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Who Knew? How to Dispose of Prescription Drugs

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In the interest of spring cleaning, it’s time to clean out your medicine cabinet and dispose of all expired and unused drugs. But what do you do with them? Flush them down the toilet? Throw them in the trash, bottle and all?

Did you know there actually is a right and wrong way to dispose of prescription and other expired drugs in your house? A Yahoo! Health article found online covers the bases for you.

There is a list of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 25 most dangerous prescription medications that should first be checked to make sure none of your old medications are on the list. Examples from the list are morphine, methadone, Percocet, and Demerol. These drugs should be removed from their container and flushed down the toilet.

Next collect all drugs not on the list, and get a sealable plastic bag. Dump all the drugs without bottles into the bag. Add coffee grounds to the bag, or some other waste product like kitty litter, and seal the bag then throw it in the trash.

Empty bottles can be disposed of in the trash after removing all identifying information from the bottle, tearing it up and disposing of it separately.

There also will be a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 30th, where you will be able to return all your expired drugs at a local collection facility. Using these steps, you can safely rid your home of dangerous prescription drugs and keep them out of hands where they could really do some damage.

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What to Do With Expired Prescription Drugs?
FDA: Safe Disposal of Medicines

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EmpowHER Guest

thanks for giving essential information on prescription drugs. I have very bad experience on this. I had a friend who has expired. He had started to take drug for some specific reason but after some time they became addicts. Really parent should give full of attention when their child takes drug in under prescription because this misuse would be more harmful.

September 20, 2011 - 4:12am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.