disposal of medicines

Improper disposal of medications can risk both individuals and the environment. Accidental poisoning, overdose, and misuse are just a few of the issues that might occur from throwing unused or expired prescription pills in the waste, where they could be readily retrieved and abused or sold illegally.

When consumed without a doctor’s prescription or supervision, these therapeutic medications can be equally as deadly as illegal narcotics.

Why Proper Disposal of Medicines is required?

For us, it is very easy to simply throw away unused or expired medicines either in a dustbin or toilet. This harmful practice endangers nature as well as other human beings as well.

1. Drug Chemicals in Environment and Water

Medicines when flushed in the toilet mix the chemicals with water. This water enters the water treatment plant to be free from foreign particles but no chemicals are treated. The pollutants end up in both water and soil, causing environmental damage. This ecosystem includes our drinking and domestic water.

2. Drugs Falling within Wrong Hands

Drug abuse is a common and widespread issue. We enhance the likelihood of pharmaceuticals slipping into the wrong hands by failing to properly dispose of them. It may be a thieving adolescent, a curious child who puts everything in her mouth, or a waste picker digging through a dumpster.

3. Using Wrong or Expired Drugs

When pharmaceuticals go out-of-date or are poorly labelled, it is obvious for someone who is unwell, confused, or just unable to see properly to consume the wrong ones. Labelling the pills with big, bright lettering will also assist patients in taking the correct medications.

4. Storing Medicines

Correctly storing your medications ensures that they operate properly and prevents poisoning mishaps. Keep your drugs on a high shelf, out of reach and sight of children and teens. Examine the expiration date on your medication.

Never Ever Keep Outdated Or Unused Medications

Outdated Or Unused Medications
Image courtesy: Indiana Department of health

Disposing of Medicines

These steps can be followed to dispose of medicines safely:

1. Medicine Separation

The expired medicines should be separated from their containers and mixed with something undesirable like dirt, edible remains or coffee grounds. This will make the usage of medicine less appealing in case encountered by the wrong hands. This mixture can even be sealed in a container and thrown away in the local dustbins out of reach.

2. Disposing of Inhaler Products

If inhalers or aerosol items are punctured or thrown into a fire or incinerator, they might be hazardous. These should be destroyed in accordance with local legislation and laws. You can call your local waste and recycling centre.

3. Flushing Medicines

Although flushing may be hazardous to the environment, but because some medications may be extremely harmful to others, they include explicit instructions to flush them down the sink or toilet as soon as they are no longer needed.

4. Disposing of Fentanyl Patches

Some prescription medications, such as Fentanyl Patches, release powerful pain relievers via the skin. To avoid the risk of overdose from accidental or unauthorized usage, such potent narcotic pain relievers and other restricted medications should be flushed off and disposed adequately.


Due to a change in chemical composition or a loss in power, expired medical items may be less effective on pain and more dangerous on human body. As, there is no guarantee that a drug will be safe and effective once its expiration date has gone. Do not utilise medication that has expired.

As a result, it is important to properly dispose of unused and expired medications.

We at TCW, operating throughout the UK make sure that our clients stay at ease when it is healthcare waste management.

We can make your waste disposal practices more efficient which will ultimately save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

You can get a free sight survey from us whenever you want!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Blog

Share this:

Biomedical Waste collection solution