Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should Know
Learn how to dispose of unused or expired drugs
Video: How to Safely Dispose of Unused or Expired Medicine
Drug disposal options to consider and instructions for getting rid of unused or expired medicines
How to Safely Dispose of Unused or Expired Medicine
- The best way to dispose of most types* of unused or expired medicines (both prescription and over the counter) is to drop off the medicine at a drug take back site, location, or program immediately.
- If you cannot get to a drug take back location promptly, or there is none near you, and your medicine is
- on the FDA flush list, your next best option is to immediately flush these potentially dangerous medicine down the toilet.
- not on the flush list, you should follow these instructions to discard the medicine in your trash at home.
*Check out the Medication Disposal Q&A for more information including how to dispose of needles and syringes.
Drug Disposal Options Infographic (PDF; 2.1MB)
Use our Safe Opioid Disposal - Remove the Risk Outreach Toolkit, which contains public service announcements (PSAs), social media posts and images, fact sheets, and more, for talking with others about safe opioid disposal (Updated 10/1/2020) NEW