BHealthy Blog

How to Dispose of Medication

If you’ve noticed old bottles of pills rattling around in your medicine cabinets, this is a friendly reminder to dispose all expired, old, unwanted medication as soon as you can. We want to ensure that old or unused medication is not accidentally ingested or intentionally used for purposes unrelated to the original prescription.

In case you didn’t know, there’s a right way to dispose of old and unused medicine. The following are some ways to dispose of medication:

Taking pill bottles to pharmacies or clinics that have “take-back” policies

The FDA recommends take-back policies as the best and safest way to dispose of unwanted medicine. You can either wait for specific events or find designated centers for medication disposal online. Please note that these facilities are DEA registered and may reside in community pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and even law enforcement offices.

Disposing medicine in the household trash

If you cannot find a take-back facility in your community, you can dispose of your medicine in the trash. To do this, condense all the medicine into one sealed plastic bag or container with an inedible substance like cat litter or dirt. Seal the container or bag and dispose in the trash. Scratch out all the personal information on the pill containers, and dispose in the trash.

Flushing certain potentially dangerous medicines in the toilet
Specific medicines can be flushed down the toilet for immediate disposal. These medications should be taken to a take-back facility – in the event that you do not have access to a take-back facility, do not dispose of these medications in the household trash. You should instead flush them down the toilet.

Active Ingredient Found in Brand Names
Buprenorphine Belbuca,  Bunavail, Butrans, Suboxone, Subutex, Zubsolv
Fentanyl Abstral, Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Onsolis
Diazepam Diastat/Diastat AcuDial rectal gel
Hydrocodone Anexsia, Hysingla ER, Lortab, Norco, Reprexain, Vicodin, Vicoprofen,  Zohydro ER
Hydromorphone Dilaudid, Exalgo
Meperidine Demerol
Methadone Dolophine, Methadose
Methylphenidate Daytrana transdermal patch system
Morphine Arymo ER, Embeda, Kadian, Morphabond ER, MS Contin , Avinza
Oxycodone Combunox, Oxaydo (formerly Oxecta), OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Roxicet, Roxicodone, Targiniq ER, Xartemis XR, Xtampza ER, Roxybond
Oxymorphone Opana, Opana ER
Tapentadol Nucynta, Nucynta ER
Sodium Oxybate Xyrem oral solution

List taken from the FDA.