•Don’t flush unused drugs down the toilet, unless they’re one of a handful that expressly advises that on the prescription label.

•Crush or dissolve leftover medicine in a little water. Then mix with a yucky substance – kitty litter, coffee grounds, even dog waste – in a sealed plastic bag or other unmarked container, and put in the trash. That renders the drug unpalatable if a child, animal or drug abuser rummages through the trash.

•Remove and destroy the prescription label and any other personal identifying information from the original drug container before throwing it away.

•An alternative is to call pharmacies or local environmental or hazardous waste collection sites, to see if they run drug “take-back” programs.

•Some medicines should never be left over. Antibiotics in particular come in the exact quantity you’re supposed to take. Stop before they’re gone and your infection can return, possibly in a harder-to-treat form.


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