Don’t flush or trash your old pills, unless you want them to end up in our drinking water! In 2008, a CNN report found that “A vast array of pharmaceuticals – including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones – have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans.” Not good. So here’s what to do instead.

First of all, donating your excess medication is a good solution for some types of pills. UNICEF estimates that around 9.7 million children under the age of five die due to preventable causes and lack of basic services to treat illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and HIV/AIDS. These deaths could be preventable with some medications that could be hanging around in your bathroom.

The Health Equity Project is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to making healthcare a universal human right by providing access to quality medications to developing countries. The Health Equity Project accepts some medicinal donations such as antibiotics, anti-malarials, pain-relievers, HIV/AIDS anti-retrovirals, Diflucan and flucanazole.

If you’ve got medications that don’t fit that program, there’s a great Pharmaceutical Take-Back program with drop off locations all over Texas. The map below shows the locations.

4 Responses

  1. Where can you recycle IV bags – inhalers, etc?

    • Kay – I can’t say for sure, but I operate a nonprofit animal rescue organization and a lot of wildlife rehabilitators use IV bags for the wildlife. We use solutions, IV bags, etc. Please contact the Texas metro Wildlife Rehabilitators (they’re in Fort Worth, TX area) at if you’re nowhere near Fort Worth TX, just search online for “wildlife rehabilitator” AND “your city/state”.

  2. What if you don’t live in Texas? I’m in PA. What should I do with old pills, etc. for my sister who passed and had cancer?

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