The rapid development of medicines for various illnesses has helped treat sick people. Over the years, medical experts are continuously improving these medicines for better outcomes in the medical field. Numerous cures and treatments are already discovered and used in a lot of hospitals and clinics.

Image by Kendal

However, even these prescribed medicines to people can be dangerous. Without proper usage and proper disposal of unused drugs, it can affect many things, such as our health and environment. With that, here are the essential reasons why you should properly dispose of expired prescription drugs you have to know.

Accidental intake of unused or expired prescription

Medication drugs and items (fluids, disinfectant solutions, sutures, intrarosa, etc.) have an expiration date indicated. People sometimes forget to check on that after using them. They store it until the time comes that they're sick again. Chances are they might use these drugs again accidentally even if they're expired.

But is it OK to use expired medicines and medicine items anyway? The United States Food and Drug Association recommends that people should not use expired medications and medical items anymore for their unknown variables. It can impact the potency of drugs, which might create a significant health concern. Manufacturers don't also guarantee the safety, sterility, and stability of the medical items beyond the expiration.

Expired medicines and items are also risky, causing accidental poisonings, and could be lethal. When these things are disposed of improperly, the chances that it might get into the wrong hands, children, for instance, are possible, which is highly dangerous.

Saving medicines and items until they get expired is a harmful practice. It can result in the worsening of your sickness or continuous aches instead of treating you. This is why you always check for expiration dates and update with new ones by buying prescription drugs at the pharmacies. 

Medical items such as solutions, sutures, and intrarosa should also be replaced with new ones in case your stocks expire. You may click here for intrarosa inserts coupons.

Preventing the worsening water contamination

The common thing that people do to unused or expired prescriptions is that they flush those in the toilet or into the sink. Little do they know that this practice contributes to the emergence of pharmaceutical pollution present in the water systems like sewage, waste-water, streams, and even drinking systems.

This pollution can affect surface waters. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has found approximately 100 various pharmaceuticals in the surface waters. Among those hundred medications, there include aspirin, antibiotics, acetaminophen, and blood thinners. The water can make its way to the houses that can affect different lives, such as plants and animals.

Contaminants are also present in the drinking water system. This potential threat is proved by research coming from USGS. Pharmaceuticals were found in a large number of groundwater sources for drinking purposes around the U.S. However, experts say there's nothing to worry— yet. This is still a health concern, which is why continuous studies are still on work.

Moreover, marine life can also be at risk and disturbed due to the pharmaceutical contamination of rivers and streams. This leads to the death of the earthworms, some fishes with low immune response, alteration of sex through fishes, and shellfishes' slower reproduction. Thus, people must know the proper disposal of prescription drugs and other medicinal substances.

Depressing the potential drug abuse

Medicines at home get expired most likely because they have not been used for a long time. Research of the University of Maine's Center on Aging says that 40 percent of prescription meds are unused or never used, still filled with the drug itself. This scenario possibly allows people to use these meds in their harmful ways.

Did you know that among teens and young adults, over the counter drugs, or OTC, are among the most abused substances? Irresponsible use of OTC drugs is most common to ages ranging from 13 to 16. While it is true that street drugs are way more harmful than the OTC meds, it's the overdosage that might happen that should be taken seriously.

Some parents are not bothered by this health issue to the family members, but these drugs should be disposed of properly to prevent the abuse. If your child is already addicted to the OTC meds, professional help is highly needed for professional treatment.


Responsible medicine or drug disposal can prevent environmental risks and health dangers. There are drug take-back locations where you can quickly dispose of these unneeded medicines. There are also medicines whose disposal methods are written on the package. Hence, always give yourself time to read these instructions thoroughly.