3D Almost Empty Pill Bottle v2What is the safest way to dispose of my prescription?

When medications are expired, unwanted, or unused, it is important to dispose of them properly to avoid harm to others. Excess medications can be accidentally ingested by your children and pets, stolen and abused to get high, or they can make their way to our water systems if improperly flushed down the toilet. The best way to dispose of prescription medications is through a permanent medication drop box located in or near your community, or by taking advantage of a Prescription Drug Take-Back events.

Drop Box Locations

North Carolina has medication drop boxes located in communities across the state where you can anonymously drop off your unused or expired medications. They are a secure box, typically located in a law enforcement facility or pharmacy, for the disposal of medications.  Click here to find a drop box in your county.

What if I don’t have a drop box in my county?

If you do not have a medication drop box in your county, please follow the FDA guidelines below on how to properly dispose of medications through household trash. Do not flush your excess medications down the toilet unless the disposal instructions specifically tell you to do so. For information on medicines recommended for flushing click here to view the FDA’s website.

FDA Guidelines

1. Mix medicines with an inedible substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds.

2. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag.

3. Throw container in household trash.

4. Before throwing out your empty pill bottle or medicine packaging, remember to remove all personal information off the prescription label, including the Rx number.