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Cleaning Out the Medicine Chest: Medicine Disposal

Cleaning Out the Medicine Chest: Medicine Disposal

Resolve to clean out your medicine chest, never use medications that are not prescribed for you, are expired or which cannot be identified.


The proper way to dispose of unused medications:

  • DO NOT FLUSH medicine down the toilet or pour down the drain.
  • Place in a plastic bag and crush solid medications, then mix with water and kitty litter (This is how Hospice does it) or coffee grounds. Dispose of in the regular garbage.
  • OR talk to your pharmacist. They can guide you on medication disposal.
  • Dispose of any expired medications
  • Dispose of any prescription medications that you are not currently using under the care of the prescribing physician. That means the pain killer prescribed for you when you had that hernia surgery in July should be discarded.
  • Remove or destroy all identifying personal information from medication labels before placing in the trash.
  • Replenish items so you will be prepared when Junior wakes up at 3 am with a fever.
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  • Always take medications according to their written directions (don't exceed dosages, take more frequently or mix with alcohol, etc.)
  • And lastly, make sure you read the label prior to taking any medication. Package inserts can change and some over the counter medications may not be safe to take with your prescriptions. When in doubt, consult your pharmacist. Always report ALL medications you take to your doctor-this includes your herbal supplements and any over the counter medications. Be safe, not sorry.

By Diana from Prospect, KY


Cleaning Out the Medicine Chest: Medicine Disposal

Our Hazardous Waste collection accepts meds. Look and see if your community/city has a haz mat office/collection. (01/10/2009)

By Squirrley

Cleaning Out the Medicine Chest: Medicine Disposal

If you do not have a problem with someone stealing your medicines, and if they are still within a year of prescription date, I would not recommend destroying pain medication that was prescribed for an earlier ailment.


I remember once when my son was very young, he woke up in the middle of the night with a severe earache. I called the doctor on call who asked me to check my medicine cabinet to see what I had on hand. I listed the drug items in my cabinet and locked medicine box and when I mentioned that I had a prescription cough syrup that had codeine it, he prescribed that I give him some of that. He was not coughing so I would never have thought to give him that. My son was then able to sleep until we could get him into his regular doctor the next morning. So you really never know when an emergency will arise where it might be needed. (01/10/2009)

By Noella

Cleaning Out the Medicine Chest: Medicine Disposal

I work in a Pharmacy. We have a medication disposal drum that we fill, and when needed, we call a company who picks up the drum and incinerates it. Most Pharmacies carry one so if you need to dispose of medications, just take it to your local Pharmacist. (01/10/2009)


By Ragteller

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