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Medication has a date of 9/ 2016 when I went to the clinic on 20/2016 is this normal?

Responses (2)

Stephen Treloar 12 Oct 2016

I'm taking a stab in the dark here but I think you mean the medication has an expiry of 9/2016 and you were given that medication in 10/2016. Yes it is at the end of it's life but they are unlikely to give you something that really has to be thrown out to the use by or best before date. I would feel quite confident taking it.

Windchimes123 12 Oct 2016

Hi,
I read the only meds that you really need to be concerned about are:
Insulin
Nitro pills
Liquid Antibiotics

Stephen, do you agree?

Stephen Treloar 12 Oct 2016

Dry IV antibiotics have a pretty definitive best before date. I have a small pile of Cefazolin 2000 mg for IV use; It has really prominent specific warnings about not using it at all after a certain date.

For some medications I have noticed that the more complex the compound and ones with really specific storage temperatures are often ones where it is important not to use after the best before date. ANY medication, once the seal has been broken should be used should be used within the time frame specified by the product information leaflet. If any of my medication is dispensed in a heavy foil lined bag, then the best before date automatically becomes 'dispose of safely by returning it to the dispensing pharmacy'.

At the same time (when I was allowed to take Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen), I had no qualms at all taking 5 year old tablets as long as the blister pack seal had not been broken.

Windchimes123 12 Oct 2016

Stephen,
Did you see a report I posted this week on the history of the expiration date ?

Stephen Treloar 12 Oct 2016

If it was here could you send me the link? I'd be very interested. Thank you.

Windchimes123 12 Oct 2016

Sure...
Give me a few to find it.

WildcatVet 14 Oct 2016

*It turns out that the expiration date on a drug does stand for something, but probably not what you think it does. Since a law was passed in 1979, drug manufacturers are required to stamp an expiration date on their products. This is the date at which the manufacturer can still guarantee the full potency and safety of the drug.

Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military. With a large and expensive stockpile of drugs, the military faced tossing out and replacing its drugs every few years. What they found from the study is 90% of more than 100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, were perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration date.

So the expiration date doesn't really indicate a point at which the medication is no longer effective or has become unsafe to use. Medical authorities state expired drugs are safe to take, even those that expired years ago. A rare exception to this may be tetracycline, but the report on this is controversial among researchers. It's true the effectiveness of a drug may decrease over time, but much of the original potency still remains even a decade after the expiration date. Excluding nitroglycerin, insulin, and liquid antibiotics, most medications are as long-lasting as the ones tested by the military. Placing a medication in a cool place, such as a refrigerator, will help a drug remain potent for many years.*

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