When it comes time to move, you may be surprised what you end up finding as you dig through your closets, cabinets, and drawers. Often, some of those things are expired or unwanted items such as medicine. If there is any medicine you want to get rid of before moving, prescription or over-the-counter, it’s important to dispose of it safely and correctly.
Before taking any action, read through these tips and information to find out what you should do with expired and used medicine before you move.
Tips for Getting Rid of Medication Safely
Take it to a collection site
The best way to dispose of medication is to take it to a certified collection site. Most pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics have take-back programs where you can drop off your unwanted medicine. There are also periodic National Drug Take-Back events hosted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration where temporary collection sites are set up in communities across the country.
Dispose of it in the household trash
Many medicines are safe to dispose of in your household trash. However, some extra steps should be taken to ensure the safety of kids, animals, and anyone else who may gain access to the trash. First, remove the medicine from its original container so that your private information is kept private. Then, mix the medicine (do not crush capsules or tablets) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt or cat litter in a container and seal it. This will mask the odor and keep anyone from wanting to touch it.
If there is any chance someone could come upon the medicine and take it, though, we advise avoiding this method.
Certain medicines should be flushed down the toilet as soon they are discovered to be no longer needed. These prescriptions are typically very dangerous to anyone who has not been prescribed to take them, particularly at high dosages. Check the labels on your unwanted medicine to see what the instructions say.
Protect your privacy
Prescription medications have labels that include the user’s full name, address, and doctor’s information. It’s important to keep all of this information private, even if you plan on throwing the bottles away. You never know who could gain access to your trash, so always take extra steps to scratch out your information or peel off the label and shred it to protect your privacy.