Cleaning out the medicine cabinet

Submitted on Tuesday May 13th, 2014
kate b. reynolds hospice home

It’s good news when your loved one can switch to a lower dose of a drug or quit a medication altogether. But what should you do with the unwanted pills, patches, or inhalers? Children and pets need to be protected from potentially fatal exposure. Yet chucking everything into the toilet is not recommended.

Read the label for instructions. Some drugs bear special instructions for disposal. For instance, the label may state if the drug is approved for flushing down the toilet. Sometimes the danger of the drug, such as an opioid, makes this the preferred method. But unless the label says it’s okay, do NOT flush!

Ask your local pharmacist. Some pharmacies provide a drug-disposal service. Or, your pharmacist may direct you to a community drug-take-back program.

Check with your local trash hauler. Trash haulers are up to date on local laws and regulations concerning medication disposal. For instance, inhalers, because of their propellants, can be dangerous if punctured or thrown in a fire. Your trash hauler can likely advise you of nearby take-back programs.

Continue reading...