Waste Medicines

Disposing of Medication Safely

Throwing medicines away such as in the bin could be dangerous if found by children or those that they are not intended for. Flushing meds down the loo or pouring down the sink poses risks to the environment and wild animals as well as to our water supply.

Where can I find Medication disposal in Neath?

You can return your medicines to either of our Neath Pharmacy branches or to any NHS registered pharmacy premises.

When should I dispose of unwanted medicines?

There are many different reasons for returning medicines, for example

  • You’ve finished taking them
  • a medicine didn’t agree with you or caused an adverse reaction
  • they’ve gone out of date
  • your doctor or prescriber has changed your medication or dose
  • you’re returning them for someone that has gone into hospital
  • you’re returning them for someone that sadly died
  • the medicines have been damaged by not storing correctly

The motto “little and often” can be used here. This will give you or your family more control over how many medicines are in a household and if they are still usable or needed.

Can the Pharmacy use the medicines again?

Unfortunately, there aren’t any circumstances where we can do this as we cannot guarantee their quality or safety. All returned medicines are placed safely in special containers and have to be returned to the Health board for destruction.

You can help to minimise medicine waste by putting inhaler holders into plastic recycling and dispose of any medical food-stuffs yourselves, otherwise we’d prefer medicines in their original packs as we may have to separate out any cytotoxic (hazardous) or controlled drugs.

Please try to minimise waste by not hoarding medicines, this will help the NHS as well as keep you and those you live with more safe.


Our App can remind you to take Medicines minimising wastemedicine reminder