Prescription Medicine Safe Storage and Disposal Guide

Open Prescription Container

Safe Storage

  • If children are around, find an area that you can lock up your medicines such as a cabinet or drawer with a lock on it. Ingestion of medication is a leading cause of poisoning in children.
  • Lock up any controlled substances that have been prescribed to you.
  • Keep your medicines separate from those of your spouse and family members making it less likely that you take the wrong ones by mistake.
  • Store your medicine in an area that is cool and dry. Since heat and humidity can damage your medication, do not store medication in a bathroom unless it is well ventilated.
  • Every 6 months do an inventory of your medications; check the expiration date on the bottle, look for medicines that are discolored, crumbling, or show other signs that they are past their prime. Keeping old medication can be dangerous. Old prescriptions can cause confusion and can be deadly if they get in the wrong hands.

Safe Disposal

  • Do not flush medications down the toilet or sink.
  • Follow the steps below:
    1. Take unused, unneeded ,or expired medication out of their original containers and throw the containers in the trash.
    2. Make the medicine unusable.
      • Crush or dissolve pills with a small amount of water.
      • Mix them with undesirable substances such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter.
      • Absorb liquid medication with flour or table salt.
    3. Then place the unusable medication in impermeable containers, such as cans or sealable bags and place the container in your household trash.

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