Most part of people don’t know that exist a proper way to dispose expired medicines or those that are not
been used anymore and put this in the regular trash.
The attitude, apparently inoffensive, can bring problems to the animals, to the nature and even to human
The medicines when thrown in the trash, in the sink or when you flush it, releases chemical residues
which contaminates the soil, the animals, streams and even rivers where the water we drink comes from.
Each kilogram of medicine incorrectly disposed can contaminate up to 450 thousand litters of water!
Brazil is among the seven countries that consumes the most medicines in the world, but only exists a few
or almost none campaign or advertisements when we talk about the right disposal to expired or no used
medicines. That is why is very important to inform the population and to raise population awareness
about the matter to avoid future environmental damages.
That is why we will give you some tips and suggestions about this matter.
Use medicines rationally, without self-medication, follow the dosage informed on the prescription and do
not interrupt the treatment by yourself.
Do not buy medicines in big quantities to storage them at home. Always buy only the informed quantity on
the prescription or if it’s going to be completely used, avoiding them to expire and it need to be
The National Policy of Solid Residues – Law n° 12.305/10 - establishes the inverse logistics as a proper
medicines disposal. When you find any drug expired in your house, you must take them back to a drugstore
and they will refer it to a destination of decontamination and proper incineration.
However, not all pharmacies operate as collection points; you need to check with the establishment before
taking the products.
Some private drugstores participate in the Conscious Disposal program and receive those medications. To
find out where they are, simply access the program's website.
The expired medicines or those the patient will not use anymore, as well as empty packages must be
The consumer should not remove the product from its primary packaging, which is the one in direct contact
with the medication. In the case of liquids, the primary packaging is the glass or plastic bottle; in
the case of pills, it is the aluminum blister.
The package inserts and cardboard boxes (secondary packaging) can be disposed of together with the
medications at the collection points. However, since they haven’t had direct contact with the
medication, they can be sent for recycling, just like any other paper.
In the case of syringes and needles, the legislation says anything about the collection by pharmacies and
drugstores. If you use these products at home, we recommend storing them in plastic bottles with lids to
avoid accidents. They should be delivered to hospitals or health centers, but check to see if they
accept them before taking them.
Those medicines are taken to places specialized in management and treatment (chemical or incineration)
decreasing, this way, the volume and toxicity of these residues.
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