I have several bottles of Robitussin liquid that are dated in 2008. Do I have to throw them away or are they possibly still good? Thanks! Beth
I always say, when in doubt "TOSS IT OUT!", when it comes to medications you should never take the chance of the chemical structure having changed during the time it sat in your cupboard, or if the temperature changed it, moisture, heat and humidity can alter drugs of any kind, and once you've reached that expiration date, it's likely you'll be taking a chance of getting either very ill or at the very least you'll get no reaction at all. I personally would not take that risk. Please toss it out, this is already 2010, that's two years longer than I would ever keep any medications. Good luck, and buy some new Robitussin if you need some. Have a great day!
There is a good chance that the Robitussin is still good, on the flip side why take anything (especially medications that are no good and might even make you sicker as thier chemical make-up can actually change over a period of time) I say better safe than sorry. Bring them out to the trash! Dump the fluid down the drain first. You would not want a child and/ or pet to drink it! Hope that helps
I know I’m late to the game but I do want to provide another perspective for anyone else who might be searching this. I’m an MD/PhD student with significant training both in medicine and pharmacology/biochemistry, and I can assure you that it is *totally OK to take expired medications*. Unless you took those medications to space, in which case decomposition occurs much faster. Let me explain briefly why:
A law passed in 1979 requires all drug manufacturers to mark drugs with an expiration date that designates *full potency* is still maintained. While chemicals can undergo reactions, the rate at which they proceed in a closed environment at even room temperature is exceedingly slow, and the worst thing that can happen (with a few exceptions like nitroglycerin, insulin, possibly tetracycline, and some liquid antibiotics) is that some active chemical becomes inert. This will in no way make it harmful but rather cause the drug to lose some of its effectiveness.
The FDA knows this scientifically because of requests from the military (which has huge stockpiles of drugs that they’d otherwise have to throw out regularly) to study decomposition of pharmaceuticals and their related loss of potency. And what they found in a recent study where they looked at chemical integrity of 100 common drugs was that over 90% of them remained efficacious and safe *over 15 years after their expiration date*.
The one caveat to this is that common OTC drugs more often than not do not require a certain blood concentration to maintain effectiveness. Certain drugs (like blood thinners and cardiac medications) *do*. Robitussin, ibuprofen, and similar OTC medications fall into the former category. At worst, you will lose some small fraction of effectiveness, but it is in no way dangerous or futile to take it.
So in conclusion, original potency of a majority of OTC drugs will maintain near peak potency even a decade after expiration. Additionally, storing drugs at colder temperatures and away from light (like in the fridge) can extend their lives even longer.
- Robitussin Information for Consumers
- Robitussin Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Robitussin (detailed)
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