What You Should Do with Expired and Unwanted Medicines

January 17, 2022

Did you know that throwing out unwanted or expired medicines at home can be a safety risk?

Placing medications in your rubbish bin can contribute to landfill, as well as potentially contaminating the soil. Even pouring them down the sink or flushing them down the toilet means your medicines could enter the waterways.

An analysis of water samples from Sydney Harbour detected significant levels of a range of varying types of pharmaceuticals, including pain relievers, epilepsy medicines, and heart medicines. Even low levels of pharmaceutical pollution can be hazardous to the aquatic ecosystem since fish and other wildlife are sensitive to these products.

If you have expired, unused or unwanted medicines, return them to your local pharmacy. Returning your unwanted medicines to your pharmacist is a free service available nationwide under the Return Unwanted Medicines program. Through this process, returned medicines get sent off for proper disposal which is approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

With only 23% of individuals disposing of their medicines in this way, it’s an important message that we should share with our friends and family!

If you need consistent medication reminders or just a little help managing your busy day, find MedAdvisor on the app store here and here on Google Play.

This post was written by Kylie Lucas. Kylie has been a pharmacist for over 10 years and works in a country town pharmacy in the southwest of Western Australia. She lives on a farm with her husband, daughter, and pet animals.

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