Blog Focus on Health and Fitness

Safely Dispose Expired and Unwanted Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs can get into the wrong hands if they are left lying around the house. Children, pets and those that are not prescribed the medication can easily ingest the medication, not knowing what it really is. This can lead to an unintentional overdose or even death. Many people dispose of their unwanted or expired prescription medication by flushing them down the toilet. This is unsafe as the chemicals can get into the local water system. There are several ways to dispose of prescription drugs in a safe manner.

Local Disposal Programs

Many cities offer safe disposal locations for prescription medications. These items are kept in a safely sealed container and are disposed of appropriately. In some areas, disposal events are set-up periodically to reduce the risk of prescription medication being flushed or thrown into regular garbage bags.

Donating Usable Medication to Shelters

Some homeless shelters and low-income service centers ask for usable prescription medications as donations. This is often items like diabetes medication, asthma medication, high blood pressure medication and antibiotics. These must be within the expiration date listed on the prescription as expired medications are not safe to ingest.
When using this method, it is vital that you ensure that the organization you are donating to is legitimate and properly sanctioned to receive medication as a donation.

Use a Mail Service

Mail disposal service is available. Companies like RedBag Service, as an example, provide containers or bags for pharmaceutical waste and expired medications. Many of these services are low-cost. Some services pick up the container from your doorstep, which is convenient. It also ensures that the items are not lost in delivery and are headed directly for the proper disposal facility.

Refrain from Flushing or Throwing Old Prescriptions Away

When a prescription medication expires, it can have several effects on the body. It can cause a serious reaction that can lead to heart failure. It can have no effect at all. Every medication has a different reaction when it is expired. Both flushing the medication and tossing it in with regular trash are dangerous.

Regardless if a medication is inhaled, in pill form or in liquid form, safe disposal is a must. Medication does not have to be a prescribed pharmaceutical, over-the-counter medications should also be disposed of safely. All medications, whether prescribed or over-the-counter have an expiration date on them. With prescribed medications, it is typically one-year from the prescribed date.