You've had an unfortunate condition for a while and have been prescribed medication to help deal with it; fortunately now though you have recovered from the problem and finished the course of medication you were recommended. Good times. Problem is though, you still have some left in the packet – so how do you safely dispose of them?
The simple answer? You DON'T. Trying to dispose of the medication yourself can lead to many problems both for you and others and there are lots of good reasons you shouldn't do this. Rather, you should simply take the left over meds back to your chemist or doctor and allow them to dispose of it for you (normally by incinerating it).
Why You Shouldn't Dispose of Medications Yourself
So why not just drop your left over antibiotics or antidepressants in the dustbin? The long and the short of it is that they are quite simply dangerous. Of course you don't want your children or pets getting at your medication and if they're in an uncovered bin then this is a very real threat. Even if you put them in a bin bag though, you then have the danger that tramps will find them either outside your house or possibly even at the skip and this can lead to an addiction or just to them hanging around outside your home. Meanwhile this also puts animals in danger, both animals rummaging through the bins or again at the skip.
So what about flushing them down the toilet? Well again you then have the danger of it getting eaten by animals in the sewers, and on top of that a risk of it entering the water supply and causing problems that way (just as the water reportedly now contains oestrogen thanks to the disposal of too many female hormone products).
And even burning the medication yourself runs the risk that some will survive, and that potentially dangerous fumes could enter the atmosphere. As such you are safest and best advised to always dispose of medications by returning them to the pharmacist only.