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Getting rid of unused prescription medication

Posted by rob333 (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 28, 10 at 8:59

I am cleaning out the odds and ends before moving. I have some leftover medications. Is this right?

For Pills and Liquids:
1. Keep the medicines in the original container. This will help identify the contents if they are accidentally ingested.
2. Remove your name and prescription number to safeguard your identity.
3.or pills, add some water or soda to start dissolving them.
4. For liquids, add something inedible like cat litter, dirt or cayenne pepper.
5. Close the lid and secure with duct tape or packing tape.
6. Place the bottle(s) inside an opaque (non see-through) container like a coffee can or plastic laundry bottle.
7. Tape that container closed.
8. Hide the container in the trash. Do not put in the recycle bin.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Getting rid of unused prescription medication

No....take all unused meds back to a pharmacy....they will dispose of them properly.
Flushing is not recommended as it adds "stuff" to the ground water/sewage system.


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RE: Getting rid of unused prescription medication

I knew not flush, but will try the pharmacy.


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RRE: Getting rid of unused prescription medication

Thank you Linda!

I'm sorry I didn't say that. I was just really taken aback by another Lilo loss. Enough already!


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RE: Getting rid of unused prescription medication

You might have to check with several pharmacies. I brought prescription pills which I really did not need (pain kind) back after having used one and they looked at me like I was off my rocker. Took them when I told them that they did not belong in the water supply and the landfill.


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RE: Getting rid of unused prescription medication

Good question. I have a bottle of Extra Strenght something or another left over that the dentist prescribed and I don't know what to do with it.
I would hesitate to take it to a pharmacy, who knows what they do with it. The link below describes how Rite Aid payed out one million dollars in fines for dumping their customer's personal information in the trash where anyone can get to it.
So,yes, Rob's #2 on the list is a yes.
I'll have to look into the other questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rite Aid fined


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RE: Getting rid of unused prescription medication

Another thought.

Here is a link that might be useful: Congress is looking into the subject


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RE: Getting rid of unused prescription medication

A friend of mine is an insulin-dependent diabetic. I was stunned to find out that she has to dispose of the syringes in a container filled with concrete. I thought there would be a local medical "hazardous" waste place. Nope.

I'm pretty sure when my mom died, the hospice people had us put most of her meds down the drain, with both them and us watching. Not a great idea, I agree.

I had heard about disposing of some meds in used cat litter.


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RE: Getting rid of unused prescription medication

Rob, the methods you suggested are how our County and State suggest you get rid of them. In many states it's illegal to return to the pharmacy, so just check your pharmacy if they have take back programs. Also, different states have different regulations for disposal of hazardous waste, but your methods are the most commonly considered safe by the FDA.


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RE: Getting rid of unused prescription medication

  • Posted by lindac Iowa Z 5/4 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 29, 10 at 17:43

When my husband died i had a veritable pharmacy or meds I couldn't use which I knew had been expensive and I wondered if there were someone who had no insurance who could use them...of course no pharmacy can reuse meds once they were dispensed, but I asked the pharmacist what to do. This wasn Rite Aid or Walgreens or Walmart...but just my neighborhood pharmacy. He explained that all pharmacies have drugs that for one reason or another they can't use and have to dispose of them properly.
When I had to give myself a daily shot during the Chemo, I had a sharps container that I was supposed to return to the hospital when I no longer needed it.
Linda c


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RE: Getting rid of unused prescription medication

  • Posted by mwheel East. WV-Z.6 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 30, 10 at 13:48

Rob, your list of what to do with unwanted Rx meds is so good, I've printed it out for future use. It's information that could save a life!


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RE: Getting rid of unused prescription medication

Or, ironically, work can have a drive the week after I asked the question.

Here is a link that might be useful: disposal article


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