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Safe Medicine Disposal

Most of us have cupboards or drawers full of medication that are expired or no longer needed. In many cases, we may not even realise we have them until it’s time for a clear out.

But don’t worry, getting rid of your unused medicine (the right way) is simple!

When to Dispose of Medicine

Though it is recommended to keep a basic kit of over the counter medicine, keeping an excessive amount of medication can be potentially dangerous and should be avoided. 

You should dispose of medication when:

  • It has passed its expiration date
  • It has passed its use by date
  • The protective packaging is damaged
  • They are left over from a previous condition


To ensure that you only have the necessary medication in your home, it is important that you clear out your medicine cabinet at least every 6 months.

Disposing of Medicine at a Pharmacy

When disposing of medicine in the UK, it is recommended to take the medication to your local pharmacy, whether or not they have expired.

Pharmacies have the ability to dispose of medication in the safest way possible, by following UK legislation to significantly reduce any risk of harm.

Disposing of Medicine at Home

Disposing of your medication at home is not the safest method for those around you, or the environment, and should only be done as a last resort!

If you’re not able to take your medicine to your local pharmacy, follow these steps:

  • Recycle cardboard boxes holding tablet blister packages
  • Throw tablet blister packs into the bin, when they are empty
  • Remove the label, or make it illegible
  • Do not crush the medication
  • Mix tablets / capsules with dirt or other inedible substances and place it in sealable packaging
  • Follow the instructions on the leaflet / packaging

Reduce Your Unused Medicine

One of the major reasons for having excess medicine in your cupboards, is forgetting to take the medicine when you’re ill! 

Typically, if you are taking a prescription it is recommended to finish your course of medication even when you have begun to feel better. 

You can use your Healthera app to order your prescriptions online for collection or home delivery, and set pill reminders so you won’t forget your medicine ever again!