Donating Medications & Drugs

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Donating/Selling Fertility Drugs?

What to do with extra needles/meds from IVF cycle?

May 2013

For those who have gone through the IVF cycle, what did you do with your extra needles/meds from your IVF Cycle? I have a couple unopened cartridges of Follistim, several vials of Menopur and a one ganerellix left. What did you do with your left over stuff? praying for a miracle

I gave the leftover meds back to my fertility clinic. I asked that they donate them to a patient in need, but I don't know if that happened. Best Wishes

I gave my unopened meds back to the fertility clinic so they could give them to other patients for free. Good luck!

We took our extra needles to the Berkeley Needle Exchange. We just dropped them off during one of the times their clinics were open. They were very happy to have them. We gave our extra medications to a friend who was going through IVF. If you don't know anyone, maybe you've gotten friendly with some of the other women who you see in the waiting room all the time? Best of luck getting pregnant!

I mailed everything back to the company (we got our meds from an online pharmacy). Anon

Please contact fertile They are a non profit that provides support for cancer patients facing infertility resulting from treatment. been there

Dispensed medication, even unopened or unused cannot be given or donated or used. Even if you return them or give them to the clinic they legally must dispose of the medication as they have no guarantees of any tampering, actual age, etc. The El Cerrito recycling center will safely dispose of your used/unused needles and also has medication disposal on site. just drop by and you can dispose of all of this easily. anon

August 2005

I have an unopened package of injectable fertility medication (Follistim) left over from infertility treatments last winter. It expires next spring, before I'd be ready to try for another kid. It cost me about $300 - is there some legal way to sell or donate it, given that it's a prescription med? I hate to just throw it away. If I can't re-sell, maybe there's a program that helps people who can't afford fertility meds or something like that?

My doctor's office was willing to pass along my still-sealed meds to patients who needed them. If you think the medical practice is organized enough to do that, you might call and see if they'll take them off your hands and give them to someone who's struggling to pay for their treatments. Anon

Depending on where you bought them some places will refund you - i know does. Or i would return them to your doctor. Personally i would be worried about liability giving them or selling them personally. ivf mama

There is a yahoo groups list for women experiencing infertility, and they maintain a list of members who do not have insurance coverage for medication and would like donated fertility meds: Hope this helps. Anon

I gave mine back to my doctor and told him to give it to someone who could not afford it. m

Safe Way to Dispose of Expired Prescriptions

Dec 2012

I have a bottle of antibiotics that need disposing and a medicine cabinet of expired pills etc. Does anyone know how/where i can dispose of these items? I live in Albany, so as close as possible Thanks!

You can take them to the El Cerrito Recycling Center on Schmidt Lane. You need to put pills in a plastic zip lock bag first. They have a bin on the right hand side as you drive in that takes old drugs. Gary

While I've occasionally disposed of expired medicines when there have been announced drop-offs (most recently when the Kensington Fire Dept. had one), the new pharmacy (Sal's) at the top of Solano (so just up the street from Albany) has a placard noting that they take old prescription medicine for disposal at any time. This is the store that replaced the old dance studio, next to the Verizon store (replaced the old video store) and the Post Office (long-threatened with closure, still there). Albanian

Do not throw old medicines, syrups, etc. in the trash or down the toilet! This includes over the counter stuff like old aspirin, even strong herbal formualtions, vitamins, cosmetics, house cleaning supplies, artists acrylic paints, etc. etc.

Collect them and take them - along with all your old cans of paint, batteries, solvents, weed killers, the free Hazardous Waste site off HWY 880 at 23rd Avenue. They are now open Mon-Saturday 9AM - 1PM, I beleive. For RX medicines, maybe pharmacies will dispose of properly now if you return them. Also, contact the Ecology Center or to get more information.

It is so important not to poison future populations and fish and wildlife with our toxic stew when things breakdown in soil and water. Judy

Look at this page to see where pharmaceuticals can be dropped off: Also - EBMUD usually has a collection bin at Solano Stroll (I know that's a while away), and every so often Albany has a collection at the Senior Center, so you might call them and see if one is scheduled. R.K.

The new, amazing El Cerrito recycling center on Schmidt takes expired medication. El Cerritan

March 2009

I have several bottles of expired prescription medication that I would like to dispose of safely (ie not throw down the drain or in the garbage). I heard that Elephant Pharmacy offered a disposal program, but now that they are closed, does anyone know of another place I can bring these medications for safe disposal? Thanks, Mindy

I had prescription narcotics to dispose of and couldn't find anyone who would take them. What I was finally told to do was to crush them up (in double ziploc bag), mix them with something unappealing, like coffee grounds, and put the mixture in the garbage. Erin

I learned this trick from the East Bay MUD web site: Get a container (maybe like a 2-quart Nancy's Yogurt container or a half-gallon milk carton), fill it with cat litter, and bury the medicines in it. Then just throw it in your trash. The cat litter is to discourage people from getting it from your trash to eat it. Of course if you have little kids then I'd put it in the outside trash can just before pick-up so they won't get into it. Francesca

If you can wait until September, the EBMUD booth at Solano Stroll has done this the last few years. You could call them to find out if they offer the service at other times/places. R.K.

You are correct not to throw the medicines into the water system, so bravo! As a Hospice nurse, we instruct folks to dissolve them in some water, pour into kitty litter and put in the garbage can. anon

To safely dispose of meds you no longer need or want, visit for a participating pharmacy in your area. Thanks for helping to keep chemicals out of our landfills and water supply!

Last year I read in Readymade magazine that the best way to self-dispose of prescriptions is to add a tablespoon of baking flour and a tablespoon of water to the bottle, shake and toss the container in the garbage. Perhaps you can combine multiple pills into one container for tossing and recycle the others? Be sure to tear off the label with your personal information and shred it. New Mom

Municipalities and pharmacies that will take unwanted/unused/ expired meds vary- and there are LOTS of options in the Bay Area. Visit this website to search by location: and if you are looking to dispose of controlled substances (think DEA) wait for an advertised take-back event that has police presence and where these drugs can be legally received and disposed of. anon

You can dispose of old prescription medication at the West Contra Costa Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 101 Pittsburg Avenue, Richmond (off of the Richmond Parkway). They are open Thursdays, Fridays and the 1st Saturday of each month from 9am-4pm (closed 12-12:30 for lunch). DC

I just got a mailer saying that Central Contra Costa Sanitary District set up three sites for pharmaceutical collection:
- Walnut Creek City Hall 1666 N. Main St, Walnut Creek
- Contra Costa Regional Medical Center Sheriff's Substation 2500 Alhambra Ave, Martinez
- Sheriff's Field Operations Building 1980 Muir Rd, Martinez Drop off M-F 8-5. They want pills transferred to a plastic bag to ensure privacy. Liquid Medication bottles should be sealed in plastic bag to prevent spills.

March 2007

any advice on how to best dispose of medicine? my 8 year old received 2 scrips for anti-biotic liquids to help her with bladder infections during the past year. the problem is now solved and the medicine is surely past its best days in any case. i want to get rid of it. of course i am hesitant to just pour it down the drain and almost as hesitant to just dump it into the ground somewhere. anyone have any better ideas? thanks a bunch.

Glad you asked, because as you know it is SOOOO important to keep these medications and other over-the-counter medications our of our landfills and wastewater systems. The wastewater treatment plants really don't have a good way to get these materials out of the waste stream and they end up being discharged to the Bay. So, given that challenge, here is info on how to dispose of medictations and other household hazardous wastes - something we all can do to help our kid's world.

I have dropped off old paint and chemicals and medications (OTC and prescription) at the Household Hazardous waste sites before and it is very easy to do. I just called Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Program to double-check. First - you can call your local pharmacies to see if they take unused pharmacuticals. Many do.

Second - IF you live in Alameda COunty, you can check out to see other locations in Alameda County for dropping off prescription meds and over the counter drugs(You have to be a COunty residnet to drop off there). There are a couple in the City of Alameda.

Third - You can bring those items and any other haz waste items that you or your Alameda County neighbors have to the Household Haz Waste drop off centers in Oakland, Hayward and Livermore. You don't even have to get out of your car. They just open up your trunk or hatch and take them out for you. It is VERY easy. Here is the link to those sites: This is the place to take batteries (also Walgreens stores, perhaps) and flourescent lights, etc.

Fourth - The Hayward Household Haz Waste drop off site is now open EVERY Th, Fri and Sat from 9 am to 1 pm. It is on West Winton Ave. See this site for the map.

If you don't live in Alameda COunty, call or google your own county's solid waste department to see where you can drop off your household wastes. Thanks for doing your part to keep medications out of the environment! Another parent for the Bay

Check out the Disposal Events at EBMUD's Save the Bay/Keep it Clean website: At the moment, it looks like there are two pharmacies in Alameda that take old medicine (and presumably dispose of it properly, I don't know how...). Also, EBMUD usually has a booth at the Solano Stroll, where they take old medicine and mercury thermometers (and they'll give you a free digital thermometer for the mercury one). So, if you can wait until September, you can always attend the Stroll and drop off your old meds at the same time. Karen

Officially, meds are now considered ''hazardous waste'', and are supposed to be disposed of accordingly. Down the drain ends up in the bay (current waste water treatment facilities don't filter them out), and garbage in the ground. I know that's not much help, but there you go! R.K.

I think that the recommended method of disposal is to pour the liquid into something absorbent [a paper towel or something] and then dispose of it into the regular trash. If you have pills, you crush them, make a liquid and do the same. Most organizations won't accept open medicine donations; we often got that question at the Berkeley Free Clinic from well-meaning folks who really felt bad disposing of something that was still good. What a dilemna. Jean

Most pharmacies now have drug recycling programs. They will take back your expired medication and dispose of it in the proper manner. anon

What a good question! You're right--medicine should absolutely never be dumped down the drain. Our sewage treatment processes don't touch them, so they end up in our waterways, wreaking havoc and moving up the food chain. Strictly speaking, you have take them to a hazardous waste disposal center to be incinerated. You can just add those little bottles to the leftover computer parts, paint, roach killer, and cleaners that you're saving up for a big trip. Loosely speaking, my pharmacist has told me that, for some medicines (especially short-lived medicines that have expired) you can put corn starch or sawdust or something inside to soak up extra liquid, seal it really well, and throw it away. I'd be really careful with that approach, and probably wouldn't ever do it with something like a steroid (groundwater pollution from landfills is a real problem), but it's definitely better than the drain. No dumping-drains to bay

March 2007

Can anyone recommend a safe, ecological, environmentally mindful way to dispose of old/unwanted prescription medications? We've phoned several local pharmacies, but they don't have a clue. Thanks! Grandma who just cleaned out the medicine cabinet, taDA!!

Check out which is a link for West Contra Costa County Household Hazardous Waste Facility (1-888-412-9277) for how to recycle OTC and prescription drugs. eve

Donating Unopened or Unexpired Medications

What to do with unused Domperidone?

Jan 2011

I used Domperidone to boost my milk production for breastfeeding, which is a drug I got online from New Zealand because it's not approved by the FDA in the US. I have a bunch of pills left that I won't use and that don't expire for another year, but I have no idea what to do with them. I am not hooked into the lactation community on the East Bay so don't really know of anyone that could use them. Any ideas for lactation consultants or others who I can contact to put the pills to good use? Thanks. anon

I'd be happy to buy it from you (or you could post on the message boards at -- a web site for non-bio breastfeeding).

Donating unused, opened medications

June 2007

I seem to recall hearing about being able to donate opened medications (non-narcotic) (eg. when no longer needed, or after a family member has died). Does anyone know where I can make this kind of donation? Thank you anon

Vida 6251 Hollis Street Emeryville CA 510-655-8432 will accept meidcal supplies and medication. They ship them to South American Clinics. Kathy

My fertility doctor gave me some free stuff. Someone had left over drugs and gave 'em to her to pass on & she did. Saved me a mint! So, my advice is to give it to the doctor who perscribed it. Because lots of us are broke!