Medications that are past their expiry date makes them ineffective. Expired medications can be dangerous as their chemical composition can change over time and they may become not only less effective but also potentially harmful.
Getting rid of old, unused medications can also help ensure children do not accidentally get their hands on them and having fewer medications at home can prevent mix-ups between medications that appear similar.
It may seem smart to flush unwanted medicines down the toilet or throw them in the trash. But this is not a good idea as it causes the medications to end up in our water system and landfills, polluting our water and land with harmful chemicals.
Instead, participate in drug take-back events or drop boxes in your community, to dispose of unwanted medications in a safe manner. After they are dropped off, medications are incinerated, which can help protect the environment. If there are no such events or drop boxes in your community talk to doctors and social organizations about setting up such practices in your local community.