Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How Do I Recycle Medicines?

With young kids in the house, we all know how important it is to keep prescription and over-the-counter drugs safely out of reach. But what do you do with the old and expired ones?

Dietary supplement pills in four colors (orang...Image via Wikipedia

The FDA recommends taking the medicine (pills or liquid) out of its original container and mixing it with an undesirable substance (e.g. coffee grounds or kitty litter) and then sealing it in a container (e.g. bag, 2 liter soda bottle, coffee can). The idea is to deter anyone, including animals, who may happen upon the medication after you dispose of it.

You should not flush them down the toilet because this puts the drugs into our water system.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has a recycling program in most states for unopened, unexpired drugs. The rules are obviously stringent, but for people with unopened boxes of medicine, this can be a great way to get these into the hands of people who need them.

Now... go clean that medicine cabinet! And, while you're there, check to see if you have any of the recently recalled children's medications (Motrin, Tylenol, Zyrtec, and Bendadryl).
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