Correct Disposal of Expired Drugs. June 23, 2008
Office of National Drug Control Policy
ONDCP, Washington, D.C. 20503
p (202) 395-6618 f (202) 395-6730
Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs
Office of Nati onal Drug Control Pol i cy February 2007
Take unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs out of their original
containers and throw them in the trash.
Mixing prescription drugs with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee
grounds or kitty litter, and putting them in impermeable, non-descript containers,
such as empty cans or sealable bags, will further ensure the drugs are not diverted.
Flush prescription drugs down the toilet only if the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs doing so (see box).
Take advantage of community pharmaceutical take-back programs that allow the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal. Some communities have
pharmaceutical take-back programs or community solid-waste programs that allow the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal. Where these exist, they are a good way to dispose of unused pharmaceuticals.
The FDA advises that the following drugs be flushed down the toilet instead of thrown in
Actiq (fentanyl citrate)
Daytrana Transdermal Patch (methylphenidate)
Duragesic Transdermal System (fentanyl)
OxyContin Tablets (oxycodone)
Avinza Capsules (morphine sulfate)
Baraclude Tablets (entecavir)
Reyataz Capsules (atazanavir sulfate)
Tequin Tablets (gatifloxacin)
Zerit for Oral Solution (stavudine)
Meperidine HCl Tablets
Percocet (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen)
Xyrem (Sodium Oxybate)
Fentora (fentanyl buccal tablet)
Note: Patients should always refer to printed material
accompanying their medication for specific instructions.