Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Do expiration dates on pills mean squat?

Look on your amber bottles--you will see expiration dates. This has been required by the FDA since 1979.

What does it mean? Answer: The final date where the medicine will have full potency.

It does not mean the medicine is useless after that date. They actually don't test that. One Defense Dept study, though, showed some drugs in a stockpile were good 66 mos after the expire date.

Expiration dates are from a year to five years after manufacture.

Seventeen states put on a "Discard after..." This is required by those states--but there is little science behind it.

One doc says if your life depends on a drug--like an EpiPen--look at the date and replace. If it's cold pills, who cares if they are old.

Tablets and capsules tend to be most stable. Drugs that need to be refirgerated go bad sooner.

Ointments with crusts or crystals--toss.

People usually keep stuff around. One reason is people like me blogging that you can't throw it in the trash, no not the toilet either, etc.

So you put it back.

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