Expired Medication

Posted by CDDC @cddc, Apr 22 12:30pm

How long can Prescription drugs be used after their expiry date ? and OTC drugs like Vicks Vaporub?

@cddc Hi, your question is how long can prescription drugs be used after the expiration date.

To be on the safe side, for any specific medication, it’s recommended to check with a pharmacist.
In general, the expiration date is the last date a manufacture assures the potency and quality of the medication. Most medications don’t immediately expire on the date listed. So there is some leeway.
However, compounded medications can break down over time, lose effectiveness and in some cases become unsafe to consume. Also, the way the medication is stored can impact its longevity.
Even over the counter meds can have similar results. Aspirin definitely has an expiration date. It will smell vinegary. Some products such as Vicks Vaporub will last decades as well as petroleum jelly. Antibiotic cream will lose potency over time.
To be safe, for anything you’d ingest, it would be a good idea to not keep it much past the expiration date.

Are you cleaning out your medicine cabinet? I just went through that a couple of weeks ago. Yikes. LOL. A trip down memory lane but also a dilemma for disposal!
Most pharmacies will take expired medications so they don’t end up in landfills or get flushed down a drain and pollute our water supplies. Or most police stations will also accept these expired medications.
Anything else I can help you with? I see you’ve been a member since 2015 and it’s the first time you’ve posted! I hope you’ll pop in again and join our community conversions. Lori.

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Thank you so much Lori.I appreciate your answers. Thank you , CDDC

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@lorimt, @cddc I just read your post and have comment that may help. In JAX, we occasionally have medication disposal days and sites advertised. I never know about them, miss every one. I just heard on the radio driving to go online to the DEA site and they have disposal information for meds. I have been storing a bunch in bags in an extra closet, up high, and this extra effort is on the list to do.
Hope you it helps someone. Blessings on this journey….elizabeth

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We read that you shouldn’t put drugs down the drain or toilet because it get in the water supply, and you shouldn’t throw them out as is due to animals getting in the landfills. The recommendation in our area was to mix them in with used coffee grounds into a can, and then put them in the trash.

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@howardm

We read that you shouldn’t put drugs down the drain or toilet because it get in the water supply, and you shouldn’t throw them out as is due to animals getting in the landfills. The recommendation in our area was to mix them in with used coffee grounds into a can, and then put them in the trash.

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@howardm You’re spot on with that information about drug disposal. If there is no safe disposal site available nearby, mixing the pills or other meds with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter, used coffee grounds, etc., and putting in a sealable can or ziplock bag and then into the trash is the best option.

It’s a hotspot with me when I hear of drugs and medications being flushed into our water supply. Even though the FDA has a ‘flush list’ for which meds can be “safely” washed into our water, I’m of the firm belief nothing toxic should ever be flushed. It’s bad enough with just the chemicals we release from our bodies from the meds we take. We don’t have to add to the problem.

Thank you for that information. Together we can all save our planet. ☺️

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Non prescriptions should have a manufacturer name, address and contact phone number printed on them. You may want to call the number and ask. Also, call the pharmacy where you purchased a prescription drug and give them the RX number you will find on the container. They will look it up and tell you both when it was given to you and for what period of time it is safe to consume the drug. Finally, you may want to call the office of the Dr. who wrote your prescription. They can tell you when a drug was prescribed and how many refills the Dr. wrote on the prescription. It may well be worth it to order a fresh container if it has been a year or more since you last took it. In fact if you have let it sit around for that long you may want to request an in video or telephone appointment so you can be sure the drug is still a viable option for you. Best!

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