Medications are used to treat many conditions.  In order to reduce accidental exposure or intentional misuse when they are no longer needed, they must be disposed of properly.

Listed below are simple steps explaining how to dispose of medications at home. You also have the option to take them to an authorized collector or participate in local community medicine take-back events.

Easy steps to follow to dispose of medicines in the household trash
  • PLACE

    Place the medicines in a sealed plastic container and add an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds.

  • MIX

    You do not need to crush the tablets or capsules when wasting the medication. Mix up the contents in the sealed plastic bag.

  • THROW

    Throw the container in your household trash.

  • SCRATCH OUT

    The container your medication came in has your personal information on it. We suggest you scratch out all the personal information to make it unreadable, and then throw away the container.

safe-medication-disposal-oral-surgery-virginia

If you want additional information to dispose of your unwanted, unneeded or expired medications, talk to your pharmacist or you can visit the FDA website.  A list of local authorized collectors is available by visiting one of the websites listed below and entering in your zip code or by calling the DEA Office of Diversion Control’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539.

Links to find medication disposal sites:

Information on the prevention of prescription drug mismanagement:

 

Content adapted from the FDA 6.18.18