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Safely Dispose of Your Allergy Medicines and Epinephrine Auto-Injectors


It is important to get rid of expired and unused medicine safely. Oct. 27, 2018, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. There are several ways you can properly get rid of medicines, like epinephrine auto-injectors, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.

How Can I Dispose of OTC and Prescription Patches and Pills?

From 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Oct. 27, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) law enforcement agencies across the U.S. will collect expired, unused pills and patches so they can be safely disposed.

To find an agency near you that is participating, use the Collection Site Locator.

The agencies will only take OTC and prescription pills or patches. They cannot take needles, sharps or liquids. This includes liquid nebulizer medicine, epinephrine auto-injectors and inhalers.

How Can I Dispose of Epinephrine Auto-Injectors?

To dispose of epinephrine auto-injectors or needles, visit You can search by state to find where you can take these for safe disposal.

How Can I Dispose of Liquid Medicines?

To get rid of liquids, contact your local pharmacy or trash facility. Some national pharmacy chains, like Walgreens, have drop boxes in some stores where you can drop prescription medicines,. including OTC and prescription liquids.

How Can I Dispose of Inhalers?

To dispose of inhalers, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that you read "handling instructions on the labeling of inhalers and aerosol products. These products could be dangerous if punctured or thrown into a fire or incinerator. To properly dispose of these products and follow local regulations and laws, contact your trash and recycling facility."

How Can I Dispose of OTC Medicines at Home?

You can dispose of OTC medicines safely at home if you follow the right way. According to, follow these steps:

  1. Mix medicines with an unpleasant substance, like kitty litter or used coffee grounds. Do not crush tablets or capsules.
    Place the mix in a container, like a sealed plastic bag.
    Throw the container in your trash.

The Food and Drug Administration has more information on how to safely dispose of medicines.

It is important to stay up-to-date on news about food allergies. By joining our community and following our blog, you will receive news about research and food recalls. Our community also provides an opportunity to connect with other parents who manage food allergies for support.


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Kids With Food Allergies
A Division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
1235 South Clark Street Suite 305, Arlington, VA 22202
Phone: 1-800-7-ASTHMA (1.800.727.8462)
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