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Safe Medicine Disposal

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines play an important role in treating certain conditions, but they must be taken, stored and disposed with care. Expired, unwanted and unused portions of these medicines must be disposed of properly to avoid harm to wildlife, pets and people. Otherwise, there is the potential for small children to gain access to them and for teenagers to abuse them. Old and expired medicine can be ineffective, and some medicines do not work as well as they should when you take them with other medication or home remedies.

You are encouraged to follow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) instructions below when throwing out expired, unwanted or unused medicines. The federal guidelines for drug disposal that are below:

Ilisa Bernstein, Pharm.D., J.D., FDA's Deputy Director of the Office of Compliance, offers more advice here:

Bernstein says the same disposal methods for prescription drugs could apply to over-the-counter drugs as well. For more information on safe medicine disposal, click here.

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