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Safety When You’re Taking a Known Hazard Medicine

Throwing out medicine, used supplies, and garbage

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​How do I or a caregiver safely throw out known hazard medicine?

Ask your pharmacist how to throw away a known hazard medicine safely—for example, ask what container to use and what to do with the container.

Don’t put any known hazard medicine in the garbage or a sharps container, and don’t flush them down a toilet. If you have extra medicine, ask your pharmacy if you can return it.

Don’t put any sharps (like glass vials, syringes, and needles) in the same container as unused, partly used, or expired medicine.

How do I or a caregiver safely throw out garbage that had contact with the medicine or my body fluids?

Throw out used supplies and garbage (such as empty medicine containers or packages, paper towels, bandages, or diapers and pads) in the regular garbage:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Put on gloves.
  3. Put the garbage and your gloves into a garbage bag. Try not to touch the opening of the bag.
  4. Tie the bag securely and place it into a second garbage bag. It’s now double-bagged.
  5. Tie the second bag securely and throw it out with your regular garbage.
  6. Wash your hands with soap and water.

Keep the garbage away from children and pets.


Current as of: March 31, 2022

Author: Provincial Hazardous Medication Committee, Alberta Health Services