Q. Can you make medications safe to flush into the waste stream by using chemicals?
A. It is possible, experts on drug chemistry say, but the very wide variety of drugs and their chemical structures make it unlikely that an individual could accomplish this safely and effectively at home.
In fact, the Food and Drug Administration publishes a list of drugs that it recommends disposing of without treatment by flushing down the toilet or drain as soon as they are no longer needed, if an authorized collector is not available.
“Based on the available data, F.D.A. believes that the known risk of harm to humans from accidental exposure to these medicines far outweighs any potential risk to humans or the environment from flushing them,” the agency says in a fact sheet.
Some of these drugs, like strong pain medications, can be dangerous or even fatal if a single dose is taken accidentally. Flushing removes them safely and permanently from the home, ...