What to do with unused or expired medication. Calgary Pharmacist explains

by | Apr 20, 2021 | Family Health, Blog, Pharmacy Calgary

By Ali Oonwala, lead pharmacist at Guardian-NuAid Pharmacy Royal Vista

Do you have a collection of old prescriptions collecting dust in your medicine cabinet? Maybe antibiotics you decided not to take, or pain medication that made you feel too ill to continue with? Although it may be tempting to hold on to old medications or flush them down the toilet, our on-site Calgary pharmacies offer a safer means of disposing of your medications.

Holding on to expired medication is risky.

It may seem harmless to have a few expired medications in your cabinet, or you may be holding on to them because you think they might be useful in the future. However, it can be risky to keep expired or unused prescription meds.

Old medications are not only no longer effective–they could also interact dangerously with other prescriptions. Plus, they could end up in the hands and mouths of those who should not have them.

Expired medications hurt the environment.

In the past few decades, the amounts of chemicals in our soil and water have increased. Many of these chemicals are linked to the use of pharmaceuticals. They can lead to adverse effects on both the environment and human health. Although human excretion is considered to be the main source of the contamination, according to a report by Health Canada, unsafe disposal also plays a damaging role.

There are ways to safely dispose of unused or expired medication in Calgary.

Medication disposal Calgary

Though you may be tempted to flush away your unused or expired medications, there are other, safer ways to dispose of them.

Options for safe medication disposal in Calgary:

  • Return them to your local Calgary pharmacy, our on-site pharmacists are happy to help!
  • Find a take-back program nearby.
  • Place them in the garbage.

Garbage disposal is not the ideal solution, but if you need to take this route there are some steps you can take to do it more safely: First, scratch out any personal information on the label to protect your privacy, and second, hide or wrap the medication in something uninviting that will keep animals and children away.

Get in touch with one of our Calgary-based pharmacists today!

Ready to clear out your medicine cabinet? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the friendly staff at any of our medical clinic locations. Our Signal Hill, Royal Vista, Meadows Mile (Acadia) and High River clinics are all accepting new patients and our on-site pharmacists are happy to answer any questions you have about safely disposing of your unused or expired medications.


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