An expensive medication only recently expired and is costly to replace, Can it still be taken? There is drug shortage and the only available ones are expired, Can they still be taken? Are there certain drugs that should never be used past their expiration date?
The expiration date is only an assurance that the labelled potency will last at least until that time.
In view of this, a research called the Shelf Life Extension Program (SLEP) was undertaken by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) U.S. for the Department of Defense. The aim of the SLEP was to reduce medication costs for the military, since many times they only had expired drugs at their disposal during war times. Results showed that many of these drugs were still potent and could be used for more than 1 year from the expiration date.
So what’s the bottom line?
Of course, there are some drugs that should never be used past their expiration date. However, for those that can be used past their expiration date, there are a number of important factors to consider. Having considered those factors, it can be summarized as:
Results showed that many of these drugs were still potent and could be used for more than 1 year from the expiration date.
If your life depends on taking an expired drug and you must have 100% of the original strength as in the case of a chronic and potentially life-threatening disease, for example, a heart condition, seizure, or life-threatening allergy, it is probably best to go with the popular cliché “better safe than sorry”. DO NOT TAKE.
“better safe than sorry”.
However, If an expired medication is for a minor health problem, such a headache, constipation, or mild pain, it may be safe to take it, after considering some important factors, of course. Bear in mind that drug potency might not be 100 percent and except for possibly the rarest of exceptions,you wont get hurt and the drug won’t turn into a poison.
If an expired medication is taken, and you notice the drug has limited or no therapeutic effect, the medication should be replaced.
If questions still remain about how to handle an expired medication, it is wise to speak with your pharmacist or physician, who can offer additional information and advice.