What can I do with old Medications?

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Mommy pooh
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 5/14/2009 2:37 PM (GMT -6)   
    My GI has changed my meds. from time to time and that leaves me with perfectly good medicine that I no longer take.  I hate it when I see people on here desperate for these exact same medications I have, and no longer use.  Is there anyone or anywhere that will take the medicines and get them to the people that need them?  I figure not because of safety reasons and I understand that too, but just thought I'd ask.
  Also, as far as expired medications, what are we supposed to do with them?  They say don't flush them because they build up in the water supply, and don't throw them away because animals or even children may get to them in the trash, so what do you do with expired pills?
  • 26 years old, married, Stay-at-home Mommy to 2 year old daughter 
  • Ulcerative Colitis since Sept. 2004
    • 1st flare Sept-Nov 2004
    • 2nd flare Aug. 2007-July 08 
  • Currently taking:75mg 6MP, 4 Lialda, Loestrin 24, Allergy meds., Digestive Advantage Sustenex, Maxalt when I get a migraine, Zanaflex to prevent migraines, and allergy shots once a month 
  • 10/6/08 Found a 1cm kidney stone in right kidney.  Had the stone blasted and passed the fragments.


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16714
   Posted 5/14/2009 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I tend to use expired medication. Sometimes it is less potent but depending on what it is, sometimes it is perfectly fine.
I see a lot of people here with old meds that they don't know what to do with. I don't think you can do anything useful with the unused portion unless you know someone who needs them. It could be a liability to give them to someone you don't know well, what if they say the drugs you gave them caused them some kind of sickness? It is definitely risky to give people medications but a very generous idea on your part. It's a shame to throw drugs out when you know someone out there is probably very sick and can't afford those same medications. At the same time, they are pills that have next to no real value except to those of us who need them. Kind of messed up. I am lucky I get drugs for free. I hate paying 100s of dollars for a capsule full of chemicals that cost nothing to produce.
Diagnosed with mild proctitis in March 2007: Treated with Canasa (as needed)
December 08: Began treating with Asacol 400mg (9/day) + Canasa 2x/day - Anemic
May 09: Off Canasa, taking Asacol (9/day)
Back on Canasa every other night + Asacol (9/day) + Probiotics + Iron

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 5/14/2009 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know what to do with unused meds that aren't expired. If it's expired, maybe see if your pharmacy will take them back. I've never asked, but it would be nice if they'd take them!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 5/14/2009 3:08 PM (GMT -6)   
In California unused medication should be mixed with used cat litter and disposed in a landfill. Check with your local pharmacist for disposal recommendations in your state.

dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 5/14/2009 3:11 PM (GMT -6)   
In Canada you're suppose to take left over meds to your pharmacist so they can dispose of them properly to ensure they don't get into the water supply which is why you're never suppose to flush them cuz it will contaminate the water supply.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Serenity Now
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2153
   Posted 5/14/2009 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I take my expired meds back to my pharmacy (London Drugs). I am in British Columbia and there is a website where you can look up a local pharmacy who will take your meds. You could do a google search "return expired medication" and then the name of your state or province. That's how I found the list of locations in BC.
ack, 42, Vancouver BC
DX: UC (Pancolitis) as of Jan2009.  Symptoms first began June 2008.
Current Meds: Ferrous Sulfate, plus various supplements
Previous Meds: Jan-Mar 2009: Asacol 800 mg (1 pill x 4 daily), stopped Mar14/09. 

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