Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Prescription Drug (medicine) Disposal

QUESTION: What should I do with unused or unwanted medication?

ANSWER: Flushing medication down the toilet is now discouraged as it poses a threat to human health and the environment. You should dispose of unwanted medication in your household trash by following these steps.
  • Keep the medicine in its original container. The labels may contain safety information and the caps are typically child proof. Leaving the content information clearly visible, cover the patient’s name with a permanent marker.
  • Modify the medicines to discourage consumption. For solids, such as pills or capsules, add a small amount of water to the bottle to at least partially dissolve them. For liquid medicines, add enough table salt, flour or powdered spice (such as turmeric or mustard) to make a pungent, unsightly mixture that discourages anyone from taking it.
  • Seal and conceal. Tape the container’s lid shut with packing or duct tape. Place it in a bag or container such as an empty yogurt or margarine tub to ensure that the contents cannot be seen.
  • Discard the container in your garbage can. Do not place it in the recycling bin.
For more detailed instructions, see the "Proper Disposal of Unwanted Medicine" fact sheet.
More information also is available about how to dispose of needles, syringes and lancets.

Source: South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

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