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VA Center For Medication Safety (VA MedSAFE)

Medication Disposal Safety Tips 

To keep you and your family safe, get unwanted/unneeded medications out of your home!

VA can help you safely dispose of expired or unwanted prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs.  

Why should I remove unwanted medications from my home? 

If you remove these medications from your home, you reduce the chance of taking them by accident and poisoning, especially for children. Removing them also reduces the risk of taking the wrong drug by mistake. 

Medicine Disposal Bottle
How should I safely dispose of my unwanted medications?  

Don't flush unwanted, unneeded drugs down toilets or drains or throw them out in the trash. This can harm the water supply and wildlife. Your VA now has envelopes that you can use to mail your unwanted medications for disposal that is safe for the environment.  These envelopes are free and do not require postage. Remember to read the directions and never place syringes in the envelope or receptacle.

Your VA may also have a receptacle where you can deposit your unwanted medications.  If you accidentally place drugs in the receptacle, VA cannot retrieve them or return them to you. 

Check with your VA Pharmacist on which option is available at your VA facility. 

Who can I talk to if I am unsure about how to properly dispose of medications that I don't need or want?  

 

Ask your VA pharmacist how to safely dispose of your medications.  If you are unsure of what drugs to dispose of, you can review your medications with your VA pharmacist to find out which medications you should no longer take.

You can prevent drug misuse, abuse, and accidental poisonings.  
 Make a difference by following these safety tips  
  • KEEP medications out of the sight and reach of children and pets
  • AVOID taking medications in front of children, since they tend to mimic adults
  • NEVER give your medications to anyone else or take someone else's medications
  • STORE your medications in a secure area
  • CHECK the date on everything in your medicine cabinet and dispose of anything that has passed the expiration date
  • DISPOSE of any medication that you have not used in the past 12 months
  • DISPOSE of any prescription medications you no longer need
  • ASK your pharmacist about the proper way to store you medications
  • KEEP medications in the original container
  • NEVER combine different medications into one bottle
  • DO NOT store medications in places that are hot and humid