Where can One donate unexpired, unused medications?

* I do mean unexpired, prescription medications such as metiformin for diabetes, etc. Some unopened. My late mother died and her prescription drugs were paid for & will go to waste if destroyed. I have also learned that many of these drugs will last beyond the expiration date. Are there any overseas agencies that can benefit? I also have some over the counter meds that I will take to the homeless shelter.

I posted this Q in another category last week. Any thoughts?

25 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Best Answer

    I'm sorry to read that your mom died, CO, you have my condolences.

    There are not many programs for donating prescription medications that have already been dispensed to a person. Re-dispensing of previously dispensed medication once it has been out of the control of a health care professional isn't considered safe because there is no way to verify that the medication has been stored properly (light, temperature, humidity, etc.) or that it hasn't been tampered with. You say that you have some unopened medications; are these unopened single-dose boxes or are you talking about bottles? You might be able to donate unopened boxes of single-dose medications; if your state has a program to recycle medications; otherwise it is best, and least expensive, to dispose of the medication properly.

    Trying to send small amounts of any medication overseas can be very, very, expensive. It is most often less expensive to either purchase the medication new or have large corporate donations of needed medication in quantities that are needed rather than one or two bottles or boxes. The cost of collecting, inspecting, storing, shipping, and then finding someone who needs the medicine makes the cost for small amounts of medications very high, and this is one reason why we don't see many programs that solicit donated medications from individuals. It can be far more wasteful to try and get one or two medicines to a foreign country than to destroy leftover medications. I know it is hard to dispose of unused, expensive medicines, but there are not any great solutions right now.

    You say that you have metiformin. That is a medication that is usually needed for more that a month or two. So, even if you found a group that takes medicines to be re-dispensed, you only have enough for a month or two. Where would the next doses come from if the person lives somewhere that this medication isn't already available? It would be better to use other treatments than to use something that isn't always available.

    You could check to see if any local faith based groups sponsor medical missions; and see if those groups could use any of the medicines you have.

    You could also check to see if your State has a medication recycling program; these programs only take certain medications and only medications that come in single-dose packages.

    State Prescription Drug Return, Reuse, and Recycling Laws

    National Conference of State Legislature


    Here is a link to information about how to safely dispose of left-over medications:



  • Anonymous
    3 years ago


    Source(s): Diabete Natural Reamedies http://givitry.info/ReverseDiabetesNaturally
  • 3 years ago

    Donate Unused Prescription Drugs

  • 5 years ago

    You can send Unused Medicines and Medical supplies TO Jacobs Well Appeal 2 Ladygate Beverley North Humberside HU17 8BH TEL 01482 881162

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  • Kai
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Call a local pharmacy to find out if they can dispose of your medication. In some states, although not all, they have an unused medication disposal program that the pharmacies themselves may use to dispose of outdated medications.

    Call your local trash service - they might have household waste facilities that will incinerate the medication.

    Contact your local Hospital or Medical Center who will place unused medications into their Bio Hazard containers for incineration. All Hospitals have this option so there is never a need to toss or flush unused medication.

  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    Where can One donate unexpired, unused medications?

    * I do mean unexpired, prescription medications such as metiformin for diabetes, etc. Some unopened. My late mother died and her prescription drugs were paid for & will go to waste if destroyed. I have also learned that many of these drugs will last beyond the expiration date. Are there any...

    Source(s): donate unexpired unused medications: https://tinyurl.im/C4ey2
  • DeeJay
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    CO - Check with you local Public Health.

    Here in our county - where we live - there is a drop box in front of the police station - just for that purpose.

    We have been advised - to never flush them down the toilet.

    They - in the end - end up in the water supply - ours would end up in the Colorado River and on into California.

    Never throw them in the garbage.

    Animals can find them at the garbage dump and eat them.

    We scratch or peel our name off the bottle first.

    I would think - that a homeless shelter would not be allowed to take - what would be called second hand - used OTC medication or prescribed medication.

    For insulin users - our Public Heath has red containers for the needles. They are to be taken to Public Heath when they are full and they/Public Health Office - will dispose of them.

    My two sense on the matter of the law. Our pharmacies - do not take them back. Our Police Dept. handles this problem.


  • E-ma
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Glad to hear that you are not wanting to add these chemicals to the water supply by flushing or throwing them in the trash.

    I don't know which state you are in, but here is a link to state laws regarding "State Prescription Drug Return, Reuse and Recycling Laws" - http://www.ncsl.org/Default.aspx?TabId=14425

    Thanks to some lobbying efforts, recycling unused drugs is no longer completely illegal but there are guides to follow. - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=s...

    If your state makes it illegal b/c the drugs are expired, then it is best to return the unused portion to the prescribing doctor or the pharmacy. (I'd choose the doctor 1st. They can better determine if the drug should be re-dispensed to a patient that can't afford it as opposed to a pharmacy they may be inclined to re-sell for profit. Albeit only an unscrupulous pharmacy would do such a thing.)

  • Brian
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    Flush it down the toilet! lol jk don't do that

    Most places will not take medications unless they are unopened (over the counter) with the seal still on and packaging unopened. Prescriptions will not be accepted anywhere because people can add chemicals and toxins to medicines and such. Plus there is no way of knowing if a medicine bottle has been opened or not. Just dispose of in your garbage and recycle the plastic bottles.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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    The diet plan really should be made up of plenty of fiber and also wholesome foods. Eat four to 6 meals/snacks spread equally throughout a day. Commence doing exercises routinely. Supplements could help too. Flax oil, daily multivitamin, bitter melon, garlic, onion, and stevia might help.

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