Neighborhood Stories23 Oct 2013 08:41 pm

“Whatever advice you give, be short.” – Horace

Here are some tips on a common problem – how to dispose of unused medication that you no longer want. These rules apply to prescription as well as over the counter medicines. Remember, it’s not a good idea to give your prescription medicines to friends – there is probably a good reason that person cannot get the medicine from their own doctor, and you don’t want to be responsible for them having an adverse reaction.
1. Check the labels on your medication bottles – they may instruct you on how to dispose of the unused medicine
2. Never flush medications down the toilet unless the instructions specifically tell you to (some meds are safe to flush, but most aren’t)
3. Look for drug take back programs in your neighborhood – times when you can drop off unused medications for safe disposal (http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/)
4. If none of these apply, take the medication out of it’s original container and put it in plastic bag or lidded can. Mix it in your trash bag with something undesirable, like used kitty litter or coffee grounds. This helps prevent children or pets from eating the medicine.
You can also ask you pharmacist, however, do not bring unwanted medicines to your doctor’s office for disposal. Most doctor’s offices have no idea how to dispose of these medicines. (Trust me, I work in a doctor’s office!)

-Melissa Rosato

(follow me on facebook or twitter: Melissa Rosato@myrrr03)

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