How do you dispose of EpiPens if expired or used?
The answer is not simple. Epinephrine is a prescription drug that is administered by needle injection; also known as an auto-injector. Some examples are: EpiPen and Twinject. Needles are considered hazardous waste; there are regulations for the disposal of sharp objects. Regulations vary, but many areas prohibit placement in household waste either due to the presence of medication, a needle, or both.
Where should I dispose of my EpiPens?
Unfortunately, the answer varies depending on where you are located. Some of the possible options are:
- Physicians, hospitals, and pharmacies often have safe sharp disposal bins. Some, but not all, will accept EpiPens for disposal
- Designated collection sites that accept needles etc. These may be physician offices, hospitals, community centers, police or fire stations.
- Hazardous waste centers that accept used needles etc.
- Nurses offices at schools sometimes use expired EpiPens for training. They will then take care of safe disposal.
- Mail back programs; they are very expensive, and only useful if you have a lot of needles.
Who should I contact for more information?
- Contact your local trash service, city or county waste department, or public health department and ask about drop off locations
- For your specific state guidelines, visit Centers for Disease Control needle disposal website
- Ask your health care provider or local pharmacist if they can dispose of your used EpiPen, or if they know of safe disposal programs near you
- Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal
- Visit Earth 911 and search by area for a needle disposal program near you