The Importance of Safe Disposal of Supplements That Have Expired

September 27, 2021

Although spring cleaning is a great way to organize your home, but it’s also a good idea to make a resolution for the New Year.

Both prescription medications and over-the counter medications, such as vitamins and dietary supplements, have expiration/best use by dates. Prescription medications have a 1-year shelf life. Vitamins and supplements have a 2-year shelf life.

Many cities have hazardous waste collection locations that can take expired or no longer required medications. The U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration regularly schedules National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days. They usually inaugurates in October or April. You can certainly drop off unwanted medication at the collection sites during these events for no cost.

In addition, Many pharmacy chains, such as CVS or Walgreens, offer medication disposal envelopes for disposal of unwanted medication. Besides, some locations also have drop boxes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), offers these guidelines for disposing of unneeded medications in your trash:

Remove the pills from their original containers.

To make the pills more attractive to pets or children, you can however, mix them with a undesirable substance such as cat litter or coffee grounds. As a result, This will make them unrecognizable to anyone who might want to throw your garbage away.

In order to prevent pills from leaking, seal the bag or container.

These products shouldn’t be burned.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy suggests the removal prescription medication bottles. Moreover, we can also cover it with permanent marker or duct tape before disposing it. This will prevent others from reordering them.

On prescription medication inserts and vitamin and supplement bottles, Recommended storage guidelines are present. Storage of products should be at room temperature and away from excessive light and humidity.


Article by Jill Turner President of Cooper Concepts

Reference National Take Back Initiative https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/where-and-how-dispose-unused-medicines

FDA How to Dispose of Unused Medicines http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingOver-the-CounterMedicines/ucm107163.pdf