Medication Safety

How are you safely storing and disposing of your unused medication? Safely disposing of old, unneeded, or unused medication is something that is extremely important. Not disposing of medication in the proper manner can lead to drug abuse, addiction, poisoning, and may even be fatal. Making sure that unused medications are being monitored, are secure, and disposed of can help to stop these things from happening.


Monitoring your medication to make sure that no pills are missing and that you aren’t getting refills more frequently than normal, can help to ensure that no one is getting into your medication. If your child or someone who you’re taking care of is prescribed a medication make sure to hold onto them and give them when needed. By doing this you can help to ensure that they are not taking more than they are supposed. It is also extremely important to make sure that you keep your medication safely stored at required temperatures.

LocationTemperatureMedication Examples
Room15C to 25C(59F to 77F)Methotrexate, Otrexup, Otezla
Refrigerated2C to 8C(35F to 46F)Humira, Enbrel, Cimzia, Simponi


Securing your medication in the manner that you would your valuables is the best and safest way to go. Keeping your medication in a locked cabinet or in a place that only you know about, ensures that no one can get into your medication but you. Two-thirds of teens that abuse medication, got it from their parents’ medication cabinet or from a friend that took if from their parents’ medication cabinets. Making sure that medication is secure is extremely important.


Disposing of your medications in the proper manner is important. Don’t flush medication down the drain and don’t just throw it in the trash. Some medications have very harmful and toxic side effects, so flushing them down the drain may be dangerous. Pharmacies can’t take your unused or old medication because it is against the law. You can send your medication to a drug mail back program, find a take back location, or use a drug deactivation bag. An alternative option if you can’t get to a site designated to take back medication, after removing all of your personal information you may mix (uncrushed) medication with cat litter or dirt and place it in a plastic bag and throw it away. The proper way to dispose of used needles, syringes, and pens is in a Sharps container. To get a sharps container please reach out to the manufacturer of your drug.

Sharps Containers Contact Information 

DrugWebsitePhone Number
Humira: Humira Complete  800-448-6472
Enbrel: Enbrel Support
Forteo: Forteo Connect
Cimzia: Cimplicty Support Program
Simponi: Jansen CarePath
Cosentyx:Cosentyx Connect

The DEA website or the American Medicine Chest Challenge provides specifics on how and where to properly dispose of your medication. If you have any questions on how to find this information, please reach out to the DEA Division Control Center at 1-800-882-9539.