What Happens If U Take Expired Medication – Some drugs may be less effective, while others may be more dangerous. Here’s what you should know before using expired medicine.
Laura Weidman Hill | BCPS-AQ ID Clinically reviewed by Marissa Walsh, Pharm.D., on February 20, 2023
What Happens If U Take Expired Medication
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Is It Ever Ok To Take Expired Medication?
If you’ve got a headache enough to take a bottle of ibuprofen only to find it expired, you could be taking expired medicine, which may stop working after the pain or intended shelf-life.
The answer is a simple yes or no. Some drugs—both over-the-counter and prescription—lose their potency the longer they sit on the shelf, but others can be dangerous and even toxic.
The drug’s expiration date is when the active ingredients are no longer at their full strength as determined by the drug’s manufacturer. In addition to not working, some drugs are dangerous when they expire.
There is no specific expiration date for the drug to be safe and effective. If you are considering the risk of taking expired medications, consider how dangerous it is to take them and how much you need them.
Study: Expiration Dates Have Nothing To Do With Shelf Life Of Drugs
“Most medications are not toxic after they’re finished,” says Christina M. Madison, Pharm.D., founder of Healthcare Pharmacist. However, there are some downsides to taking medications past their “use by” date:
“Just to be safe, use unexpected drugs,” says Kelly Johnson-Arbor, a clinical toxicologist and medical director of the National Capital Poison Center.
If possible, do not use expired medicines. However, life-saving treatment such as nitroglycerin or albuterol may work if you have no other options. It’s a good idea to keep up with refills to make sure you don’t have to use old prescriptions, but if you have a leak and need advice, you can call your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Some medications should not be used after their expiration date. For example, some antibiotics should not be taken after their expiration date. This means that you rarely take expired antibiotics because the full course must be completed when prescribed. Stopping your antibiotics before completing the recommended course can cause antibiotic resistance.
Dispose Of Unwanted Medication
Medicines tested and unstable after expiration – showing signs of physical deterioration and loss of potency:
In these cases, context matters. If you need nitroglycerin for a serious heart problem or have a life-threatening allergy, “using older allergy medications may not adequately control allergy symptoms,” says Dr. Johnson-Arber. If you have a serious medical condition where the full benefit of your medication is real, make sure you are given timely medication.
There may be additional circumstances that may require reconsideration of life-saving medications. In the event of a shortage of EpiPens in 2021, drug company Pfizer contacted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to extend the expiration date as a management strategy. This was done after an extensive analysis of stability data and was only used in some regions that produced this drug, indicated for allergy effectiveness.
“No drug should ‘technically’ be used after its expiration date, but there are some cases where the expiration date is extended due to drug shortages,” said Dr. Maddison. In these cases, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will indicate whether the drug is considered safe after the “use by” date on the package. As with EpiPens, additional examples include COVID-19 vaccines, COVID-19 treatments, and antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu, which are used to treat the flu.
My Epipen Expired! Can I Still Use It?
However, studies have shown that many drugs retain their full potency even years after they expire. Some examples of these drugs may lose some of their effectiveness, but are generally safe and effective:
Even after the expiration date, there may be safer drugs. However, most research has focused on prescription drugs used by military or government reserves, rather than drugs commonly found in your doctor’s office.
To maximize the safety and effectiveness of all your medications, store them in a cool, dry place and in their original containers. They are designed to protect against sun damage and moisture.
Proper disposal of expired and unused medications is critical to prevent accidental poisoning and environmental damage. Depending on the drug, there are a few basic ways to dispose of old drugs:
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If you’re not sure if a medication is safe to take, you can always ask your pharmacist or call Poison Control at poison.org or 1-800-222-1222. Both options are free, confidential and available 24 hours a day. Unused or expired home remedies have long been a safety concern. For example, data from calls to US poison control centers from 2015 to 2019 show that various drugs are the most common and most serious cases of accidental ingestion of household products by children. These data also represent the most common cause of death among children in calls to poison control centers. Drug withdrawal offers an important opportunity to protect programs. Over the years, the US Food and Drug Administration has strongly supported efforts to expand access to drug recovery programs. Many of these community-based programs can help people use unused or expired drugs, such as fentanyl patches, which are so strong that even a used patch can be fatal if touched by a child.
April 24, 2021 is National Drug Take Back Day. Approved drug locations at this annual event may include retail pharmacies, hospital or clinical pharmacies, and law enforcement agencies. Some sites may offer ongoing mailing bag programs or permanent boxes to facilitate safe patient disposal.
With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping children at home more than ever, this is an especially important time to avoid exposure to unused or expired medications and other hazardous items found around the home. For example, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the first period of the Covid-19 pandemic, between January and March 2020, calls to poison control centers related to accidental disinfection and cleaning exposures were 20% higher than at that time. period. 2019.
Additionally, our nation’s current opioid crisis underscores the importance of drug addiction programs. In many cases, people who use opioids get their first dose from the medicine cabinets of parents, relatives and friends, where other people are prescribed drugs. Keeping prescription opioids out of the home when they are not medically necessary is part of the solution to this crisis and can prevent accidental exposure or intentional abuse.
Is It Safe To Take Expired Drugs?
If a person is unable to enter drug recovery, he recommends checking to see if the drug is on a “laundry list.” Out of concern for public health, we reserve this advice only for drugs that, if taken incorrectly, will kill people in a single dose. However, we are looking for alternative washing solutions. For example, the law, known as the Support Act, provides new authorities related to the coverage and disposal of drugs of abuse or excessive risk, such as opioid pain relievers. We’re exploring how these new authorities can best be used to create new drop-off options outside of Flushing. Although current data indicate no environmental impact of flushing these drugs, we continue to study these issues. Unlisted medications can be disposed of in the household trash after taking precautions such as removing all personal information from the containers and sealing them in a bag mixed with unwanted materials such as dirt, coffee grounds, or cat litter. With that in mind, the best way to get rid of these dangerous drugs is to get rid of them as soon as possible.
All Americans are encouraged to take advantage of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. To protect your family, friends and visitors to your home, return unused and expired medications to the pharmacy. However, if you cannot use the drug, withdraw it
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