Pharmaceutical Waste

What to do with leftover medication

Many Ohio residents have expired or unused pharmaceutical products in their medicine cabinet and don’t know what to do with them. Unused drugs can create a risk of unintentional overdose or illegal abuse if not properly disposed. However, flushing medication in the toilet can contribute to water contamination and may cause harm to aquatic life. To safely dispose of leftover pharmaceuticals from the home, the best option is to take them to a collection event or permanent pharmaceutical drop-off.

Ohio EPA does not regulate the disposal of pharmaceutical products by consumers. The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has an excellent website with information for consumers, pharmacies and others involved in the pharmaceutical industry. Visit their site for drug disposal box locations, regulations and additional resources.  


Disposal Options

  • Drug Disposal Resources — State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy
  • National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day — The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.
  • Rx Drug Drop Box maintains a website to help you locate a law enforcement drop-off location in Ohio.
  • The Disposal Act is enforced by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). More information about the rule, including drug disposal fact sheets for registrants, general public and long-term care facilities can be found on their website. Call the DEA’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539 to find a collection receptacle location near you.
  • Contact your local solid waste management district to see if they are sponsoring a local collection event or know of other available options.

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