Prescription Drugs — Safety, Disposal, and Basic Information


This topic includes links to information on safety, disposal of medicines, herbal remedies, and saving money on prescriptions. Your local pharmacy can provide information on drug interactions for the prescription drugs you're taking, as well as proper disposal of unused drugs.

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. The information here (and on all websites) is not a substitute for medical care by a health professional. Please discuss what you find with your healthcare provider.

General Information About Prescription Medications

Drug Guides, HealthInfoSource.com
This topic on HealthInfoSource provides a collection of links to drug guides for looking up information about specific prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Drug Watch, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The FDA provides important drug safety information. This page links to numerous helpful resources.

Prescription Safety

Your Medicine: Be Smart. Be Safe.
This guide from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) provides information about ways to be smart and safe with medications, and understanding and keeping track of your medicines.

Herbal Medicines and Remedies

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, provides consumer information on a variety of alternative medicine therapies, including herbal remedies. Click on "Health Info."

Herbal Products and Supplements, American Academy of Family Physicians
This page from the Family Doctor website discusses risks and possible side effects of herbal medicines.

Safe Disposal of Unused Medications

Many people are not aware that medicines in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. However, flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can cause pollution of lakes, streams and water supplies and pose potential safety and health hazards. Ask your pharmacist about proper disposal, or check these resources to help you properly dispose of unused, unneeded, and/or expired medications.

Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal, City of Fort Collins
Properly disposing of unused pharmaceuticals will help protect water quality in our community and region. Fort Collins Police now provide an ongoing drug take-back program with a secure bin for the collection of prescription/over-the-counter drugs. Residents may drop off unused or expired over-the-counter and prescription medications (including pet medications) at the Fort Collins Police Services lobby, 2221 S. Timberline Road, 8am-6pm Monday through Friday, and 8am-2pm Saturday and Sunday. This service is free and anonymous. For details about the types of medications that may be dropped off, follow the link above.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Disposal Guidelines
Disposal options when throwing out expired, unwanted, or unused medicines, along with information about national drug take-back days.

Saving Money on Your Prescriptions

Prescription Drugs — Saving Money, HealthInfoSource.com
Visit this health topic for tips on saving money on your prescriptions.

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