Be Safe This Spring With Proper Medication Disposal

news-freedom-elder-care-new-jersey-medication-disposal-seniorsSpring is just around the corner and many of us acquire that “out with the old, in with the new” mentality. Many will be breaking out the broomsticks, opening the windows to let in some fresh air and catching up on some housework.

Chances are this cleaning routine will include organizing your medicine cabinets.

Over the past year, many over-the-counter and prescription medications have added up, and it may be time to get rid of those that are unused or expired.

How should these medications be disposed? Should you toss them in the trash or even flush them down the toilet? Certain medications require a particular process, and it is important to abide by them.

Due to health and environmental concerns, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that we take proper medication disposal precautions.

  • First and foremost, look for disposal instructions on the drug label or patient information forms.
  • Take advantage of community drug “take back” programs. Call your city or government trash disposal service or the Office of Diversion Control for more information.

If the options above are not available to you, take the following precautions:

  • Take the medications out of the original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance. This method makes the medications less appealing to children and pets.
  • Put medications in a sealable bag or an empty container to prevent medication from leaking or breaking out of the garbage bag.
  • Before throwing away any prescription medications, scratch out any patient information to protect your identity and personal health information.
  • Do not give prescription medications to family members or friends. A drug that may work for you could be dangerous for someone else.

When in doubt of proper disposal, call your local pharmacy or the FDA at 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-464-3632).

Even better, call Freedom! One of our nurses would be happy to review your medications for you or your loved one and provide you with the proper disposal method.