An important component of protecting your family from the risk of prescription drug abuse is proper disposal of unused or expired drugs. Below are tips for safe drug disposal.
Do not flush Rx drugs down the toilet or drain unless specifically instructed on label or by accompanying patient guide.
- Information on drugs which can be safely flushed can be found on the FDA website. However, state regulations vary.
If a drug is not approved for flushing, follow these federal guidelines for proper disposal.
- Take Rx drugs out of original containers.
- Mix drugs with an undesirable substance (eg, used cat litter or coffee grounds).
- Put mixture into disposable container with lid (eg, empty margarine tub) or sealable bag.
- Conceal/remove personal info, including Rx number, on empty container by covering with a permanent marker or duct tape, or scratch off.
- Place sealed container with mixture and empty drug containers in trash.
An even safer method for disposing of Rx drugs is participating in a community drug take-back program. Programs include:
- DEA National Rx Drug Take Back Days
- American Medicine Chest Challenge
- Local Law enforcement or community sponsored events