Disposing medication waste should be done properly. This is because the rest of the medicines, especially those that have expired, will be harmful to living things and the environment if they are disposed of carelessly.

One of the best ways to get rid of drug waste is to return it to the pharmacy where you bought it. You can also give it to a waste management facility in your neighborhood.

The following are some tips for disposing of drug waste properly based on the recommendations of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Expired or No Longer Consumed Drugs

Flush Them

If there is no place for medicine waste in your place, you can flush them in the closet. Some types of drugs that safe to be disposed of in the closet include:

  • Benzhydrocodone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Meperidine
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Sodium oxybate
  • Tapentadol

The types of drugs above, based on a 2017 study, are considered safe when disposed of in water. The risk posed is also stated to be insignificant. In addition, the FDA also mentioned that the drugs themselves pass through the body and enter the waterways through human feces. And until now, it has not become a major source of environmental pollution.

Throw it in the Trash

It’s okay to throw the rest of the medicine into the trash, as long as:

  • Not possible to go to the pharmacy where you bought them
  • Not accompanied by disposal instructions
  • Not the kind of medicine that can be flushed in the toilet

The following are things to do when throwing medicine waste in the trash:

  • Remove the medicine from its packaging.
  • Mix with substances that will prevent children or pets from reaching them. For example, pet droppings or coffee grounds.
  • Do not crush tablets or capsules, then place them in a closed container before throwing them away.

Used Needles or Syringes

Disposing of needles and syringes properly can be done with the following tips:

  • Place in a safe and special container for sharp objects.
  • Do not throw in the trash or toilet. Place it in a location out of reach of children or pets.
  • Do not put too many used needles or syringes in one container.
  • Once collected, take it to a medical waste collection facility, hospital, pharmacy, or doctor who gave the prescription.

Those are some tips for disposing of leftover drugs properly and correctly according to FDA recommendations. However, it’s a good idea to check with the pharmacy or the doctor who gave the prescription about the best way to dispose of any leftover medications.