Disposal by Flushing of Certain Unused Medicines: What You Should Know

MEDICINES RECOMMENDED FOR DISPOSAL BY FLUSHING The following list from FDA tells you what unused or expired medicines you should flush down the sink or toilet to help prevent danger to people and pets in the home. Flushing these medicines will get rid of them right away and help keep your family and pets safe. FDA continually evaluates medicines for safety risks and will update the list as needed. Download the medicine list *These medicines have generic versions available or are only available in generic formulations. Additional Related Resources
  • New FDA Web Lists Disposal Instructions for Select Medicines
  • How to Dispose of Unused Medicines
  • Medication Disposal: Questions and Answers
  • Federal Guidelines for Proper Disposal of Drugs How should you dispose of medicines not found on the list? Do not flush all medicines down the toilet. The FDA recommends that most medicines be disposed of in the household trash after mixing them with some unpalatable substance (e.g., coffee grounds) and sealing them in a container. Unused portions of medicines must be disposed of properly to avoid harm. Drug take-back programs for disposal can be another good way to remove unwanted or expired medicines from the home and reduce the chance that someone may accidentally take the medicine. Contact your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service to see if there is a take-back program in your community and if there are any rules about which medicines can be taken back. You can also talk to your pharmacist to see if he or she knows of other medicine disposal programs in your area.
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