powered by centersite dot net
Medications
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Few Older Patients Aware of DeprescribingHealth Tip: Medication Suggestions for Older AdultsPhysicians Tweeting About Drugs May Have Conflict of InterestWhite Kids More Likely to Get Unneeded AntibioticsNew Cholesterol Drugs Vastly Overpriced, Study ContendsFDA May Limit 'Risk Info' in Direct-to-Consumer TV Drug AdsHealth Tip: Throwing Out Leftover MedicineFDA Announces Recall of Some Liquid Pharmaceutical ProductsIs FDA Taking Close Enough Look at Fast-Tracked Drugs?U.S. Antidepressant Use Jumps 65 Percent in 15 YearsThe Fine Print on Medication Expiration DatesAmericans Taking More Prescription Drugs Than Ever: SurveyInappropriate Med Use High in Cognitively Impaired SeniorsA Reminder That Meds and Grapefruit Don't Always MixAspirin Responsiveness Can Change After Bariatric SurgerySome Medicines Boost Sensitivity to SunPainkiller Prescriptions More Prone to Errors If HandwrittenMedication Mistakes Have Doubled in U.S. Since 2000: StudyMarket Competition Linked to Change in Generic Drug PricesIs Your Child's 'Penicillin Allergy' Real?FDA Seeks to Increase Number of Generic Drugs on MarketWhen Is an Opioid Safe to Take?Lifesaving Drugs From Pfizer in Short Supply: FDALeading U.S. Doctors' Group Takes Aim at Rising Drug PricesU.S. Hospitals Still Prescribe Too Many Antibiotics: StudyBirth Control Pills Recalled Due to Danger of Unintended PregnancyNew Drugs Show Promise as First to Prevent MigraineMedication Adherence Up With Refill Synchronization ModelModified Vancomycin May Help Fight Bacterial ResistanceScientists Tweak Antibiotic to Boost Power Against 'Superbugs'New Cholesterol Fighting Meds Target Key GeneResearchers Say PDE5 Inhibitors Don't Cause MelanomaNearly a Third of Drugs Hit by Safety Issues After FDA ApprovalU.S. Moves to Avert Shortage of Yellow Fever VaccineOpioid Use by Iraq, Afghanistan War Vets Mirrors Rest of U.S.: StudyApril 29 Is National Prescription Drug Take Back DayERs Administering More Medications IntranasallyFDA Warns Against Children Taking Codeine, TramadolPhysicians Finding Ways to Work Around Cost of Rx MedicationsRuling Out Penicillin Allergy by Testing Inpatients Saves MoneyEpiPen Out-of-Pocket Costs More Than Doubled Over DecadeAACR: Regular Aspirin Use Linked to Lower Cancer MortalityFDA Approves Noctiva Nasal Spray for Nocturnal PolyuriaFDA Approves Odactra for House Dust Mite AllergiesHow Much Melatonin Is Really in That Supplement?Antidepressant Efficacy Varies for Depressive Symptom ClustersDo You Need an Antibiotic?'Off-Label' Antidepressants Common, But Where's the Evidence?Docs More Likely to Prescribe Antibiotics If Patients Expect ThemSimilar Adverse Event Risk for Typical, Atypical Antipsychotics
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Anxiety Disorders
Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Mental Disorders
Mental Health Professions

The Fine Print on Medication Expiration Dates

HealthDay News
by By Julie Davis
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Aug 4th 2017

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Aug. 4, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The expiration dates on over-the-counter and prescription medications seem pretty black and white, but there's some question about whether drugs last even longer.

Expiration dates typically range from 12 to 60 months after production. But manufacturers aren't required to determine how long they'll remain potent after that, enabling them to set their own expiration dates.

Testing reported in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that eight medications with 15 different active ingredients were still potent decades beyond their expiration dates.

The U.S. government's 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 meds in your home? A lot depends on how carefully you store them -- you probably don't do as good a job as the U.S. Army. That's why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends never taking drugs beyond their expiration date -- it's just too risky. In particular, nitroglycerin, insulin and liquid antibiotics shouldn't 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 isn't a good environment.

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

More information

Read the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's position on the hazards of taking expired drugs, as well as safe ways to dispose of them.