What to do with expired drugs?

Have you ever wondered whathappens to expired drugs after they leave your first-aid kit and go to a landfill? If not, then it's time to think about it. Uncontrolled disposal of expired antibiotics, painkillers and other pharmaceuticals is harmful to the environment. If you throw away the tablets in the bin or flush them down the toilet, as some do, then soon there are traces of these drugs in the soil and water. Over time, these substances affect the inhabitants of water bodies, soil, plants, animals and people. But where in this case to throw out expired tablets?

Expired tablets harm the environment


  • 1 How do medicines harm the environment?
  • 2 Self-harm
  • 3 When to throw away medicine?
  • 4 Where and how to throw away medicine?

How do medicines harm the environment?

At the beginning of the XXI century, another one appeared in the worldecological problem. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has concluded that a wide variety of pharmaceutical waste adversely affects the environment. This was first discussed in the 1970s. Then experts were concerned about wastewater pollution. The problem was discussed in England and Canada, but the matter did not reach large-scale studies. Scientists again drew attention to environmental pollution with drugs only after 20 years.

Scientific and technological progress and increaselongevity has led to increased demand for drugs. This allowed the owners of pharmaceutical companies to live in a big way, and everyone else to treat pharyngitis, migraine and depression without leaving home. However, our well-being and reckless attitude to taking drugs has led to the fact that the level of contamination with antibiotics in many reservoirs of the world is a serious danger.

Today, almost all countries of the world trackdegree of environmental pollution with pharmaceutical waste. So, in 2019, Dutch scientists conducted a study, the results of which, to put it mildly, are horrifying - traces of antibiotics were found in all reservoirs of the world. In all. Just somewhere there are more, somewhere less.

All water bodies on Earth are contaminated with antibiotics.

Now let’s explain: a large number of antibiotics in reservoirs kills microbes and flora fauna of reservoirs. And in the city runoff, a large number of antidepressants were found that disrupt the functioning of the brain in fish, which affects their behavior. According to the results of the study, they are the antibiotic ciprofloxacin and an epilepsy drug called carbamazepine.


How often do you go to the doctor when you are sick? Do you prescribe medications for yourself, in particular antibiotics? If so, stop immediately. Uncontrolled intake of antibiotics leads not only to environmental pollution, but also to the appearance of super bacteria resistant to antibiotics. And this is a very serious problem that poses a threat to the lives of people around the world.

Take medication only on the advice of a doctor

So if you suddenly get sick, drink antibiotics only as directed by your doctor. After all, not only your life and health, but also the well-being of others depends on it.

More information about superbacteria can be found on our channel in Yandex.Zen.

When to throw away medicine?

Experts advise disassembling a home medicine cabinetsemiannually. During the audit, be sure to throw away tablets that have fallen out of the blister. The fact is that without packaging they deteriorate faster. You should also get rid of cracked or crumbled tablets. Feel free to throw away pills that have changed color. So, if the medicine is yellow, according to the instructions, and in front of you is a snow-white tablet, you know what to do.

Sprays, syrups and other liquid medicines canthrow away if they smell weird or change color. But some ointments after the expiration date, in addition to color, can change the consistency and become watery or granular.

Where and how to throw away medicine?

And here we come to the most interesting. And at the same time, the sad thing is that in the Russian Federation no measures have been taken to safely dispose of drugs. However, this does not mean that we cannot do anything about it. So, experts advise flushing into the sewer only those drugs that are completely dissolved in water. They are marked "dispersible".

This is interesting: Are people ready to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the medicines of the future?

But other medications, in particular,tablets should be removed from the blister and crushed into powder. The resulting powder can be poured into a jar or bag, and inside add something inedible (the ideal choice is filler for a cat's toilet). Then the jar or package must be tightly closed or tied. This is to ensure that people or animals that might stumble upon discarded medicines do not eat them.

However, the best we can do isthis is to prevent a lot of unused medicine from being stored in the medicine cabinet. Experts advise you to buy drugs strictly according to the prescription and only those that you need for treatment.

How do you get rid of unnecessary drugs? Tell the participants in our Telegram chat about this.