How to safeguard & properly dispose of medications in your home

Prescription drug abuse is a growing issue and affects people from all walks of life. With that in mind, it’s important for the health and safety of your family and others who come into your home that you safeguard and properly dispose of prescription medications.

Safeguarding medications

  • Ask your pharmacist if prescribed medicines in your home may have the potential for abuse
    Store medicine in the original container so it can easily be tracked and identified
  • Secure medicine in a safe place out of reach of children and guests. Medicines should be kept in a locked medicine cabinet or a lock box.
  • Create an inventory list of all medicines so you know what you have; double check it at regular intervals
  • Keep track of refills—your own and other people in the household

Proper disposal

  • Safely disposing of expired or unused medicine is important to the safety of everyone in your home
  • Ideally, participate in a safe drug disposal program or a drug takeback day in your community
  • When disposing of drugs at home, mix the medicine with an undesirable substance, such as kitty litter or some type of trash, and discard
  • Remove personal, identifiable information from bottles to help prevent unauthorized refills

Additional Resources
U.S. Food and Drug Administration |

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids |

Help is available. For additional information, visit

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One comment on “How to safeguard & properly dispose of medications in your home

  1. If medicines are not dispose safely, it causes infections. Creating an inventory is a great idea to keep record of medicines. protecting family members and others who come to home from improper disposed medicines is very important. I am sure the guidelines mentioned in the article will help in this.

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