Unwanted & Out of Date Medicines – Important:
If you have out of date or unwanted medicines, both prescription or over the counter drugs, don’t bin them or flush them.
You can take your unwanted or out of date medicines back to your Pharmacy for safe disposal, and it’s completely FREE.
Each year, enormous quantities of unused and expired medications are dumped into bins or flushed down toilets and sinks. The effects on the environment and human health are unclear but evidence is pointing to the presence of chemicals from prescriptions and over-the-counter medications in soil, drinking water and the surrounding environment. Just as proper medication administration is important, so is safe and cautious disposal.
Unused prescription medicines cost the NHS across the UK over £300 million every year.
£300 million could pay for:
- 80,906 MORE hip replacements*
- 101,351 MORE knee replacements*
- 19,799 MORE drug treatment courses for breast cancer*
- 11,778 MORE community nurses*
- 300,000 MORE drug treatment courses for Alzheimer’s*
*Based on average costs
You can help by: Only ordering the medicines that you need:
- Please let your GP or Pharmacist know if you’ve stopped taking any of your medicines
- Check what medicines you still have at home before re-ordering
- Discuss your medication with your GP or Pharmacist on a regular basis
- Think carefully before ticking all the boxes on your repeat prescription forms and only tick those you really need
- If you don’t need the medicine please don’t order it! If you need the medicine in the future you can still request it.
- If you need to go into hospital, please remember to take all your medicines with you in a clearly marked bag.
- Please also remember that your medicines are prescribed only for you; it’s not safe to share them with anyone else.
Remember that unused medicines cannot be recycled
- Even if you never open them, once medicines have left the Pharmacy, they cannot be recycled or used by anyone else.
- Please bring your unused medicines to the Pharmacy for safe disposal.
- NEVER dispose of your unused or unwanted medicines down the toilet
Unused medicines are a safety risk
- Return out of date medicines to your Pharmacy or dispensary for safe disposal
- If your medicines change – return your old medicines to the Pharmacy for safe disposal to avoid mixing them up with your new medicines
- Don’t stockpile medication – it is a safety risk for children and others who might take them
- Store medicines in an appropriate place out of reach of children