The question of what to do with leftover medications is a good one. As a healthcare provider, I need to know the answer for my patients, and wanted to pass the information I found on the FDA’s website along to my readers.
- Medicine Take-Back Programs On April 27, 2013, there will be a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Event. Follow this link for your state information: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/
- Disposal in Household Trash If no Take-Back Program is available, follow these steps to get rid of your unwanted meds:
- Mix medicines (do NOT crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds;
- Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag; and
- Throw the container in your household trash.
- Before throwing out a medicine container, such as a pill bottle, remember to scratch out all information on the prescription label to make it unreadable.
- Flushing of Certain Medications Some medicines could be so harmful to others if taken that the best thing is to flush them down the toilet. These medications are:
|Abstral (PDF – 1M), tablets (sublingual)||Fentanyl|
|Actiq (PDF – 251KB), oral transmucosal lozenge *||Fentanyl Citrate|
|Avinza (PDF – 51KB), capsules (extended release)||Morphine Sulfate|
|Daytrana (PDF – 281KB), transdermal patch system||Methylphenidate|
|Demerol, tablets *||Meperidine Hydrochloride|
|Demerol, oral solution *||Meperidine Hydrochloride|
|Diastat/Diastat AcuDial, rectal gel [for disposal
instructions: click on link, then go to “Label information”
and view current label]
|Dilaudid, tablets *||Hydromorphone Hydrochloride|
|Dilaudid, oral liquid *||Hydromorphone Hydrochloride|
|Dolophine Hydrochloride (PDF – 48KB), tablets *||Methadone Hydrochloride|
|Duragesic (PDF – 179KB), patch (extended release) *||Fentanyl|
|Embeda (PDF – 39KB), capsules (extended release)||Morphine Sulfate; Naltrexone Hydrochloride|
|Exalgo (PDF – 83KB), tablets (extended release)||Hydromorphone Hydrochloride|
|Fentora (PDF – 338KB), tablets (buccal)||Fentanyl Citrate|
|Kadian (PDF – 135KB), capsules (extended release)||Morphine Sulfate|
|Methadone Hydrochloride, oral solution *||Methadone Hydrochloride|
|Methadose, tablets *||Methadone Hydrochloride|
|Morphine Sulfate, tablets (immediate release) *||Morphine Sulfate|
|Morphine Sulfate (PDF – 282KB), oral solution *||Morphine Sulfate|
|MS Contin (PDF – 433KB), tablets (extended release) *||Morphine Sulfate|
|Nucynta ER (PDF – 38KB), tablets (extended release)||Tapentadol|
|Onsolis (PDF – 297KB), soluble film (buccal)||Fentanyl Citrate|
|Opana, tablets (immediate release)||Oxymorphone Hydrochloride|
|Opana ER (PDF – 56KB), tablets (extended release)||Oxymorphone Hydrochloride|
|Oxecta, tablets (immediate release)||Oxycodone Hydrochloride|
|Oxycodone Hydrochloride, capsules||Oxycodone Hydrochloride|
|Oxycodone Hydrochloride (PDF – 100KB), oral solution||Oxycodone Hydrochloride|
|Oxycontin (PDF – 417KB), tablets (extended release) *||Oxycodone Hydrochloride|
|Percocet, tablets *||Acetaminophen; Oxycodone Hydrochloride|
|Percodan, tablets *||Aspirin; Oxycodone Hydrochloride|
|Xyrem (PDF – 185KB), oral solution||Sodium Oxybate|
This information was taken from the Federal Drug Administration’s website. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/ucm186187.htm#Flushing_list
For anyone concerned about about the impact on the environment, the FDA makes this statement:
“We are aware of recent reports that have noted trace amounts of medicines in the water system. The majority of medicines found in the water system are a result of the body’s natural routes of drug elimination (in urine or feces). Scientists, to date, have found no evidence of harmful effects to human health from medicines in the environment.
Disposal of these select, few medicines by flushing contributes only a small fraction of the total amount of medicine found in the water. When a medicine take-back program isn’t available, FDA believes that any potential risk to people and the environment from flushing this small, select list of medicines is outweighed by the real possibility of life-threatening risks from accidental ingestion of these medicines.”
Remember to never share your prescription meds with another person.
Now, have a good day and annoy others with your newfound knowledge!