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Old 06-22-2010, 04:47 PM
AGreyMan AGreyMan is offline
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The below is mostly about the longevity of stored medications, but it also has some interesting information regarding the oft-repeated maxim that old tetracycline can kill you. I have bolded that part. It's interesting to note that it was ONE case, 47 years ago. Also, they sum up the whole article pretty well at the end.


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The Medical Letter

On Drugs and Therapeutics
www.medicalletter.org
Published by The Medical Letter, Inc. •1000 Main Street, New Rochelle, NY 10801 •A Nonprofit Publication
Vol. 44 (W1142B)
October 28, 2002
REPRODUCED FOR
ONLINE USERS
DRUGS PAST THEIR EXPIRATION DATE

Physicians and pharmacists are often asked if patients can use drugs after their expiration date. Pharmaceutical companies, because of legal restrictions and liability concerns, will not sanction such use and may not even comment on the safety or effectiveness of using their products beyond the date on the label.

THE EXPIRATION DATE — The expiration date on the manufacturer’s package is based on the stability of the drug in its original closed container. The date does not necessarily mean that the drug was found to be unstable after a longer period; it means only that real-time data or extrapolations from accelerated degradation studies indicate that the drug will still be stable at that date. The expiration date for new drugs is usually 2-3 years from the date of manufacture. Once the original container is opened for use or dispensing, the expiration date on the container no longer applies. Retail pharmacists who repackage drugs, in accordance with the standards of the US Pharmacopoeia (USP), label them with a "beyond-use" date, generally one year from the date the prescription is filled.

SAFETY — The only report of human toxicity that may have been caused by chemical or physical degradation of a pharmaceutical product is renal tubular damage that was associated with use of degraded tetracycline (GW Frimpter et al, JAMA 1963; 184:111). Current tetracycline preparations have been reformulated with different fillers to minimize degradation and are unlikely to have this effect.

STABILITY — Shelf life is the time a product, stored under reasonable conditions, is expected to remain stable (generally retain greater than 90% of potency) (B Kommanaboyina and CT Rhodes, Drug Dev Ind Pharm 1999; 25:857). Data from the Department of Defense/FDA Shelf Life Extension Program, which tests the stability of drug products past their expiration date, showed that 84% of 1,122 lots of 96 different drug products stored in military facilities in their unopened original containers would be expected to remain stable for an average of 57 months after their original expiration date (JS Taylor et al, 2002 FDA Science Forum Poster Abstract, Board AC-08, www.fda.gov, search "2002 FDA science forum"). Storage in high humidity may interfere with the dissolution characteristics of some oral formulations. In one published study, however, captopril (Capoten) tablets, flucloxacillin sodium (Flucloxin) capsules (a penicillin not available in the US), cefoxitin sodium (Mefoxin) powder for injection and theophylline (Theo-Dur) tablets stored under both ambient and "stress" (40C and 75% relative humidity) conditions remained chemically and physically stable for 1.5-9 years beyond their expiration dates (G Stark et al, Pharm J 1997; 258:637). Amantadine (Symmetrel) and rimantidine (Flumadine) remained stable after storage for 25 years under ambient conditions, and retained full antiviral activity after boiling and holding at 65-85C for several days (C Schol-tissek and RG Webster, Antiviral Res 1998; 38:213). In another report, theophylline retained 90% of potency for about 30 years (R Regenthal et al, Hum Exp Toxicol 2002; 21:343).

LIQUID DRUGS — Drugs in liquid form (solutions and suspensions) are not as stable as solid dosage forms. Suspensions are especially susceptible to freezing. Drugs in solution, particularly injectables, that have become cloudy or discolored or show signs of precipitation should not be used. When oral drugs are in solution with dyes, however, color changes may be due to degradation of the dye and not the drug. Epinephrine in EpiPen injections loses potency after its expiration date; in one study, 5 of 7 autoinjectors contained less than 90% of the labeled epinephrine content 10 months after the expiration date, without necessarily being discolored or showing signs of precipitation (FER Simons et al, J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000; 105:1025). Drugs prepared by addition of a solvent before dispensing or administration (such as suspensions of antibiotics for oral use or lyophilized drugs in vials for parenteral use) tend to be relatively unstable in the liquid state. With ophthalmic drugs, the limiting factor may not be the stability of the drug, but the continued ability of the preservative to inhibit microbial growth.

CONCLUSION — There are virtually no reports of toxicity from degradation products of outdated drugs. How much of their potency they retain varies with the drug and the storage conditions, especially humidity, but many drugs stored under reasonable conditions retain 90% of their potency for at least 5 years after the expiration date on the label, and sometimes much longer.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:11 PM
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Great post and great thread. I have been wondering that for a while since my family buys the GIGANTIC bottles of OTC meds. It's a couple of dollars more, and you get close to double. Now if I can just convince my wife of that. She likes to throw stuff away that is "old." Have stopped her and found that the stuff didn't expire for 6 more months. Oh well...
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:56 PM
AlishaNichole AlishaNichole is offline
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Great to know! I'm about to start stocking up on meds and am trying to do as much research as I can. Being as I have a close family member with a penicillin allergy, I'm glad that the cycline myth is overblown.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kregener View Post
Most prescriptions are toxic from the day the Pharmacist shoves them across the counter. They are designed to mask symptoms, not cure.

Find a cure.
penicillin does not mask your symptom it cures it...
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:40 PM
bayez bayez is offline
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As far as antibiotics,I won't take em...Also heard the toxic thing if stored too long...
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:49 PM
Nugor Nugor is offline
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Aspirin is good until it smells like vinegar. We have a bottle of uncoated aspirin bought in the late '80s that still seems to be potent, unless we are prey to the placebo effect. By uncoated I mean non-enteric coated.
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:02 AM
crasen crasen is offline
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Here is a good video with links from thepatriotnurse on you tube
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:17 PM
scon86 scon86 is offline
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most expiration dates are used to mark a drugs Efficacy, or the point where the medication is the most "potent". after this date most medications will start to degrade and lose its potency therefore the medication will still work but not to the full extent. why all types of medications are affected by heat and humidity, liquid medications are also affected by sun light, so storage is very important
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:19 AM
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Interesting thread.

I have a pretty good stock of broad spectrum antibiotics (Oxytetracycline) which I can rotate at the moment and are good on the packet until 2014, but should I not be able to add to/rotate them for any reason I would like to know how long they are 'good' for.

Any antibiotic is going to be useful if there are no docs or chemists for whatever reason.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:51 PM
Dude111 Dude111 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Josh
My grandma has meds that are over 20 years old, and she uses them every so often.

I think most meds have no expiration, but only have it on there so people buy more.
Exactly what I have always thought..... BIG PHARMA is greedy and wants you to keep spending $$$$
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Old 05-18-2019, 03:38 AM
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I have Hydrocodone pills that are over 10 years old and still work. I have 800mg Motrin pills that are almost 8 years old and they still work. But don't screw around with antibiotics, especially in liquid form. They'll go toxic from what I've heard.
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:53 AM
johnmcd johnmcd is offline
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Here's a good article on the subject of drug expiration dates:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...myth-than-fact

It re-iterates many of the points already made in this thread.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:40 AM
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While many meds keep longer than printed date, some out of date drugs are donated in third world countries, others do not. A couple that come to mind are nitro. And insulin which may have a printed date 3 years out, refrigerated, may keep only a month or so once opened. Lantus says to discard after 28 days after opening regardless of keeping it in a fridge.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:43 AM
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The VA hospital also researched this and found that after 10 years most drugs maintained most of there effectiveness. Antibiotics, Nitro and a few others you would not want to risk. The shame of all these drugs being thrown away is that they end up in our water supply. That is a large amount of drugs. Think of all those 30 day supplies that folks stopped taking after a week because they felt well.

I keep my medicines. In fact I have a supply of Oxy that is very old because I have about 6 kidney stones that could attack me at any moment and I would rather not stand in line at the ER ever again waiting for a pain pill. Getting a new supply of Oxy is impossible these days unless you present symptoms etc.
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:10 PM
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Heaththereef Heaththereef is offline
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A nurse friend of mine told me that for the most part medications dont really expire.
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Old 08-31-2019, 06:51 AM
Dude111 Dude111 is offline
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Nope its mostly Greed.......
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