Don’t Rush to Flush!!!
How to Properly Dispose of Medications
Is your medicine cabinet full of expired or unnecessary medications? Don’t rush to flush them down the toilet!
Most medications are considered harmful if introduced into the water system. Unused medications in your cabinets, if mistakenly ingested, may cause harm to children and adults for whom the medication was not prescribed.
Here are some do’s and don’ts of medication disposal:
Visit Controlled Substance Disposal Locations
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has pharmacies (community or hospital) and law enforcement agencies registered as “authorized collectors” of medications. Use the link below to search for local collectors in your area for proper medication disposal: http://www.disposemymeds.org/index.php/pharmacy-locator.
** Bremo Pharmacy is now an official DEA medication take-back site **
- This service allows you to safely and properly dispose of unwanted or unused medications
- How does it work?
- You may dispose of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications in the blue receptacle labeled “MED SAFE” located inside Bremo Pharmacy across from the register.
- What can and cannot be disposed of?
- Accepted: OTC medications, prescription medications (including controlled substances)
- Not accepted: Illegal substances, needles, injectables, inhalers/aerosols
- Conveniently located at 2024 Staples Mill Road, visit Bremo Pharmacy today!
Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday 9am-1pm
Call (804) 288-8361 with any questions
Local law-enforcement agencies host drug take-back programs where patients can anonymously drop off medications (except injectables, needles, or intravenous solutions). National Drug Take Back Day is April 30, 2016 (stay tuned for more details!).
The next best option is to crush the medication, add a small amount of water, then mix it in an undesirable substance such as coffee grounds or kitty litter. If it is a liquid medication, mix it with kitty litter or flour to absorb the liquid.
There are concerns for medications contaminating the ground and waterways and potentially having an environmental impact. However, some medications may be flushed if unable to dispose of appropriately. Refer to the FDA website (www.fda.gov) for a List of Medicines that May Be Disposed Of by Flushing.
Prescribed medication is only intended for the person for whom it was prescribed. If given to someone else, it may have unintended consequences such as: the person may be allergic to a component of the medication, it may interact with their other medications, and they may experience unintended effects that could result in harm or even death.
Prepared by Meredith Ives, MCV/VCU PharmD Candidate 2016
Adapted from FDA “How to Dispose of Unused Medications”