Info About The Expiration Date On Medicine

 Should You Care About The Expiration Date On Medicine?
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Many people wonder about the expiration date on medicine like: Does acetaminophen or advil expire? or Does ibuprofen go bad? or What is the expiration date... and more of these kind of questions.

Expiration date has passed?

So what do you do when you discover that a medicine you want to take is expired? Or what if you want to purchase a large quantity of a drug?

Well, in general you don't have to worry about it and you can just take that medicine being out of date a few years.

What does the expiration date mean?

Well, until the expiration date, the manufacturer guarantees the full safety, strength, quality, and purity of the medicine, when it is properly stored according to its labeled storage conditions.

Effectiveness after many years.

Now, research by the FDA - U.S. Food and Drug Administration - showed that most medicines prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC), with an expired date, were still good to take. Tests indicated that drugs were effective even fifteen years after the expiration date.

The effectiveness of a medicine with an expired date may slightly reduce somewhat but the medicine remains effective for say ten years after the expiration date.
What also helps if you want to store medicines for many years, is to keep it in a cool place, for example in a refrigerator.


It is probably better not to take the following medicines after their expiration date:
- tetracycline (an antibiotic to treat infections),
- nitroglycerin (for dilation of blood vessels),
- insulin (to regulate storage of glycogen in the liver and to accelerate oxidation of sugar in cells)
- liquid antibiotics (to treat infections).

Considerations about the expiration date.

An expiration date that's not to far in the future might be a way for drug manufacturers to update and improve formulations more frequently. Expiration dates far in the future might limit that.

What to do.

If the expiration date of a medicine you need was already a few years ago and you really want it 100% effective, then purchase new medicine. You might also ask your pharmacist about it.

Watch the video here about FDA's advice to respect the expiration date:

Removing unneeded, unused or expired medicine from your home.

You can dispose of those medicines at retail pharmacies and hospitals.
You can also visit the DEA's website for more information about drug disposal and to locate an authorized collector in your area. Or call 1-800-882-9539.

What prescription drugs concerned, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration periodically organizes national prescription drug take-back events where you can dispose of prescription drugs.

If a take-back point as mentioned above, is not available to you most other medicines can be disposed of in your household trash. Before you do so, put the medicines in sealable plastic bag or zip-top.

Home Use Tests

Home use tests such as test strips for checking blood sugar level, cholesterol or pregnancy should not be used when pre-owned, according to the FDA.
You might also want to read an interesting article on expired pregnancy tests.

Here's more on Pain Relief Medicines.