Saturday, May 26, 2007

Unused Medicine

Updated 3/2017-- photos and all links (except to my own posts) removed as many no longer active.

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 I was taught in medical school (graduated in 1982) to educate patients to dispose of out-of-date medications (old Tylenol, aspirin, cough syrups, etc) and unused prescription (either couldn’t take them due to side effects or failed to take all of the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I found that the Senior Care Service website still tells our elderly and their care givers to flush the out-of-date or unused medication.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.

1 comment:

Mad about Craft said...

I am a RN in a Care Home in the UK. Our medication disposal rules changed last year and it is more difficult for us to dispose of medicines but I find it totally unacceptable to put medication into the water supply as well.