This is one of the issues with prescription medications and use by dates. The US military conducted a study and found that some medicines were good for 15 years while others were already starting to decompose at their use by date. The decomposition varies from the pill. It may crumble easily. It may be losing effectiveness and in some cases decomposes into different substances; the safety of which is unknown. Unfortunately the military does not want to share this knowlege.
My advice would have to be: stay away from medication that is more than 6 months past it's use-by. If it is important or already has noticeable side effects; the use by should be the use by.
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