If you look into most bathroom medicine cabinets, you will probably find an assortment of old prescription medicine that is no longer needed.Old medications can be dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands. In these times of prescription misuse and abuse, it is a good idea not to tempt curious kids, or visitors looking for drugs.
The best advice is to get rid of all that old medicine. The question is How…Flush down the toilet or throw out in the trash?
There are several ways, and the EPA is now recognizing prescription drug disposal as hazardous waste. The EPA has established federal guidelines for the disposal of prescription drugs to help curb drug abuse, accidental overdose by children or pets, pollution and possible drug theft.
Some medicines can be flushed down the toilet but most medicines cannot. Recently trace amounts of over the counter and prescription drugs were found in the water supply of 24 major cities in the United States. Researches found traces of ibuprofen and acetaminophen, prescribed heart medications, anti-seizure medicine, anti-anxiety drugs and even sex hormones.
Some of these pharmaceuticals in the water can affect the growth of algae, the small microorganisms that create oxygen as well as wildlife coming in contact.
Medications that can be safely flushed away are:
Atazanavir sulfate (Reyataz Capsules), Entecavir (Baraclude Tablets), Fentanyl (Duragesic Transdermal System Patch), Fentanyl (Buccal Tablet Fentora), Fentanyl Citrate (Actiq), Gatfloxacin (Tequin Tablets), Morphine Sulphate (Avinza Capsules), Methylphenidate (Daytrana Transdermal Patch), Meperidine HCl Tablets, Oxycodone (Oxycontin Tablets), Oxycodone and Acetaminophen ( Percocet), Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem), Stavudine (Zerit Oral Solution)
Medications that you can throw out in the trash
*Remove pills from the original container. Orange prescription bottles are easily recognizable and may be stolen.
* Mix pills with undesirable refuse…kitty litter, coffee grounds, garbage, and place them in a sealed bag or empty can.
*On the empty pill bottles, black out the prescription name and information label with a permanent marker to save yourself from possible break in or theft from those looking for drugs.
*Ask your pharmacy if it has a drug take- back policy.
*See if your doctor has a return receptacle for unused pills.
*Follow directions for drug disposal that may come with your prescription.
*The EPA has a program for seniors to mail back their unused prescription medications.
*Take advantage of community drug take- back programs.
* When in doubt ask your pharmacist.
* Think carefully about purchasing your medicine in 3 or 6 month quantities. If your doctor changes your prescription or you no longer need it, you will be stuck with the extra.
And finally never give your prescriptions to someone else.
FDA Consumer Updates
Planet Green Discovery