“If no instructions are given on the drug label and no take-back program is available in your area, throw the drugs in the household trash, but first take them out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter,” says the FDA. This will make them less appealing to children, pets or people who may intentionally go through your trash, says the agency, which adds that a final step is to put the medication into a sealed bag or other container to prevent leaks.

CONTACTS: CCE, www.citizenscampaign.org; National Prescription Drug Take Back Days, www.nationaltakebackday.com; FDA’s “How to Dispose of Unused Medicines,” www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingOver-the-CounterMedicines/ucm107163.pdf.