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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When drugs expire, how quickly do they lose their efficacy?

Also, do expired drugs contribute to more side effects?
 

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Guided By Voices
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We actually send expired drugs to 3rd world countries after expiration for there use. 1yr., I would think no problem if stored properly. I know people who have used an expired med. 2yrs past due and the med worked. These were fast acting/acute meds. Benzos. and pregabalin, so they would have known if the med. had lost potency immediately. I suppose it could also depend on what med., also
 

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I agree with above. And there's a recent study suggesting this:
This study provides additional evidence that many prescription pharmaceuticals retain their full potency beyond their manufacturer-ascribed expiration dates," the authors concluded. "Given the potential cost-savings, we suggest that current practices of drug expiration dating be reconsidered."
Study Questions Drug Expiration Policy
http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/PublicHealth/35214
 

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Cheesus
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I've used 8 year old percocets and they worked great. I still have them and use them from time to time. :D Drugs can typically last a lifetime easily.
 

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Didn't someone post here before saying the military had a study done into it and found other than a couple examples that drugs were still just fine even 12-13 years after expirty or something.

Ah found it.
Study done by the food and drug administration at the request of the military.
"What they found from the study is 90% of more than 100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, were perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration date. "
http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update1103a.shtml
 

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Most drug simply get weaker with age. There are only a tiny number of drugs that break down into anything harmful (sadly, I don't know which those would be off the top of my head.)

In most cases you get your pills in a pharmacy bottle where they stamp an arbitrary date of 1 year from today as the magical expiration date. It's a date they pulled out of the air (or their a**). You generally don't get to see the manufacturer's original package that will often have a date 2.5 years from when it was made, though that date -- also just picked out of the air -- magically gets way shorter when the pharmacy puts it in their own bottle with their arbitrary date.

Long ago I saw the issue discussed by pharmacists. One had been in Vietnam and noted how they'd used morphine left over from the Korean war. Despite expiration dates 15 years prior, they found that it worked just fine.

I'm currently using some Klonopin that has a discard by late 2012 date. There's no way in hell I'm tossing a controlled substance because it's a couple months past a date somebody just pulled out of their a**.
 
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