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  • Weve all been there. Stuck with aches, pains, and runny nose, and the cough medicine

  • in the cabinet is five years old. The question is, do you take it and risk it? Or toss it

  • and suffer?

  • Hey pill poppers Julia here for DNews

  • Weve talked on DNews before about food expirations dates orsell bydates as

  • theyre sometimes called. And weve found well.. there is less actual rules and more like

  • guidelines. Most food lasts well beyond that date. Others, well you have do a quick sniff

  • test. But have you ever noticed that medication has an expiration date too? Rachael Lee asked us,

  • Can you get sicker from expired medicine?

  • The FDA started slapping an expiration date on medicines in 1979. So it’s been over

  • 30 years since that decision, has it made a difference?

  • Typically the expiration date is set a year to five years beyond the date of manufacture.

  • It’s less of an expiration date and more of a date of guaranteed potency. Basically

  • after that date, manufacturers can’t guarantee the drug will be 100% potent, it doesn’t

  • necessarily mean it will be unsafe or less effective.

  • But there’s some evidence that some medicines can hold their potency for quite awhile especially

  • in controlled conditions.

  • A study conducted by the FDA on behalf of the Military found ways to extend the life

  • of medicines in storage in a program called SLEP or shelf life extension program. They

  • found that they could extend the life of 88% of the drugs in government facilities by at least

  • a year by simply keeping them in climate controlled storage. Most drugs lasted on average five

  • and half years past the expiration date.

  • While civilians like you and I might not have access to tightly controlled storage facilities,

  • there’s always the fridge. Which some experts recommend a cool, dry place, for extending

  • the life of your medication.

  • But maybe drugs last longer than five years even without chilling the fed’s fridge. One

  • study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine found that some medicines

  • can hold their own for DECADES. In this study, all the drugs were all 28-40 years past their due date.

  • They only looked at a handful of medicines, 8 different medications like with 15 different

  • compounds between them like caffeine, aspirin, or hydrocodone. They found that most, 12 of

  • those compounds remained in amounts of at least 90% decades after their expiration date.

  • And that 90% is crucial, that’s how much of the good stuff a drug needs to be considered

  • effectiveby the FDA. So most of the decades old medicine didn’t break down or lose it’s

  • potency. Although two medicines, aspirin and amphetamine, seem to lose some of their juice

  • after all that time. They were present in amounts less than 90%.

  • But before you go poppin grandma’s pills, which you shouldn’t take anyone else's pills

  • anyways…. that’s illegal. But really the FDA recommends listening to those expiration

  • dates. They caution that drugs gone bad could beless effective or risky due to a change

  • in chemical composition or decrease in potency.”

  • FDA pharmacist, Ilisa Bernstein, straight up saysIf your medicine has expired, do

  • not use it.” Especially with living saving drugs like an epi-pen. If a drug’s expired,

  • the FDA recommends tossing it. The best way to dispose of a drug is usually on the bottle

  • or some cities have prescription medicine take back programs. So look into that if youre

  • worried about all the leftover medication in your bathroom cabinet.

  • So it seems drugs last longer than theirgood bydate, but at the end of the day I’d

  • still listen to the FDA just to be on the safe side.

  • But it’s not just medicines that expire, there’s lots of common things you didn’t

  • know have an expiration date. Trace has the whole list of things in your house that go

  • bad, right here.

  • Bleach is what is being used by the CDC in their labs and it has an expiration date of only six months from the day of manufacture.

  • so like, 3-5 months once you get it home.

  • So you've ever used expired medicine before? noticed anything weird? Tell us about it down in the comments below. And thanks Rachel for your question.

  • If you guys have any more questions that you'd like us to answer here on DNews, submit words down below

  • Don't forget to hit those like and subscribe button to keep coming back to DNews, so you don't miss a single episode.

Weve all been there. Stuck with aches, pains, and runny nose, and the cough medicine

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B2 US expiration expiration date date medicine expired potency

Is It Unsafe To Take Expired Medicine?

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    hsiehpon posted on 2016/06/20
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