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HomeHealthThere is no harm to take expired drugs; Expired drugs pros and...

There is no harm to take expired drugs; Expired drugs pros and cons

With a mild headache, common cold, fever and you reach into your medical store and only find the stamped expiration date on medicine has passed -one year ago. So, do you take it or don’t you? If you decide to take the paracetamol for fever will it be a mistake or will you simply continue to suffer from the fever?

Expiration date on their products is the date at which the manufacturer can still guarantee the full potency and safety of the drug. It’s not like it won’t work or toxic to used after its expiration.

The study, published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences in July 2006, looked at the Defense Department’s large stockpile of drugs from 1986 to 2006 and tried to determine if all of the drugs needed to be replaced. The FDA analyzed 122 drugs in 3,005 lots, and studied their stability. It turned out that about 90% of the lots could be extended beyond their expiration date for an average of 66 months—or 5½ years. Also, there haven’t been reported cases of toxicity from expired medications.

If a medication is needed, and the patient is not able to replace the expired medication, there is no evidence that it is unsafe to take the medication in most cases. However, if a medication is essential for a chronic and potentially life-threatening disease, for example, a heart condition, seizure, or life-threatening allergy, it is probably wise to get a new prescription once expired.

If an expired medication is for a minor health problem, for example, for a headache, common cold, or mild pain, it may also be safe to take it, although drug potency might not be 100 percent. When you are taking the antibiotics better to take which are not expired because there is a chance of development of antibiotics resistance if its potency is gone.

So from next time, if you got a fever and the date of expiration of paracetamol is on July 2016 and today is 7th August 2016, I guess after reading this article you will definitely take it.





Dr. Sanjay Maharjan, MD
Dr. Sanjay Maharjan, MD
MD in Basic and Clinical Physiology


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