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Disposing of Unwanted Medications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy have developed federal guidelines for disposing of prescription medications. There are a number of ways you can dispose of these medications:

  • Bring your medication to your pharmacist and request disposal.
  • Follow any specific disposal instructions on the prescription drug labeling or patient information that accompanies the medicine. Do not flush medicines down the sink or toilet unless this information specifically instructs you to do so.
  • Take advantage of community drug take-back programs that allow the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal..
  • Before throwing out a medicine container, scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to make it unreadable. This will help protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.
  • When in doubt about proper disposal, talk to your pharmacist.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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