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What is the best way to dispose of old medications?

Many parents may worry their children will accidentally find and ingest old medications if they are simply thrown in the trash. Here are a few ideas to dispose of old drugs that are no longer being used so you can keep your children safe.

  • Find a community “take back” site at a local pharmacy.
  • Place the medication in a coffee can or other closed container before throwing in the garbage.
  • Put the medication in kitty litter or coffee grounds so it will not be inviting if your child does happen to find it in the garbage. Then put it in a container or Ziplock bag before throwing it away.
  • Also remove any identifying information from medicine bottles.

Reviewed by Dr. Heather Felton, April 2020

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