How can I safely dispose of expired medication in a house with small children?

How can I safely dispose of expired medication in a house with small children?

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The best thing to do is check with your local waste management company (the agency responsible for disposing of household garbage) to find out whether there's a local program in place for safely getting rid of your expired medications.

You can also try asking at a local pharmacy whether you can return expired drugs. But not all pharmacies offer this service. In fact, some states don't allow pharmacies to take back drugs that have been in a consumer's possession.

If those options don't pan out, throw away your expired medications in the trash. You can safely dispose of expired drugs in the trash – and be confident that your kids won't get into them – if you follow these steps:

  • Mix tablets or empty capsules with kitty litter or leftover coffee grounds. You can do the same with liquid medications or add something terrible-tasting – such as cayenne pepper – to minimize the chance that a child might drink it.
  • Put the medication mixture in a container with a childproof lid. (If it's a prescription medicine container, remove or black out the label to protect your personal information.)
  • If the container is glass, put it inside a sturdy cardboard box and seal it. The box makes the glass less likely to break and makes it harder for little hands to get into it.
  • Keep the trash can someplace inaccessible to your child. And if your trash is collected from the curb, don't put it out until the day of collection. – the less time it's out there, the less chance any person or animal will get into it.

Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn't flush medication down the toilet or drain. That might seem like the best way to keep them out of your child's reach, but it creates a potential public health hazard by introducing drugs into the water supply.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has done a lot of research on this, and we now know that certain types of drugs can be detected in water treatment plants. From there, they could find their way into groundwater, rivers, and streams.

Watch the video: How to Safely Dispose of Unused or Expired Medicine FDA (February 2023).

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