Safe Storage and Disposal

Usage

Taking medication as prescribed by your health care provider is critically important to your health.

Safe Storage

Be sure to store medications properly and securely to prevent accidental ingestion or misuse by others in your household, especially children.
You should follow any storage instructions provided by your healthcare provider, and any written instructions provided with your medication or listed on its packaging.
In addition, many government agencies provide information regarding safe storage of medication. Possible sources include the National Institutes of Health the Centers for Disease Control.

Disposal Options

Check the Package:

If there are any specific instructions for disposal on the label, package or package insert, please follow those instructions.
Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless the information on the package specifically instructs you to do so.

Convenient Kiosks:

Community drug take-back locations at local law enforcement agencies and pharmacies allow residents to bring expired or unwanted medicines to a convenient, centralized location for proper disposal.

Take-Back Event:

Local take-back events may offer residents a free and convenient way to dispose of expired or unwanted medicines.

In-Home Disposal:

If no disposal instructions are given on the drug labeling and no take-back program is available in your area, throw the drugs in the household trash following these steps.

  1. Remove them from their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter (this makes the drug less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through the trash seeking drugs).
  2. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the drug from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag1.

1http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm101653.htm, page last updated May 9, 2017.