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How to Safely Dispose Old Medicines

If your medicine cabinet is filled with expired or unused prescription medications, it is time for some housecleaning. As time passes, medicines may lose their effectiveness. The disposal method you chose can have a direct effect on the safety and the health of the environment.

Learn more about your options and how to safely dispose all of those old or unused medications.

Environmental Concerns:

Residues of painkillers, shampoos, and many other pharmaceuticals and personal care products have been found in water, in trace amounts. These chemicals are flushed into rivers from sewage treatment plants or leach into groundwater from septic systems. The discovery of these substances in water probably reflects better sensing technology. The health effects, if any, from exposure to these substances in water is not yet known.

In many cases, these chemicals enter water when people excrete them or wash them away in the shower. Some chemicals, however, are flushed or washed down the drain when people discard outdated or unused drugs.

How to Properly Dispose Medications:

    • Remove all personal identification from prescription bottles.
    • Mix all unused drugs with coffee grounds, kitty litter, or another undesirable substance.
    • Place this mixture in a sealed container before disposing in the trash.

You can even visit nearby medical facilities like hospital to dispose of expired medications. Hospitals have a proper waste disposal mechanism.

Talk to your local pharmacist/ hospitAL staff, if you have any questions. As medication experts, pharmacists are available to guide you on how to properly dispose of your unused medications.

 

regards

Dr Rahul Varma

(Source: www.healthychildren.org)