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Proper Medication Disposal

If you have pet medications that are expired, unwanted, or unused, it’s important to safely dispose of them to reduce the risk of accidental exposure, intentional misuse, or harm to the environment. Some general guidelines:

  • The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) periodically hosts National Prescription Drug Take-Back events where collection sites are set up in communities nationwide (learn more here https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/)
  • Contact your local law enforcement agency, which may sponsor medicine take-back programs in your community
    Contact your local waste management authority to learn about medication disposal options in your area

  • If no local take-back programs are available, follow these steps to dispose of most medicines in household trash:
    • Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds
    • Place the mixture in a sealed container and throw it in your household trash
    • Scratch out all personal information on prescription labels to make it unreadable, then dispose of containers
  • Medicines that can be especially harmful should be flushed down the sink or toilet. The FDA provides a list of these medications here [LINK to https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/UCM337803.pdf]