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Count It, Lock It, Drop It

Is your medicine cabinet full of expired drugs or medications you no longer use? What’s safe for you might be harmful for someone else. To keep you and your loved ones safe, here are some tips for safe medication storage and disposal.

  • One medicine lock bag
  • A Safe Medicine packet
  • Two medication measuring spoons
  • Three packets of DisposeRX

Safe Storage Tips

  • Count It! Make it a goal to count your pills frequently and check expiration dates. This will prevent theft and help ensure medications are taken properly.

  • Lock It! Lock up medications and store them in a secure place. Protect your friends and loved ones by using lock bags to securely store your prescription medications.

Consider places where kids can get into medicine.

If you have children in your home, think about where kids may get into medicine like kitchen counters, dressers, night stands. If you see RX or OTC medicine there, put them out of reach and out of sight. In 60% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, medicine was within reach of a child. Place purses or bags up high and avoid leaving medicines in easily accessible locations in your home. 

Use the dosing device that comes with medicine.

Proper dosing is important, particularly for young children. Kitchen spoons aren’t all the same, and a cooking teaspoon or tablespoon won’t measure the same as the dosing device.

Remember products you might not think about as medicine.

Health products such as vitamins, diaper rash creams and eye drops can be harmful if kids get to them. Store these items securely like prescription medicines. 

Save the Poison Help number and post it visibly at home.

Specialists at poison control centers provide free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day. They can answer questions about how to give or take medicine and help with poison emergencies. 1.800.222.1222

Safe Disposal Tips

Drug Take Back Programs

April 26, 2021 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day sponsored by The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in communities nationwide. Many communities also have their own drug take back programs. Check with your local law enforcement officials to find a location near you or with the DEA to find a DEA-authorized collector in your community. You can also check with your pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer on-site medicine drop-off boxes, mail-back programs, and other ways to help you safely dispose your unused medicines.

Dispose of Medicine at Home

Flushing medicines: Some medications have specific directions to immediately flush them down the sink or toilet when they are no longer needed. Check the label or the patient information leaflet with your medicine or consult the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s list of medicines recommended for disposal by flushing. Remember, don’t flush your medicine unless it is on the flush list. If you have a question about your medicine, ask your health care provider or pharmacist.

Disposing medicines in household trash: If a take back program is not available, almost all medicines, except those on the FDA flush list, can be thrown into your household trash. These include prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in pills, liquids, drops, patches, and creams. Follow these steps:

  1. Remove the drugs from original containers and mix them with something undesirable, such as used coffee grounds, dirt, or cat litter or use a deactivating solvent such as DisposeRX. 

  2. Put the mixture in something you can close (a re-sealable zipper storage bag, empty can, or other container) to prevent  leaking.

  3. Throw the container in the garbage.

  4. Scratch out all your personal information on the empty medicine packaging to protect your identity and privacy. 
DisposeRX: DisposeRX was designed specifically to help solve the problem of leftover medications and mitigate associated risks. It allows you to dispose of your medication in the convenience of your home. When water and the DisposeRX powder are added to your prescription vial and shaken, a gel is formed, making the medication unusable and allowing for the safe disposal in the household trash. Using DisposeRX gives you peace of mind that your leftover medication has been safely disposed of- protecting your household, community, and enivironment.
  • One medicine lock bag
  • A Safe Medicine packet
  • Two medication measuring spoons
  • Three packets of DisposeRX