What You Should Do with Those Left Over Medications

Here at Wyoming Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, our Doctors prescribe post surgical medications to help control pain or clear up infection. There are certain medications that are expected to be used until gone such as antibiotics, but medicines prescribed for pain control can sometimes have a few left in the bottle once the discomfort is gone. What should be done with these pills? Should you keep them just in case? Throw them away? Flush them? We have put together the following guidelines to help in such a situation.

Dispose of any unused Rx pain medications promptly. Doing so reduces the risk of drug abuse or misuse.

Medications can be disposed of in 2 ways:
#1 Throw them away. Start by emptying the pills into an unlabeled plastic resealable bag. Then remove any identifying information from the pill bottle and throw away the now unlabeled container. Last, mix the pills with an unpalatable substance such a used coffee grounds, kitty litter or dirt, seal the plastic bag and then place them in the trash. Certain medications are so addictive or dangerous to individuals other than the person they were prescribed to so they should be disposed of quickly. A few of these are pain medications containing narcotics such as Vicodin, hydrocodone, Percocet, oxycodone, or demerol.

#2 You can search your community for a Prescription Drug Drop off location. Usually these drop boxes can be found at a pharmacy or police station.