Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Unused and Old Medications

This was first posted back on May 26, 2007. As this new year begins, it is a good time to check those drug cabinets and remove old or unused medications. Happy New Year to you all!

As I have begun to find more ways to recycle and conserve waste in my home and office, I have found that it is no longer acceptable to “flush medication” down the drain. I was taught in medical school (graduated in 1982) to educate patients to dispose of out-of-date medications (old Tylenol, aspirin, cough syrups, etc) and unused prescription (either couldn’t take them due to side effects or failed to take all of the antibiotics or HBP medication was switched) by flushing them down the toilet. That is no longer a good idea. But the information out there is not clear as to the new guidelines.

I found that the Senior Care Service website still tells our elderly and their care givers to flush the out-of-date or unused medication. I found little help at my own state’s Cooperative Extension Agency’s website on medication disposal, but it is very helpful for other household chemicals.


The two best sites I found were the American Pharmacy Association and the White House Drug Policy. Both of these give clear instructions [ Federal Guidelines ]

2 comments:

Dreaming again said...

Never even thought about this! I always just toss them!

Granted, most of ours, we finish, but there are the cases where we start one, and for one reason or another can't tolerate it or we switch antibiotics ...or whatever ... and wind up with the medications.

Then there are the OTC ones, those DO get sitting around the house ...

No one had ever said anything to me about disposal. I just threw them all in the trash.

Eeeks ...guess I need to pay more attention ...

The Laundress said...

Hey there,

I was horrified when I found out how antidepressants are adversely affecting mussels and other bivalves. It just blew me away, never imagined this kind of effect.

Glad you (and my HMO's pharmacy) are spreading the word. My mom has a medicine cabinet full of Quaaludes and Dilaudid and other exciting products. I think dating 1970s forward. Just this weekend, talked her into creating a goody bag to be hauled off to the HMO. Returned. Too bad there isn't a safe way to recycle them to other people who could use 'em. Scary to think of the issues involved in that though.

Um, forgive me for this? But -- tag -- you are it. A meme. Remember those? From the early days of blogging? Yep. Still around. This one is called
7 weird/random things about me. Hoping you will give it a go?
Love,
tl