The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the American Pharmacists Association, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America have created the smaRXt disposal campaign to educate consumers about how to dispose of medicines in a safe and environmentally protective manner. Here are our tips based on their recommendations:
There are currently 27 drugs deemed dangerous enough by the FDA (such as powerful narcotic pain relievers and other controlled substances) to carry instructions for flushing (this will be clearly labeled) to reduce the risk to pets and family, or illegal abuse.
Find a Take-Back program
Drug take-back programs for disposal can be another good way to remove unwanted or expired medicines from the home and reduce the chance that someone may accidentally take the medicine. Contact your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service to see if there is a take-back program in your community and if there are any rules about which medicines can be taken back. You can also talk to your pharmacist to see if he or she knows of other medicine disposal programs in your area. See Disposemymeds.org for more.