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Health & FitThis Is When It’s OK to Take Expired Medication

19:37  07 march  2019
19:37  07 march  2019 Source:   rd.com

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Rather, medical authorities uniformly say it is safe to take most drugs well past their expiration date. Liquid antibiotics. How to decide whether to take an expired drug. “Given that Americans currently spend more than 0 billion annually on prescription medications ,” the JAMA report states

Rather, medical authorities uniformly say it is safe to take most drugs well past their expiration date. Liquid antibiotics. How to decide whether to take an expired drug. “Given that Americans currently spend more than 0 billion annually on prescription medications ,” the JAMA report states

This Is When It’s OK to Take Expired Medication© Provided by Trusted Media Brands, Inc. Packaging of Expired pills and tablets on white background, Medicines.

Here’s news that can save you money: You can ignore the expiration date on many of your medications—for years. According to several reports, including this one just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), drugs may retain their potency for up to four decades! Check out these other secrets your pharmacist isn’t telling you.

What does the expiration date mean?

The expiration date is a legal requirement imposed by the FDA since 1979, according to the Harvard Health Letter. The expiration date is supposed to be the date at which the “manufacturer can still guarantee the full potency and safety of the drug.” But research conducted by the FDA demonstrates that 90 percent of more than 100 drugs—both prescription and over-the-counter—are perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration date. A report from Medscape states that the expiration date doesn’t indicate how long the drug in question “is actually ‘good’ or safe to use.” Rather, medical authorities uniformly say it is safe to take most drugs well past their expiration date.

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You have a splitting headache, it ' s the middle of the night, and your only bottle of Tylenol expired three years ago. Can you take it anyway? Here's the answer.

You have a splitting headache, it ' s the middle of the night, and your only bottle of Tylenol expired three years ago. Can you take it anyway? Here’s news that can save you money: You can ignore the expiration date on many of your medications —for years.

How long past?

The study in JAMA went well beyond 15 years: The researchers analyzed eight drugs with 14 active ingredients that expired anywhere from 28 to 40 years ago. Most of the active ingredients were still 90 percent effective (the minimum acceptable potency). The only substances that fell just below 90 percent potency were amphetamine (for ADHD and narcolepsy), phenacetin (a painkiller), and aspirin. Francis Flaherty, former director of the FDA’s testing program, told Pharmacology Today that “expiration dates put on by manufacturers typically have no bearing on whether a drug is usable for longer” and that these dates are for “marketing, rather than scientific, reasons… It’s not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for 10 years. They want turnover.” Before you take anything, though, make sure to avoid these medication mistakes that can ruin your health.

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It ’ s not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for 10 years. They want turnover.” Before you take anything, though, make sure to avoid these medication mistakes that can ruin your health. By the way, when it is time to toss old meds make sure you know how to safely dispose of them.

You have a splitting headache, it ' s the middle of the night, and your only bottle of Tylenol expired three years ago. Can you take it anyway? Here's the answer.

The exceptions

The meds you don’t want to use past their expiration dates include:

  • Tetracycline (this antibiotic loses its effectiveness after expiration, though scientists are still researching this)
  • Nitroglycerin (taken as heart medication)
  • Insulin
  • Liquid antibiotics

How to decide whether to take an expired drug

“Given that Americans currently spend more than $300 billion annually on prescription medications,” the JAMA report states, “extending drug expiration dates could yield enormous health-care expenditure savings.” If the expiration date has passed—even years ago—you should consider what the drug is and what you’re taking it for. If the drug is one of the exceptions—or if your life depends on the drug being 100 percent effective—get an unexpired version. Otherwise, you should be fine, and if you have further questions, check with your pharmacist. By the way, when it is time to toss old meds, make sure you know how to safely dispose of them.

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What does the expiration date on medications really mean? Do they become unsafe with age or just ineffective? The answer is much more complicated than you might think.

It may surprise you to learn that reduced potency isn't the only thing to worry about when drugs are out-of-date. It ' s really not a good idea to take expired medication at all. The company that manufactures a particular drug works with the regulatory authority to confirm and guarantee that the

The post This Is When It’s OK to Take Expired Medication appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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