April 22 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The US Department of Justice has set aside April 22 as National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.  Many of us have old, partly used up bottles of prescription medicines in our cabinets. These medicines can be dangerous for children who might get into them, and if expired can be dangerous for anyone to take. Having multiple bottles of unneeded medicine also increases your chances of mixing bottles up and taking the wrong medicine or the wrong dose. Instead of throwing these medicines in the trash or flushing them down the toilet, you can turn them in to an authorized collector who can safely dispose of them. You can visit the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day website to find a collection site near you.

While its best for most medicines to return them to an authorized collector, in the case of some especially dangerous medicines if you can’t turn them in right away when you no longer need them, you should dispose of them immediately by flushing them down the toilet.  This includes medicines that are frequently misused like fentanyl or oxycodone. You can check the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “flush list” to see if your medicine should be immediately turned over to an authorized collector or flushed when no longer needed.

Authorized collectors are available to take old medicines, including over-the-counter medicines, any time of the year. You can get more information on our fact sheet about leftover medicine.