How to dispose of medication safely

Medication, whether prescription or over the counter drugs, used or unused have to be disposed of properly to prevent them from getting in the wrong hands. You are not supposed to dump it down the drain or flush it in the toilet bowl. We tell you how to dispose of medication properly to protect yourself, others and the environment.

What to do

Here is how to dispose of medication properly and protect yourselves, others and the environment from unnecessary contamination.

Recycling the drugs

  • Do a bit of research and find out whether your local council or city takes back used or unused drugs. If it does, you can dispose of both over the counter and prescription drugs by bringing them to the recycling centre.
  • Pharmacies might also take unused or expired drugs that can even be given to the less fortunate or donated as medical relief supplies in poor countries. Just because a drug has expired does not mean it cannot be used anymore. Expiry dates are just recommended periods of use. At worst, drugs that have expired just lose their potency.

Throwing in the bin

  • If patient information or the label says so, you can dispose of the drugs by throwing them in your regular garbage or flush them down in the toilet bowl.
  • Before you throw medicine with your normal refuse, make sure to take it out of its original container and get rid of any label or personal information.
  • Seal the containers and put them in the trash.
  • You can also render it unusable by mixing it with stale food leftovers or used ground coffee.

Proper disposal for a safer and greener environment

Remember, knowing how to dispose of medication properly is vital for your and other's safety. It will also help the environment become a better place to live in. It can prevent poisoning of children and pets and also from geting in the rivers and ground water and eventually, drinking water. Unused medication can even help the needy and may save lives.

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