Can you take medications past their expiration date? – WBTW – Myrtle Beach and Florence SC

Posted: August 5, 2017 at 10:45 pm

(CBS) The expiration dates onover-the-counterandprescription medicationsseem pretty black and white, but theres some question about whether drugs last even longer.

Expiration dates typically range from 12 to 60 months after production. But manufacturers arent required to determine how long theyll remain potent after that, enabling them to set their own expiration dates and possibly shortchange consumers.

Testing reported inJAMA Internal Medicineshowed that eight medications with 15 different active ingredients were still potent decades beyond their expiration dates.

The U.S. governments own Shelf Life Extension Program extends the dates on some drugs in federal stockpiles to save the military from the cost of replacing them. Its own study found that 90 percent of more than 100 drugs were perfectly good even 15 years after expiration.

But what about the medications in your home?

A lot depends on how carefully you store them you probably dont do as good a job as the U.S. Army. Thats why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends never taking drugs beyond their expiration date its just too risky. In particular, nitroglycerin,insulinand liquidantibioticsshouldnt be used after their expiration dates.

To safeguard all medications, protect them from heat, light and humidity by keeping them in a cool, dry, dark place. A steamy bathroom isnt a good environment.

Know, too, that some drugs can lose their potency more quickly than others, includingaspirin. If you take aspirin for heart health, be sure to replace it as needed.

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Can you take medications past their expiration date? - WBTW - Myrtle Beach and Florence SC

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