How to Properly Dispose of your Expired or Unused Medications

It’s important to dispose of any unused and expired medications properly, both for the environment and for the safety of your family.

Expired medications may not work as well and may not be safe to use anymore, so it’s important to get rid of them to prevent children, teens and even pets from ingesting it. Responsible disposal also protects the environment from contamination.

How do you safely get rid of medicines?

If you have medications in your house that are unused and/or expired, there are a few easy steps to dealing with them.

First, check the bottle or box for any specific directions on how to dispose of it. You can also find a pharmacy, like Rutland Medical Pharmacy, that participates in a take-back program.

To package your medication to return to your pharmacist, first empty pills and tablets into a bag. Liquids and creams can be kept in their original containers.

Remove any personal information from any packaging to protect your identity, and you’re ready to go!


a hand grabbing unused medications


What kind of medications can your pharmacist take back?

Rutland Medical Pharmacy, and other pharmacies participating in the take-back program can accept prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and natural health products.

They cannot accept empty pill bottles or containers, cosmetics, contact lens disinfectants, rapid tests, sharps, syringes or needles.

Unwanted medications should never be disposed of in sinks, toilets or garbage cans. Medications should always be stored in locked areas away from children or pets.

If you have any questions about your medications and disposing of them, contact your pharmacist for help.