What Are the Safest Ways to Dispose of Expired Medicines?

Our first aid box is usually loaded with medicines, some of which are no longer required or crossed their expiry date. Improper disposal of such medications can cause safety issues for you, your loved ones, and the environment as well. A variety of problems could arise by expired prescription medicines being thrown in the trash where they can easily be reused or abused.  These problems include overdose, poisoning, drug abuse, or other associated issues. Prescription medication can be as dangerous as OTC products, especially when taken without a doctor’s prescription. Safe removal of medical products eliminates the risk of poisoning, overdosing, and drug abuse. Safe disposal of prescription drugs protects not just you and your loved ones but also the environment. Proper disposal of expired medicines and unused medications helps to prevent adverse and toxic effects on the environment.

Importance of Proper Disposal of Medicines

Flushing down medicines means direct entry to the water supply. No doubt, the water is treated before introducing it to the public to remove the foreign substance, but it is not processed to remove drugs. The toxic substances mixed into water and soil, which can exert a negative impact on the environment. The medicines we take are eliminated via urine and defecate, which ultimately enters the waste stream, something we can’t do anything about. However, by properly disposing of the medicines, we can help prevent them from affecting our ecosystem.

By not disposing of expired medications and other over the counter products, we increase the chance of them falling into the wrong hands. A child may get those medications and put in his/her mouth, or a trash picker can reuse them.

As the medication crosses the expiry date, the printed label fades with time, which makes it easy for someone who is sick, confused, or are not well educated to swallow the wrong one. This can lead to health complications that can be hazardous to one’s life. Such problems can be avoided by correctly disposing of drugs as they no longer in use or are expired.

Proper storage of medicines ensures they work as well as to prevent accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse. Make sure you store your medications away from your children and pets. Try to keep them on a high shelf so that your kid will not be able to reach them. Check the expiry date on all your medications before keeping them.

Proper Disposal of Medicines is Essential

The best way to avoid this problem is by Throwing the medication into the household trash. Consider removing the medication from the original containers or sachets and mix them with some other mixtures such as coffee powders or dirt to make them less recognizable and appealing to kids, pets, and trash pickers.  Keep the mixture in a zipper or a bag that is closed to prevent the medicine from leaking out. After that, you can throw it into the garbage.

As mentioned above, flushing could harm the environment, but some medications are especially harmful to others and are labelled to flush them down the toilet or sink when they are no longer in use. If you have expired inhaler products, then destroy them following local laws and regulations. You can contact your local trash pickers and recycling faculty. Inhalers are dangerous if thrown into a fire.

Keeping the drugs after they are no longer needed increases health complications. By disposing of the old medicines and unused drugs, we can reduce some of the risk factors, such as poisoning, drug abuse, and toxic effects on our environments. And by following some of these above safety steps, we can overcome the adverse effects caused by improper disposal of expired drugs.

Also Read: How To Overcome An Allergy?