How to Safely Dispose of Unused or Expired Medicine

The best way to dispose of most types of unused or expired medicines (both prescription and over the counter) is to drop off the medicine at a drug take-back site, location, or program immediately.

If you cannot get to a drug take back location promptly, or there is none near you, and your medicine is on the FDA flush list, your next best option is to immediately flush these potentially dangerous medicines down the toilet.

If not on the flush list, you should follow these instructions to discard the medicine in your trash at home.

  • Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds.
  • Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag
  • Throw the container in your household trash
  • Scratch out all personal information on the prescription label of your empty pill bottle or empty medicine packaging to make it unreadable; then dispose of the container.

Medicines with Specific Disposal Instructions

For safety reasons, there are a few, select medicines with specific instructions to immediately flush down the toilet only if a drug take-back option is not readily available. For more details, refer to the FDA’s flush list.

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Guidance on Safe Medication Disposal

Find a Drug Take-Back Location

Local Locations

  • Crawford County Sheriff’s Office
  • Meadville Medical Center
    • Liberty Street Emergency Department Entrance
    • 751 Liberty Street, Meadville PA 16335
  • West Mead Police
  • State Police | Meadville
  • Conn. Lake Police
  • Cambridge Springs Police
  • Linesville Police
  • Jamestown Pharmacy
  • Care-Fill Pharmacy
  • Medicine Shoppe | Greenville
  • Titusville Police