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Dos and Don'ts of Drug Safety


Dispose of Old Medications Properly continued...

The FDA recommends flushing only if the drug label or accompanying information has instructions to do so. These are usually medicines that are very dangerous or fatal if they are taken by the wrong person, or if they are found by a child or pet. This includes the following medications:

Other drugs can be disposed of with your household garbage. When throwing away medications in the trash, follow these medication disposal guidelines:

  • Remove drugs from their original containers and remove or scratch out identifying information from container labels.
  • Crush pills or capsules or dissolve them in water. (Mix liquid medications in water too.)
  • Mix crushed or dissolved medications with kitty litter, saw dust, coffee grounds, or another substance that will absorb them and make them undesirable.
  • Put drug mixture into a sealable plastic bag or bottle with a screw-on lid and place in trash.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on May 28, 2013
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