How to Dispose Your Medications Safely?
Many people have a habit of saving prescription medicines in order to save some money, but saving old medications can be risky. In order to save money, you should opt for free Rx card download from the internet. A prescription discount card can help you save up to 85% on your medication, so that you don’t have to save your medication even after it’s expired.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, medicine chemical composition changes with time and over time the expired medicines become less effective and can even be harmful. Sometimes unused/expired medicines are often left lying in medicine cabinets which can lead to drug abuse and misuse by other members of the family or friends. Seniors in the house might take those expired medicines accidentally that are no longer effective. This can result in dangerous side-effects or can cause drug interactions.
Each prescription and over-the-counter medications are not safe for every individual. Safe disposal of expired drugs is necessary as it ensures that they do not end up in the wrong hands.
To ensure that prescription drugs do not pose a risk to you or to others, follow these steps:
- Keep a check on your medicine cabinet regularly and remove all expired and unused over-the-counter and prescription drugs from time to time.
- Bring unused and expired drugs to your local pharmacist for safe disposal.
- Make sure not to flush medications down the toilet or sink to reduce the medicine level in surface water such as streams and rivers.
You can return your unused drugs to communities based on drug “take back” programs. These programs allow people to take their unused medications to a central location for proper disposal.
- Contact law enforcement agencies to know if they sponsor medicine take-back programs in your area.
- Transfer unused medicines to authorized sites include retail, clinic pharmacies or hospital registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Some of the authorized sites offer mail-back programs or collection receptacles (“drop-boxes”) too.
Drugs collected in take-back programs include:
- Over-the-counter drugs
- Prescription drugs
- Natural health products
Unfortunately, these programs collect only some of the unused drugs and pharmaceutical products. Remember that inhalers, sprays, needles, liquids and creams are not acceptable at the drop boxes.
- You can also contact your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service for assistance, if there is no take-back program in your area.
If no disposal instructions are given on a drug label and no take-back program is available in your location, then follow these steps to dispose your medications safely.
- Remove medications from their original containers and mix them other substances include coffee grounds, dirt or kitty litter. Mixing drugs with other substance will make your drug less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who intentionally go through the trash seeking drugs.
- Place the mixture of drugs in an empty can, sealable bag, or other waste container to prevent the leakage of drugs out of a garbage bag.
- Make drug labels unreadable by scratching out all identifying information. This will help protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.
- Ask your pharmacist, when in doubt about proper disposal.