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Bottles, Bottles Everywhere...

Posted May 04 2009 5:26pm

I'm starting to feel like prescription bottles are taking over my life. I can't tell you how many surfaces in my apartment are laden with the nasty little things. And they all look alike..which means it requires a good 10 minutes of me peering at each bottle before I find the actual medication I need (15 minutes if it's anytime before 8 am).

There are many medications I've switched off of or have simply stopped taking (for one reason or another) and, as a result, I'm left with a half filled or, in a few cases, a brand new bottle of pills (I could have kicked myself the time I handed over my co-pay for a medication I stopped taking the following day. I could have used that $10 for a new book. Or a lipstick...or half of a Starbucks coffee. Hmph. Oh well). Anyway, I've held onto these medications because I've never known how to properly dispose of them.

So, in the spirit of spring cleaning and the whole loving-the-environmental-is-cool thing, I've decided to finally figure out the right way to do this.


In 2007,the FDA published the following federal guidelines for disposing of medication:
  • Follow any specific disposal instructions on the drug label or patient information that accompanies the medication. Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless this information specifically instructs you to do so. If it's brown, flush it down. If it's yellow, let it mellow.
  • If no instructions are given, throw the drugs in the household trash, but first:
  • Take the medications out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as usedcoffee grounds, kitty litter or bat guano. The medication will be less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash. (I made up the thing about the bat doodie..I just want to make sure you're reading..but the thing about coffee grounds and kitty litter is true).
  • Place and seal the medications in a bag, empty can, or other container to prevent it from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
  • Or..call your city or county government's household trash and recycling service to see if a medication take-back program is available in your community.
The FDA's website also prudently recommends that you scratch off all identifying information from prescription bottles to prevent hobos from going through your trash and deciding to break into your house to steal medication (ok, so the FDA actually says nothing about hobos but you get the idea. Also..I don't want you to think I'm anti-hobo or anything. Anti-clown? Yes. Anti-hobo? No).

So that's that! I'm off to put candles in some cuppy cakes for DH's bday. He turned the big 3-0 today!

(source:http://www.fda.gov/consumer/updates/drug_disposal062308.html )
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