Recycling Drugs: A New Innovation

An advancement in the pharmaceutical world is taking place, and you should know about it! Solid drug waste is starting to be recycled! For acetaminophen, tetracycline, and ibuprofen, 66.5% of the drug was recovered on average. Most drugs are disposed of in the trash, toilet, or an incinerator and this is already causing major pollution including contamination of drinking supplies. The process of recovering medicine is quite simple. Laboratories disintegrate the tablet, dissolve it in a solution, and filter out any remaining precipitate. Then, crystals should begin to form as the solvent dissolves and the pure drug is recovered. This process is very tedious, however, because the crystallization must be rotated at a specific rpm to produce the correct powder and stored at a very specific temperature, so the final product is crystalline and not amorphous. You should dispose all of your drugs at an FDA approved drug disposal site. Hopefully within a decade these sites will not simply dispose of the drugs but also recycle them!


ACS Omega, Recovery of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients from Unused Solid Dosage-Form Drugs,