What to do with unusable medication (Crestor)?
May 28, 2005 2:45 PM   Subscribe

I began taking Crestor via samples several months ago, but due to side effects have stopped. While using the samples, I also had a prescription for it filled. I am now stuck with a sealed, prescription bottle, along with several samples of Crestor. The pharmacy is unable to take the sealed bottle back. The prescription was rather expensive to simply wind up in the trash. What should I do with it and the samples?
posted by the biscuit man to Health & Fitness (16 answers total)
Unfortunately, I think it's illegal to give it to anyone else. But if you can find someone who takes Crestor, and they have to,.... um... "borrow" one or two when they come for a visit, well.... you know.....
posted by Doohickie at 2:51 PM on May 28, 2005

Did you tell them your story? I'm just throwing something out there, but possibly have your doctor call them and tell them that you were having adverse reactions to Crestor before you even started the prescription, and that you didn't use the prescription at all. Maybe they will take it back (I'm sure they wouldn't distribute it) and give you pharmacy credit? I'm sure they have a policy absolving them from taking back meds because of side effects, but maybe you can find a sympathetic manager who might help you out.

And of course the obvious answer is to sell it on the black market, although I can't say there's a real demand for Crestor. But you never know...
posted by apple scruff at 2:55 PM on May 28, 2005

You could try phoning the makers of Crestor, mentioning your side effects, and telling them that you'd feel a lot more "comfortable" if you didn't have this paid medication sitting about that a doctor told you to take. And that for only the cost of a refund, well, you'd erase the event from your mind completely... >:-)
posted by shepd at 3:11 PM on May 28, 2005

Googling "unused prescriptions" turned up this article. Perhaps if you insert your state in that google search, you can find an agency.

It's bad enough that needy people can't get these unused drugs, but to pollute rivers with them via flushing?!
posted by mischief at 3:35 PM on May 28, 2005

Allegedly, after my friend's grandfather passed away recently, my friend slipped his unused meds to the hospice nurse because she sometimes accidentally leaves them in the home of clients who can't otherwise afford them. Come to think of it, maybe I saw it on TV.
posted by kamikazegopher at 3:58 PM on May 28, 2005

Take it to the hospital, if safe disposal (ie. not into the landfill/water supply) is your goal.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:14 PM on May 28, 2005

Here is a listing and description of current legislation in the various states to allow reuse of unopened prescription medicine.

It looks to me as if Pennsylvania already allows this, widely (current legislation is to make minor changes). I didn't search if the program is limited to in-state prescriptions only, or paperwork/documentation requirements for those accepting the medicines, in case you want to try donating from Texas (or trying to find someone in Pennsylvania to help out).
posted by WestCoaster at 5:28 PM on May 28, 2005

Response by poster: This has been on my todo list for a while.

I spoke with an employee at the pharmacy, who suggested contacting the manager next week. He also mentioned that if it has been more than a month, they probably could not do much about it. I received the prescription about 5 months ago, so that option is out.

Anyone wish to borrow a few? Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.
posted by the biscuit man at 5:28 PM on May 28, 2005

WestCoaster's right. Donate them to a free clinic.
posted by gramcracker at 5:31 PM on May 28, 2005

Best answer: Donate them to a free clinic or call your doctor and ask if he has any patients who could use it but, can't afford it.
posted by SuzySmith at 8:43 PM on May 28, 2005

excellent question! thanks biscuit man! now about someone wanting 25 Geodon tablets in exchange for...
posted by TomSophieIvy at 1:59 AM on May 29, 2005

Since your doctor gave you samples, she's probably sensitive to the high cost of meds. Ask your doctor to find someone who needs it.
posted by theora55 at 6:40 AM on May 29, 2005

Response by poster: I will try contacting my doctor Tuesday and see if he knows anyone who could use them.

Thanks everyone!
posted by the biscuit man at 7:57 AM on May 29, 2005

Unfortunately you are going to more trouble than it's worth, I suspect. No office in their right mind would ever accept meds from a patient, no matter the situation, and then pass them on to another patient. The current climate of risk makes this simply untenable.

As well, there are probably months and months of samples at their office, so coming across a few more weeks worth is not worth it - the drug co.s, esp. a drug like Crestor so hampered by recent risk issues, are dumping samples into offices like never before.

Your intent is gracious and well-founded, though.

The free clinic idea would make sense for a number of drugs, but no way with Crestor. All statins need monitoring, and Crestor has a higher than average risk profile.
posted by docpops at 9:54 AM on May 29, 2005

Repeat: give them to a hospital. They should have proper disposal facilities.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:54 AM on May 29, 2005

give them to a hospital. They should have proper disposal facilities.

Perhaps more specific advice here would be helpful. Personally, I would find it difficult to call a hospital out of the blue and ask them to dispose of medicines for me. (I assume that such disposal is not totally at no cost to them.)

What is clear is that medicines should NEVER be dumped down the toilet - because they won't be filtered out by sewage treatment, and so will (in all probability) end up in the water supply. But it's not so clear that putting them in the garbage is that bad - they'll go into a landfill, and landfills (essentially) never decompose. (Garbology excavations, have, if I remember, unearthed 50-year old newspapers that are perfectly readable).
posted by WestCoaster at 2:57 PM on May 29, 2005

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