Recycled Refills

Thrifting and upcycling are so chic! But would you buy lightly used… medication?!?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Recycling gives things a second life. Cool idea! So why not recycle medicine?

Enter Dominic Bennet from the University of Liverpool in England. Bennet was looking for medications that can be repurposed to benefit the elderly.

Rilmenidine is a high blood pressure medication, but research hints it might have other uses. Researchers believe it promotes autophagy. This is a process that CLEARS cells of OLD proteins and molecules. Kind of like tossing those half-empty kombuchas out of the fridge. So Rilmenidine was given to microscopic worms, at different dosages. 


Certain dosages resulted in an almost twenty percent increase in lifespan! The researchers believe this could improve the quality of life for the elderly. 

So don’t send those old pill bottles to the dump! They might be able to help your older neighbor – Both a good vintage.


Bennett, D. F., Goyala, A., Statzer, C., Beckett, C. W., Tyshkovskiy, A., Gladyshev, V. N., Ewald, C. Y., & de Magalhães, J. P. (2023). Rilmenidine extends lifespan and healthspan in caenorhabditis elegans via a nischarin i1 ‐imidazoline receptor. Aging Cell.