FDA Guidance on Fentanyl Patch Disposal

FDA recommends disposing of used patches by folding them in half with the sticky sides together, and then flushing them down a toilet. They should not be placed in the household trash where children or pets can find them.

FDA recognizes that there are environmental concerns about flushing medicines down the toilet. However, FDA believes that the risk associated with accidental exposure to this strong narcotic medicine outweighs any potential risk associated with disposal by flushing. When the patches are no longer needed, disposing by flushing completely eliminates the risk of harm to people in the home.

FDA has included fentanyl patches on a list of medicines that should be flushed down a toilet because they could be especially harmful, and possibly fatal, in a single dose if used by someone other than the person for whom the medicine was prescribed.