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View Poll Results: Take OTC medicines past expiration date?
Never 1 1.32%
On rare occasions 34 44.74%
Frequently 41 53.95%
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Poll: Do you ever use OTC medicines past expiration date
Old 01-12-2014, 02:16 PM   #1
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Poll: Do you ever use OTC medicines past expiration date

Do you ever use OTC medicines past their expiration date?

I do sometimes and if the date is not too long ago (generally less than a year). I ask because just this morning, I found some medicine that had an 2008 expiration date! Hey I can LBYM with the best of them, but let's not get carried away!
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:22 PM   #2
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Depends. I will use them for up to 12 mos past their expiration date but only if I know they have been stored in a climate-controlled environment - like in my medicine cabinet.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:26 PM   #3
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We hardly ever use anything, so "frequently" doesn't really apply. On the other hand, anything we have around the house is probably out of date because we hardly ever use it. So our initial doses are usually out of date. We buy more if we need more than just a little. My cough pills that I finally needed this year expired in 1998. I didn't try them, and found something better at the drugstore.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:48 PM   #4
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Yes, for things like tablets in a sealed bottle or blister package. One that we replace at expiration is Benedryl which DH keeps because he is allergic to bee stings. He doesn't want to be concerned about expiration vs. effectiveness if he gets stung.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:50 PM   #5
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Depends on the specifics, but is there any harm in taking meds past expiration date? They may lose effectiveness, but they don't become toxic somehow do they, just no longer effective? So my reasoning right or wrong is try them, if they don't work throw them out and get new. I don't know for sure so I may be wrong, so I am asking more than recommending...
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:59 PM   #6
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For pain meds it's probably not an issue. For antibiotics it's probably not too smart.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:06 PM   #7
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For pain meds it's probably not an issue. For antibiotics it's probably not too smart.
I'm not sure that you can buy antibiotics OTC.

What we buy OTC are mostly pain pills, decongestants and the like. I don't hesitate in taking these after their expired dates.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:21 PM   #8
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Antibiotic ointments, maybe. I've wondered if they are still as effective when they've been laying in a drawer for 2 or 3 years after the dates expired. I don't think they'd hurt you, but not sure if they'd still do the job effectively.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:27 PM   #9
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Antibiotic ointments, maybe. I've wondered if they are still as effective when they've been laying in a drawer for 2 or 3 years after the dates expired. I don't think they'd hurt you, but not sure if they'd still do the job effectively.
I agree and we do keep a tube of neosporin in the place but I can't honestly say that I have ever checked the expiration date.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:29 PM   #10
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I missed the OTC...must be the medicine I'm currently using with the Black Label
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:32 PM   #11
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I missed the OTC...must be the medicine I'm currently using with the Black Label
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:02 PM   #12
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I worked in pharma for 18 years. The FDA rules for stability of drugs are that the product must retain at least 90% potency through the expiry date. In MOST cases, the drugs are extremely stable and would be fine after 5 or 10 years, but not all.

I figure that if the drug is aspirin or topical antibiotic it's fine. I agree that I wouldn't take antibiotics that were more than a year or two out of date. Look at what you are treating and ask yourself how critical it is to get the complete dose, then act accordingly.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:03 PM   #13
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Do you ever use OTC medicines past their expiration date?

I do sometimes and if the date is not too long ago (generally less than a year). I ask because just this morning, I found some medicine that had an 2008 expiration date! Hey I can LBYM with the best of them, but let's not get carried away!
I don't take OTC meds after expiration. However I had some Campbell's soup a couple weeks ago that was years past the use-by date. I boilled it real good though.For canned soup, all that salt is your friend.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:25 PM   #14
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Expiration dates are wildly over safe. Dr Fred told you so.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:45 PM   #15
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They have an expiration date?
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Poll: Do you ever use OTC medicines past expiration date
Old 01-13-2014, 01:38 AM   #16
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Poll: Do you ever use OTC medicines past expiration date

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.... depends on several factors, to varying degrees: how out of date it is, what the medicine is, how urgent my need for it is, whether or not the stores are open, and so much more.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:53 AM   #17
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If I do, I usually run it by the wife first.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:47 AM   #18
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I don't ever look at the expiration date of OTCs. I have probably taken some that are 5+ years old. I have some Indomethicin (prescription anti inflammatory) that works fine 10+ years after expiration.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:36 AM   #19
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I should not say this but the answer is yes.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:57 PM   #20
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"Occasionally" is probably my answer so I selected #2. Don't really check because I rarely take any OTC meds. On occasion I have also taken prescribed meds that are passed the 1 year expire date (which is probably arbitrary anyway).
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