Posted by Lindsey LeBaron

Prescription Drug Safety: Storage and Disposal

April 27, 2022 Pharmacy

It’s important that everyone, especially parents with young children, remain vigilant in ensuring that their prescription medications are properly stored away. Every year, approximately 50,000 young children are taken to the emergency room because they got into medicine within their reach.

Read on for more information on where you can properly store and dispose of your prescription medications. Also, know that the Revere Health Pharmacy Team is dedicated to teaching patients about proper storage and disposal safety for all prescription drugs and can be an additional resource for you when you visit.

Where can you safely store your medications?

Prescription medications can be harmful if used incorrectly, even if you buy them over-the-counter. The following guidelines come from Up and Away, an initiative that is in partnership with the CDC:

  • Pick a place your children cannot reach or see: find a place in your home that is too high for children to reach or see and make sure that any bottles you keep in your purse or car are in a place where your children can’t get to them.
  • Never leave your bottles, loose pills, or liquid medications on the countertop, table, or bedside: Pills and liquid medications can look like candy or sugary drinks to children. Always keep your medications in child-proof bottles.
  • Teach your children about medicine safety: Teach your children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. Never tell your children that medicine is candy even if they don’t like taking it.
  • Discuss medicine safety with guests: when guests come to your home, ask them to hang their coats and purses in a closet or inquire whether they have any medications that need to be safely stored away from your children’s reach.

If there is an emergency, call the poison help number (800) 222-1222 or call 911. You can also visit www.poisonhelp.org.

Where should you dispose of your medications?

29% of Utahns reportedly throw their unused medications in the trash, while 15% flush them down the toilet or sink. While there are many ways you can dispose of your medications, see the following guidelines below for the best ways to get rid of unused drugs:

  • Do Not:
    • Pour or flush your medications: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages patients to avoid flushing medications down the toilet unless the instructions on the prescription bottle say it is okay to do so. A list of flushable prescription medications can be found here. Some of the substances in your medications can be bad for our environment.
  • Do:
    • Use a take-back program: The FDA states that the best way to dispose of your unused or expired medications is through the drug take-back program. To find a take-back program near you, type “drug disposal near me” into a Google search or visit any of the following locations:

Locations in Utah:

Orem Department of Safety
95 East Center Street, Orem
Phone: (801) 229-7209

Salem Police Department
30 West 100 South, Salem
Phone: (801) 723-2770

Mapleton Police Department
125 West Community Center Way Mapleton
Phone: (801) 491-8048

The Utah County Jail
3200 North 256 West, Spanish Fork
Phone: (801) 851-4014

Santaquin/Genola Public Safety Building
275 West Main, Santaquin
Phone: (801) 754-1070

Spanish Fork Police Department
789 West Center St. Spanish Fork
Phone: (801) 804-4700


Using the MEDS method to dispose of medications

The Revere Health Pharmacy encourages patients to properly dispose of their medications by using the MEDS method of disposal issued by the FDA:

M – Mix medications with something “gross”

  • Take pills out of their original container and place them into a resealable bag
  • Crush the pills
  • Mix pills with cat litter, dirt, used cooking oil, coffee grounds, or other compost, and toss the substance into your outdoor trash

E – Extra pills need to be locked up

  • If your pills are not expired and you still need them, make sure to put them in a cabinet that has a lock on it

D – Drop your medications off at an approved disposal site

S – Soak your medications in water until they dissolve

  • Mix any liquid medications with a small amount of water until they dissolve
  • Seal the water mixture in a disposable container and throw it away in an outdoor trash can

The Revere Health Pharmacy prioritizes patients’ health, happiness, and time by completing prescription orders in five minutes or less. They accept all major insurances, offer competitive cash prices, have a mobile app, can refill your medications on the go, and will price match your prescriptions from any other pharmacy. Fill your prescriptions today by calling (801) 418-0800 or by visiting the Revere Health Pharmacy website.

WRITTEN BY:

Lindsey LeBaron

Lindsey LeBaron has been working as the Marketing Assistant for Revere Health for the past three years. Lindsey has a bachelor’s degree in social sciences at Brigham Young University and will graduate with her master’s degree in global strategic communications at Florida International University in December 2021. Coupled with her master’s degree, Lindsey is also working on a certification in crisis management and consensus-building. Recently, she was awarded the honor of joining the National Communications Association as a member of the Lambda Pi Eta honor society. Lindsey is passionate about building lasting connections between communities to create lasting change and believes that communication is a vital element to building long-lasting relationships. When she is out of the office, Lindsey enjoys singing and playing the piano, going on adventures, traveling to new locations, and reading books about world affairs.

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.