What To Do With Old Medication UK?

expired medications , pills

What’s covered?

Everything you should know about the disposal of unwanted medicines.

You must have a drawer full of old expired prescription medicines. You can check the medicine cabinet of old cupboards. You may have purchased these medications for treating some disease or condition in the past and forgotten about them until you open up the drawer to clean. Now, what can you do with these unwanted drugs? Want to use it or donate it to others? Using expired and unused medicine can cause serious health hazards.

Expiration Dates on Packaging

Regularly monitor the expiry date of your medicines.

Similarly, unsafe disposal of these medications can be hazardous to you, your environment or the people around you. How can you dispose of them? Any medicine that has expired has a damaged covering exposing it to the environment. If it has been used for a condition in the past and is no longer required, it should be dumped.

Here are some highly effective and safe ways for the disposal of expired old medicines.

Pharmacy disposal

After clearing your medicine drawer and sorting out the unused medication, it is recommended to take such drugs to your nearest registered pharmacy for disposal. The pharmacy staff is highly trained for the job. They are also likely to have the required equipment and would be aware of the legislation on drug disposal.

As no one will accept unwanted medicines as a donation, it is prudent to hand over them to the nearest pharmacy for proper disposal.

Can old medicine be dumped in a dustbin or toilet?

Although FDA approves flushing in the toilet, it is not an ideal method for disposal. This water will reach the environment and pollute it with dangerous drug residues. Similarly, a prescription medication thrown in the bins could be reached by the children or pet animals. They can eventually reach the human food chain too.

Can you burn them?

No. Burning unwanted medication is strongly prohibited. It will not only cause dangerous fire, but the chemicals present in the drugs will burn to produce very dangerous fumes that could be toxic. The inhaled fume will work just like inhaled medicine. The old and unused inhalers have dangerous greenhouse gases that would harm the environment. Burning them could be devastating. Take them to the nearest community pharmacy for proper disposal.

How to dispose of them at home?

Disposing of unused medications at home is not a recommended method. However, sometimes, it could be the last resort in situations where no nearest pharmacy is available or you can't go out of your house (due to curfew, natural calamities, crime scenes etc...). Keep the following points in mind before disposing of clinical waste at home;

  • Strictly follow the instructions given in the user manual about the disposal and handling of drugs

  • Use sealable packing after mixing them with dirt and other non-edible things.

  • Destroy the label on the medicines

  • Discard or recycle the card box and throw the blister packs containing the pills or capsules after proper packing.

End Note

Families often tend to store medicines after use. These out-of-date medicines should not be dumped in dust waste bins like other garbage. It is wise to regularly monitor your medication box and check the expiry dates. The controlled drugs can best be dumped at the local pharmacy.

For a full range of medications, visit our Welzo Online Pharmacy Page. For more details, click here.

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