Tags: drug | safety | expiration | dates | prescriptions

Are Expired Medications OK to Take?

Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 01:24 PM


Confusion abounds among consumers over expiration dates on drugs. Although the FDA has required manufacturers to put expiration dates on over-the-counter and prescription drugs since 1979, few consumers actually know what they mean and are confused over whether or not an expired drug is safe, according to an article published in The Wall Street Journal.

An expiration date, says Sharon Bergquist, assistant professor of medicine at Emory University, "is the final date up to which the manufacturer will guarantee that medicine has full potency. But that doesn't mean that is the day that medication will become ineffective or unsafe."

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Generally, the date stamped on a drug is conservative, and although most pharmacists put a "discard by" date on a prescription, Dr. Bergquist says little research has been conducted on how effective or safe the drug is after its expiration date. "It very well could be that a medication is good for 10 more years."

A study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2006 analyzed 122 drugs and found that 88 percent of them were effective for an average of 66 months past their expiration date.

Tablets and capsules tend to have longer shelf lives than other medications, says Dr. Bergquist, and liquids and those that need to be refrigerated are the drugs most likely not to be effective past their expiration date and should be replaced.

To read the complete article from The Wall Street Journal, go here.



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Confusion abounds among consumers over expiration dates on drugs. Although the FDA has required manufacturers to put expiration dates on over-the-counter and prescription drugs since 1979, few consumers actually know what they mean and are confused over whether or not an...
drug, safety, expiration, dates, prescriptions
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2014-24-26
Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 01:24 PM
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