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fryto

Expired Unused Medicines

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Apparantly Finland has the highest suicide rate in Europe. Perhaps the Swedes could point their pipes east? :o

cv

I believe that medicines are biodegradeable...flushing should be fine...doctors say to do it...is there any evidence that flushing them is bad or is this just some rumor or someone's idle speculation?

A water quality study in Sweden last year showed up rather high concentrations of SSRIs (antidepressants, such as citalopram) circulating around the echo system. I am not sure to what extent this affects the wildlife, but rumour has it that the suicide rate among sewage rats and catfish is steadily declining.

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WASHINGTON — What’s the best way to throw away leftover, expired medicines? Once the answer was “flush ’em,” to ensure children and animals couldn’t stumble on the drugs and be poisoned.

Now scientists are increasingly warning not to flush drugs. Antibiotics, hormones and other medicines are being found in waterways — raising worrisome questions about potential health and environmental effects.

“So what the heck do you do with it? This is not black and white,” Georgetown University pharmacology chairman Kenneth Dretchen says with a sigh.

No one knows just how many unused drugs Americans dump each year, or how many are hoarded because patients don’t realize the drugs have expired or simply don’t know what to do with them. It’s a question that arises each fall as pharmacy groups launch annual “clean out your medicine cabinet” campaigns.

:o

o Trash is better than sewer, with precautions in case children or animals get into it, Tong says. He advises breaking up capsules and crushing tablets, then putting the remains back in the original container with its child-resistant cap. Tape it up and double-bag before tossing.

o Alternatively, check if local household hazardous-waste collection programs — where you’re supposed to take motor oil and batteries — accept expired medicines.

o The FDA suggests asking if pharmacies will take back expired drugs, as is common in Canada and Australia. Pharmacies have programs to incinerate or otherwise dispose of inventory they can’t sell, but the industry couldn’t say how many would accept consumers’ leftovers, too.

Source: http://www.rgj.com/news/stories/html/2003/12/01/58049.php

Looks like as far as LOS is concerned burning them is the best, since people search the trash dumps for recycleables :D

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You never have to go far to find someone burning stuff in Chiang Mai. :o

cv

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In Chiang Mai the vast percentage of household sewage enters pump-out septic tanks when flushed. It tends to remain there for a number of months, if not years. (We have lived in the same house for eight years now and had only one pump-out during this time, (a year ago). My restaurant has so far had one pump-out in four years.)

Generally flushing will give adequate time for the bacteria in the septic tank to work on and break down almost any medicine. (The tanks are all seeded with bacteria and assorted enzymes etc. at the end of a pump-out. I tend to help the seeding with an occasional generous dose of EM and liquid effluent from my compost heap.)

Burning is a definite second-best option, considering our problems with air pollution etc. here. Binning comes third, taped and double bagged or not!

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Went to google and after looking around a little bit (this is not an extensive survey of the available literature) found that binning was not recommeded by anyone, flushing was the most recommended option, when flushing was not recommeded it was stated that it was unclear whether flushing had an adverse affect on the environment. I couldn't find any reference to an actual case where flushing lead to any problem. Taking to a hazardous waste facility was also recommended as was returning to the pharmacy or doctor...if they will accept them.

So far I've found no credible reason to avoid flushing.

Edited by chownah

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if they are still foil wrapped and are not more than a year or so past the expiry date then take them along to a charitable foundation who may be able to put them to good use.

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