Medication Storage and Disposal
The Do’s and Don’ts of Safe Medication Storage
DO consult with a pharmacist to see if any of your prescribed medications have the potential for misuse.
DO store your medication in a cool, dry place such as a cabinet, drawer or medicine safe that is locked and out of the reach of children.
DO keep the original container including the label that provides information about the medication.
DO properly dispose of unused or expired medication. Click here to find a list of places to dispose of the medication.
DO properly dispose of unused or expired medication by mixing it with an unappealing substance (e.g. coffee beans, cat litter, dirt) in a sealed container, throwing it in the trash, and scratching out personal information on the pill bottle. This is demonstrated in the image below. Only do this if drug take-backs are not available.
DON’T leave your medication in locations that are easily available for others including children and pets.
DON’T store medicine in a location where humidity and temperature may vary because this could alter the medication’s strength and effects.
DON’T share prescription medications. The effects of medication on others may vary from person to person.
DON’T flush your medication down the toilet or pour it down the drain due to potential environmental impacts.
For more information on safe guarding your medication please visit the following websites:
- Dispose My Meds
- Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
- The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration unused drug disposal
- DEA biannual drug take-back day
- EPA: How to Dispose of Medicines Properly
Page last updated 10/22/19.