What Is the Best Way to Safely Dispose of Medication?

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Playing How To Properly Dispose of Old Medications, According to a Doctor

Have medications sitting in your cabinet that are no longer good? Before you just throw them in the trash, there's actually a different way to dispose these. Family medicine physician, Dr. Jen Caudle joins Rach to weigh in on this question from our viewer Kaitlin.  

What is the best way to safely dispose of my medication?  

"There's a right and a wrong way to throw things out. If you go to FDA.gov, it will tell you which medications should be flushed instead of thrown out. And, even more than that, there's FDA sites that you can actually take your medications to in your local area to drop them off. That's the safest way," Dr. Jen says.  

"But, let's say you go to your FDA site because you have your medications that you need to throw out—the first thing you want to do is get a plastic bag and put a substance inside that's kind of undesirable like used coffee grounds or dirt or something," she explains. This will help to prevent dogs, babies, or other people from getting into them.  

"Then you want to take your pills out and mix them into the plastic bag and seal it, so that the substance doesn't leak out. Then you can throw it away [at the site]."  

But, we're not done yet—we still have to take care of the medication bottle itself.  

"We still have our label on the bottle. So, get yourself a sharpie and cross out all of your information," Dr. Jen adds.   

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