17 answers

Best Way to Dispose of Extra Antibiotics

I gave the kids as much pink medicine as they were supposed to have, but I still have some left over. Does anyone know the best way to get rid of it? Flush it, trash it, rinse it down the sink? My concerns are mostly environmental, wouldn't want my extra amoxicillan to find it's way into our drinking water or poison any fish.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

They recommend that any

extra pills are crushed --if liquid, skip this step
mixed with coffee grounds or cat litter
then put in 2 sealed ziplock bags
thrown in the trash

Just throw it in the trash. If you put it down the drain (either directly or by flushing), some of it will end up in the local water system. They just did a big story on this about a month ago. Several large cities have trace amounts of quite a few drugs in them because of people flushing or dumping them down the drain. (To get even more technical, some of it is actually from human excrement as well.) So the big thing in the news story was about not dumping it down the drain.

Anyhow, hope this helps.

More Answers

Hi A.,
The most environmentally safe way to dispose of any medicines is to mix the antibiotic in with some used coffee grounds or something equally nasty, in a ziploc or its original container if it has a childproof top and throw in the trash. That way, nobody (or no animal) will mess with it, and it won't enter the water system as it would if you threw it down the drain. You're right, if it goes down the drain, then it will end up in the water, and will poison fish and other little water creatures. Even the trace elements that we don't react to, have a huge affect on small invertebrates and are passed up the food chain. It's best to keep all pharmaceuticals out of the water system.

I'm an environmental educator/writer and my husband works for the local water company. This is what they are suggesting that we do.
Thanks for caring!

1 mom found this helpful

You should call the pharmacy where you got the medicine. You shouldn't have any left over. They are carefully measured out so the whole bottle should be empty. If they did put to much in then they should be able to tell you how to get rid of it properly.

Hi A.,
Here are some guidelines for disposing of medicine:

Dispose of the waste in household trash.
Keep products in their original containers. Pharmaceutical container caps are typically watertight and child proof.
Add a small amount of water to a solid drug or some absorbent material such as kitty litter, sawdust or flour, to liquid drugs before recapping to discourage any unintended use of the drug.
Double seal the container in another container or heavy bag to prevent easy identification of the drug container or to prevent a glass container from breaking.

That is an excellent question & one that I have never even thought about before!
I would guess that by flushing it or pooring it down the drain that it would end up in the sewage treatment facility, where it would be treated (which is why it's so much better to flush poop from diapers than to throw it away!) & not contaminate the ground water.

That's really just a guess though based on what I know about diaper waste more than anything else! :-)

from my experience, you are supposed to finish all antibiotics until they are gone (even if it's 11 days instead of 10... sometimes what you use to measure the meds can be a little off) if it were me i'd call the doc to be positive (unless you did that of course! then i don't have an answer for you :-)

I would mix it with some hard candy -- boost your kids immune system year round!

The best thing to do is mix with coffee grounds or kitty litter and throw out with the trash. The same with pills/capsules, just smash them up first.

Yes, I agree with the first response, you should dispose of the medicine in the trash. Do NOT put it down the sink or in the toilet.

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