What is the best way to dispose of unused prescription drugs?
This may vary from state to state in the U.S. or may be different in other countries.
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I work in a pharmacy. The pharmacists here say to dispose it in kitty litter. Putting drugs down the toilet or sink eventually end up in the ocean. They did a study in new York a few years back.
CVS usually has a bin at their pharmacy window to drop off the pills so they can dispose of them safely. Good question though. Drugs ending up in the water supply is a growing problem!
I know in the UK that the safest way is to hand any unused drugs back to your local pharmacist. The pharmacist knows how to dispose of any kind of medications safely.
In TN, they tell you to give them to the pharmacy and they dispose of them.
People should check with their local board of health. Guidelines are not nationally mandated.
Avoid the old "flushing" approach.
I say "toss them in an empty milk or juice container, add some water to render them un-usable, then crush it and put it in the regular trash."
If you have a cat, disolving them in a glass of water, then tossing this into used kitty litter woks well.
Proper disposal of medications is important for the safety of the household and of the environment. Unfortunately, tossing them in the toilet is not always a sound solution. Learn how to dispose unused or expired medications properly. read more
Crush and dissolve in vinegar, mix in a slurry of cat litter until hardened and dispose of in a sealed container. Do not dispose of in the trash or down the sink or toilet as this can cause the medication to enter and contaminate the water supply.
Return any unwanted medications to your pharmacy for disposal. In Australia at least, we return them to our drug wholesalers, who incinerate them. This is the safest way as the drugs do not end up in rubbish bins or water supplies.
Thanks to all who have provided some great answers. I just noticed last week on a visit to the hospital here in the U.S. (Indiana) that they have a safe disposal drop off.
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