check your automatic refills if you don't stay on top of them you could be paying for unneeded medications that could start to pile up when you're ready to get rid of unwanted medications you can usually dispose of them at home in three simple steps but first check the label and package inserts to see if there are any specific disposal instructions there are a few medications that you should flush because they can be harmful even in just one dose flushing gets rid of them quickly and reduces the danger of unintentional misuse or abuse certain adhesive pain patches that deliver medication through the skin are a good example they are strong enough to cause breathing problems and even death in infants young children and pets even use patches have enough remaining medication to do horn you may be wondering if it's okay for the environment if you flush your medications scientists continue to study this but most of the medications found in the environment get there from people taking them and naturally passing them through their bodies however to be on the safe side never flush a medication unless the directions specifically tell you to do so also certain types of medication like inhalers needles or aerosols may have specific disposal instructions if you don't want to dispose of your medications at home and there are no specific instructions you can dispose of medications at local take back programs through the DEA or your local community pharmacy or law enforcement agency take back days call your city to see what's available near you look for events in September when the DEA usually hosts a national prescription drug take-back day and go to WWE EA gov to learn more if no take back program is available the simplest way to dispose of all over-the-counter medications and most prescription medications is to throw them in the trash at home following these simple steps first remove the medication from its original container and mix it with something undesirable like kitty litter dirt or coffee grounds this makes the medication less appealing and less recognizable to children pets or those actively seeking drugs feel the mixture in a bag can or other container that prevents leaking then throw it in the trash you should also protect your privacy by destroying the personal information on your prescription label or making it unreadable by scratching out the information and finally never give your unwanted medications to friends health care professionals prescribe or recommend medication based on your specifics and and medical history something that works for you could be dangerous for someone else safe disposal of your OTC and prescription medications is important easy and in most cases free if you are still unsure of how to dispose of a medication you can always go to the safe disposal page at WWF be a gov or ask your pharmacist you


  1. +Andria Ventura +peter castles Thank you for your comments. In this video, we follow the guidelines put forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There are a small number of medicines that may be especially harmful and, in some cases, fatal with just one dose if they are used by someone other than the person for whom the medicine was prescribed. To prevent accidental ingestion of these potentially dangerous medicines by children or pets, it is recommended that these medicines be disposed of quickly through a medicine take-back program or by transferring them to a DEA-authorized collector (which you point out, +Andria Ventura). If these disposal options are not readily available, it is recommended that these medicines be flushed down the sink or toilet as soon as they are no longer needed.

    You can go to this link for a list of medicines recommended for disposal by flushing by the FDA:

  2. I am appalled by the destructive advice in this video. NO MEDICATIONS should ever be disposed of down the toilet or drain as they enter our drinking water sources. The same is true when putting them in the trash (effluent from landfills is siphoned into the waste water system). We all want
    to protect those who may misuse left over drugs, but the first option should always be seeking a local disposal program, such as at a pharmacy or law enforcement office. Only if no such option is available, should trashing them be an option and flushing them should never be an option.

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