Friday, March 6, 2020

Opioid disposal

Q: 32 year old male is getting directly discharged from ICU to home. Patient has been prescribed oral narcotics for postop pain. FDA recommends to educate patients on safe opioid disposal. Per FDA guidelines, opioid drugs can be disposed of by flushing down the sink or toilet?

A) True
B) False

Answer: A

It may sound inappropriate but so far FDA still approves of disposing of most opioid drugs by flushing down the sink or toilet (list is available in the reference). Other recommended methods are taking excess opioids to US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) authorized take back locations, which are usually pharmacies or police stations. Also, opioids can be combined with an unpalatable substance and placed in a sealed container in household trash.


Reference: (last accessed March 5, 2020)

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