The FDA has launched a Web page for consumers with information on how to dispose of certain drugs, including several high-potency opioids and other selected controlled substances. The FDA recommends that these medicines be disposed of by flushing down the sink or toilet. Medicines not listed on the Web page should be thrown away in the household trash after mixing them with an unpalatable substance, such as coffee grounds, and sealing them in a bag or other container. Medications can also be disposed of through drug take back programs, if federal and state law permit.
The FDA has worked with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to develop the first consumer guidance for proper disposal of prescription drugs. While all medicines listed have disposal instructions in their professional prescribing information, this information is targeted to health care professionals. This Web page provides clear instructions for consumers on whether a medicine should be flushed or disposed of in the trash.