Magazine article USA TODAY

Do Not Flush Old Pills Down the Toilet

Magazine article USA TODAY

Do Not Flush Old Pills Down the Toilet

Article excerpt

When cleaning out the medicine cabinet, medication and drugs should not be thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet, emphasizes Patricia Darbishire, a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. She recommends that, before disposing of any medication, contact a local pharmacist, the Solid Waste Management District, or a law enforcement agency to learn the proper disposal technique for your geographic area.

"There is concern about pollution of the water supply through sewers and landfill runoff," she explains. "Most tablets can be crushed, capsules opened, and liquids mixed with cat litter, sawdust, or flour to prevent misuse, and then sealed in a plastic bag or milk carton and disposed of in the trash. This will reduce the amount of chemicals that can leach out from landfills during heavy rains."

Discard medications that are past the expiration date, Darbishire advises. "A general rule of thumb is that most prescription medication is good for a year after leaving the pharmacy, unless labeled otherwise. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.