Over the past few years, pharmaceuticals are considered as an emerging environmental problem due to their continuous input and persistence to the aquatic ecosystem even at low concentrations. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are technologies based on the intermediacy of hydroxyl and other radicals to oxidize recalcitrant, toxic and non-biodegradable compounds to various by-products and eventually to inert end-products. The environmental applications of AOPs are numerous, including water and wastewater treatment (i.e. removal of organic and inorganic pollutants and pathogens), air pollution abatement and soil remediation. AOPs are applied for the abatement of pollution caused by the presence of residual pharmaceuticals in waters for the last decade. In this light, this paper reviews and assesses the effectiveness of various AOPs for pharmaceutical removal from aqueous systems.