How to dispose unused meds?
July 29, 2005 7:50 PM   Subscribe

How to dispose unwanted medicine (pills), and used syringes with needles (used for insulin shots) without harming the environment or anyone who may find it.
posted by semmi to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
We tell patients to flush the pills down the toilet and to take their used needles and syringes to their doctor's office, where they in turn will put them in a biohazard box to be incinerated.
posted by lambchop1 at 8:00 PM on July 29, 2005

Take either to a pharmacy or to your city's hazardous household waste disposal site (the place you take leftover paint etc.).

Flushing them down the toilet just puts the drugs in the lakes and rivers and ultimately the water supply.
posted by duck at 8:10 PM on July 29, 2005

Take the needles to a pharmacy.

duck is right - flushing pills down the toilet isn't a great idea, but taking your pills to a pharmacy doesn't guarantee that they're disposed of any differently.
posted by makonan at 9:40 PM on July 29, 2005

Get sharps boxes. As I understand, they're pretty cheap.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:14 PM on July 29, 2005

You could also check with your local needle exchange, if there is one -- this is a good site to find out. They may be able to provide you with free biohazard containers to store your needles safely, and/or dispose of them for you, or at least give you tips on how to dispose of them safely in your area.
posted by Stacey at 10:31 PM on July 29, 2005

Around here (Ontario, Canada) pharmacists are required to accept such things for proper disposal. Ask a pharmacist if this is the case in your area (even if it isn't, the pharmacist probably knows the answer to your question).
posted by winston at 6:51 AM on July 30, 2005

For needles, "The Disintegrator" looks pretty cool.
posted by 445supermag at 8:45 AM on July 30, 2005

I give myself a daily injection form my MS. Two towns in Massachusetts have given me the same instructions for disposal: use an old detergent bottle as a sharps container. When it's full of needles, fill it up with 1 part bleach to 9 parts water, screw the cap on, and put it out with the trash.

I'd suggest calling your local department of health to see what they say.
posted by alms at 9:57 AM on July 30, 2005

See if there's a free clinic in your area serving the disadvantaged. You can donate anything that's sealed.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 12:28 PM on July 30, 2005

This May 28, 2005 question and answers (disposing of Crestor pills and samples) has suggestions that apply to all medicines.
posted by WestCoaster at 3:52 PM on July 30, 2005

« Older wedding etiquette   |   If I stay in a new home while selling an old one... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.