Medication Disposal

Return medicines to a pharmacy or safely throw them in the trash


Prevent medicines from entering the water by throwing them away or returning them to a pharmacy.

Did you know? Wastewater treatment plants use natural processes to clean water--these processes cannot break down all chemicals.

In 2007, the FDA published the following federal guidelines for disposing of medication:

  • Follow any specific disposal instructions on the drug label or patient information that accompanies the medication. Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless this information specifically instructs you to do so.
  • If no instructions are given, throw the drugs in the household trash, but first:
  • Take the medications out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds, kitty litter or bat guano. The medication will be less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash. (I made up the thing about the bat doodie..I just want to make sure you're reading..but the thing about coffee grounds and kitty litter is true).
  • Place and seal the medications in a bag, empty can, or other container to prevent it from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.

The following link will open a document produced by the FDA on the disposal of unused medications.

FDA - How to Dispose of Unused Medicines