What should you do with expired or unused medicines? Do not throw them away but take them to the pharmacy!

date: 18/07/2022

Expired or unused medicines do not belong in your home pharmacy as they can be dangerous for your own health. Disposing of medicines in the rubbish bin, the sink or the toilet can also be dangerous for the environment. Therefore, bring your expired or unused medicines to the pharmacy. The pharmacist will take care of the destruction of the medicines.

Regularly check the expiry date on the packaging: "EXP" or "verwendbar bis" followed by the two digits of the month and the four digits of the expiry year. This also applies to preparations made by the pharmacist. After this date, you should return the medicine to the pharmacy.

Some medicines (such as eye drops, nose drops and antibiotic syrups) have a limited shelf life after opening. This shelf life after opening is indicated on the leaflet or on the packaging. Write the date of opening on the packaging of these medicines. This way you can calculate how long you may still use these medicines. Once the expiry date has passed, you must also return these medicines to the pharmacy.

Bring these medicines to the pharmacy:

  • unused pills, suppositories, capsules in their strip or bottle,
  • leftover syrups and liquid medicines in their original bottles,
  • leftover semi-liquid medicines in a tube,
  • residues from sprays and aerosols,
  • unused drug patches.

Remove the packaging box and the leaflet yourself to facilitate the pharmacist's work. Non-medicinal products (needles, chemical residues, cosmetic residues, dietary and baby food, vitamin preparations, herbal products, radiographs) are not taken back by the pharmacist.

Do not dispose of antibiotic residues with the household waste. Through the waste, they end up in surface water, where they come into contact with bacteria. This promotes resistance. Because surface water is used for watering our crops, for swimming and water sports, but also for the production of drinking water, people come into contact with resistant bacteria. If we then contract an infection with such a resistant bacterium, the antibiotic may no longer be effective enough and we may become very ill.

More information
Expired or unused medicines


Last updated on 18/07/2022