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View Full Version : Can I return extra prescription medication?


Ruffian
12-26-2007, 10:17 PM
Before my back surgery--before I even had an MRI--the pain specialist gave me the largest prescription I have ever received: 360 pills of Gabapentin/Neurontin, to be taken 3 times a day. These are big pills, so this means left the pharmacy with FOUR of the BIG prescription bottles, and a receipt saying it was $437 worth of meds (amazingly, my copay was just $5). I walked out of Walgreens looking like I'd had a very sucessful night of prescription trick-or-treating.

Now that I'm post-op (and in significantly less pain--as in, 90% of it was gone the moment I left the hospital), I have serious doubts I will ever use at least 180 of those pills. Heck, I'm only halfway through the first bottle, and I doubt I'll finish it.

Considering the cost, it seems a colossal waste not to use the pills--but I don't intend to take what I don't need. What is done with $400 worth of pills, esp. if three of the bottles are untouched?

I doubt this is the case, but can the pills be returned? If not, what do I do with them?

Speaker for the Dead
12-26-2007, 10:29 PM
You can return them. I think they destroy them, but it's much healthier than dumping them into the water or giving them out on Hallowe'en.

I did this with my (much smaller) prescription of addictive painkillers after my wisdom-teeth surgery.

Joey P
12-26-2007, 10:30 PM
I doubt this is the case, but can the pills be returned? If not, what do I do with them?
YES!, you can return the pills, but the pharmacist will simply dispose of them, they won't be re-used. In fact, round here the city would prefer you do that then flush them since it winds up in the lake.

Joey P
12-26-2007, 10:31 PM
You can return them. I think they destroy them, but it's much healthier than dumping them into the water or giving them out on Hallowe'en.

I did this with my (much smaller) prescription of addictive painkillers after my wisdom-teeth surgery.
Did what? Dumped them or gave them out for Halloween?

Hirka T'Bawa
12-26-2007, 10:35 PM
If your looking for a refund for them, that you can't get. Pharmacies can not take back medication after it has left their sight. However, if you just want to dispose of them, you can bring them to your local pharmacy and they can put it with their damaged pills to be sent back to the distributor for credit. (how much credit? I haven't the slightest clue)

Ruffian
12-26-2007, 10:40 PM
No no, I don't want a refund (it was only $5 to me, remember?)--and I know better than to flush them down the toilet or throw them away. But it seems so wasteful for the pills to be "disposed of," regardless of method or who does it. Ah well.

Joey P
12-26-2007, 10:53 PM
No no, I don't want a refund (it was only $5 to me, remember?)--and I know better than to flush them down the toilet or throw them away. But it seems so wasteful for the pills to be "disposed of," regardless of method or who does it. Ah well.
:smack: I just remembered, there are places that will take them so they won't be wasted. Now if I only remembered who it was. Battered women shelters maybe?

Speaker for the Dead
12-26-2007, 11:08 PM
Did what? Dumped them or gave them out for Halloween?
Put them in the kids' Kool-Aid. It made for a relaxing night.

Joey P
12-26-2007, 11:10 PM
Put them in the kids' Kool-Aid. It made for a relaxing night.
Putting them in your own kool-aid has a simlar effect.

Tapioca Dextrin
12-26-2007, 11:19 PM
:smack: I just remembered, there are places that will take them so they won't be wasted.

There are places that will take random pills in an opened bottle from strangers? :dubious:

Contrapuntal
12-26-2007, 11:30 PM
There are places that will take random pills in an opened bottle from strangers? :dubious:I think they're called "street corners."

BaneSidhe
12-26-2007, 11:32 PM
Take your unused meds to your local Health Rite office. The staff there offers health care and medicines for people who can't afford to go to a more expensive doctor. I know a lady who has used this service for a long time and she has told me that if there wasn't any such service she'd be absolutely unable to afford her medicines.

ENugent
12-26-2007, 11:48 PM
I don't know if this applies to either of the medicines you're taking, but I have heard that sometimes veterinary clinics will take unused medicines that are also effective in animals.

Speaker for the Dead
12-27-2007, 12:00 AM
Putting them in your own kool-aid has a simlar effect.
Hmm, good point. It'd be cheaper, too.

panache45
12-27-2007, 06:14 AM
How old are you? Believe me, you'll develop other ailments that require pain killers. Patience.

Fear Itself
12-27-2007, 07:15 AM
Take your unused meds to your local Health Rite office. The staff there offers health care and medicines for people who can't afford to go to a more expensive doctor. I know a lady who has used this service for a long time and she has told me that if there wasn't any such service she'd be absolutely unable to afford her medicines.I am pretty sure that would be against FDA regulations. Charitable organizations sometimes get drugs donated by the manufacturer or hospitals (http://accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=203.39&SearchTerm=donation), but I seriously doubt they are allowed to accept donations of unused drugs from individuals.

vetbridge
12-27-2007, 10:51 AM
I don't know if this applies to either of the medicines you're taking, but I have heard that sometimes veterinary clinics will take unused medicines that are also effective in animals.
?Really? I don't doubt that there could be a situation like this in a third world country, but I have never heard of anything like this in the US. In fact, if I dispense meds from my practice and the animal dies that same day, medication returned would be disposed of into a sharps container for incineration.
ETA: maybe an animal shelter would take/use/dispense drugs like that.

freckafree
12-27-2007, 11:10 AM
Ohio just passed legislation that allows unused medications to be donated to non-profit clinics and the like. (It has to be unopened, and I think the donor has to take it to a pharmacy, and they get it to the appropriate outlets.)

I wonder is CA has something similar?

bordelond
12-27-2007, 11:44 AM
Is there anyway to check the unused medicine, pill by pill, for evidence of tampering? Pass the pills under a UV light or something? (Which would probably damage/neutralize some medicines, but still)

Fear Itself
12-27-2007, 12:29 PM
Ohio just passed legislation that allows unused medications to be donated to non-profit clinics and the like. (It has to be unopened, and I think the donor has to take it to a pharmacy, and they get it to the appropriate outlets.)What do you mean "unopened" ? All of my prescriptions come with a child guard cap, and there is no way to tell if it has be previously opened. This still sounds unlikely to me.

Dewey Finn
12-27-2007, 12:33 PM
Some medicines come in blister packs, so those might be able to be used by someone else.

Joey P
12-27-2007, 12:38 PM
Is there anyway to check the unused medicine, pill by pill, for evidence of tampering? Pass the pills under a UV light or something? (Which would probably damage/neutralize some medicines, but still)
Yes, I just saw something on the news about a machine that can analyze pills, while still in the bottle to make sure they are what they say they are. It's designed to check for conterfeit pills, but I'm sure it would work for that.

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