Categorized | Doctors & Medication, Health

How To Dispose Old Medicine

Medicines play a significant role in treating illnesses and conditions. But, no matter how beneficial they may be in treating sick people, they can also be very harmful when they are no longer needed or expired. Want to know why? This is because there is a very big threat of toddlers getting their hands on old medicine that is casually thrown everywhere. Thus, it is very important for parents to be aware that there are some ways on how to correctly dispose old medicine. Here is a guide that can help.

Read The Medication Label For Instructions

The most important tip on how to dispose old medicine is to check the label for disposal information. Make sure you carefully comply with the disposal directions on the label. If you are unsure how to discard your old medications, you can either contact your pharmacist or check out the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) website for a list of medications with special disposal directions.

Look For Take-Back Medicine Programs

There are different options to throw away old medications. Your first option is to call your pharmacy and ask if they provide the “take-back medicine” service. Most pharmacies offer a take-back medicine program. This option is a good way to get rid of old medicines from the home and decreases the chance of family members, especially toddlers to accidentally take the medicine. However, some pharmacies only offer such program once or twice a year while others do not partake in the program. If your nearest pharmacy does not offer it, ask around to check if there is another pharmacy in your area that has it. You may also get in touch with your county or city government’s household trash and recycling service to find out if there is a take-back program in your area or visit the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration website for details on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Events.

Search For A Waste Disposal Program

Your second option is a waste disposal program. Go over the yellow pages or make a call to your local hospital and ask if they can recommend dangerous waste disposal companies. Most of these waste disposal companies will take old medicines. You may need to pay the waste disposal company but at least you can have peace of mind that your old medications will be properly discarded.

Throw Away Old Medicines In The Trash

If the two options above are not available in your area, then you can throw away your old medicines in the household trash. You can do this by following these simple steps:
•    Remove the old medicine out of its container.
•    Take out the label on the original package before throwing it in the trash.
•    If the medicine is solid, crush or grind it and mix with water.
•    Wear gloves and then place the old medicine in a sealed plastic bag along with coffee grounds, sawdust, dirt, kitty litter or anything that would make the medicine inedible.
•    Place the container in another sealed plastic bag and then throw the bag in your household trash. See to it that you place the trash can where your little one cannot reach it.

Never Flush Old Medicines Down The Sink or Toilet

Never use your toilet or sink to dispose old medicine. Parents are no longer allowed to flush medicines down the toilet or pour them down the sink. This is because medications that are flushed down can end up in the water supply which can contaminate the water and slip through water infiltration systems which could cause more damage to the health.

As you can see, there are many options of disposing old medicines so there is no excuse for throwing away old medications carelessly. Remember, knowing how to dispose old medicine the right way is very important in keeping your toddler safe from any health hazard.

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