How long is medication good for after the expiration date

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Gothgar, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. spidey07

    spidey07 No Lifer

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    I mean it doesn't spoil, so what's the deal? I guess it just loses it's potency? I've been taking ibuprofen out of this large bottle that expired 4 years ago.
     
  2. Gothgar

    Gothgar Lifer

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    There are a few things that are bad to take after the expire, ibuprofen is not one of them, it should work fine for a long time

    er.... uhm, OP below
     
  3. GagHalfrunt

    GagHalfrunt Lifer

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    The sell by date is a law and only means that the manufacturer guarantees safety and full strength by that date. After the sell-by date the drug might start to lose *some* of its effectiveness, but will very rarely ever be dangerous. Even 10 year old ibuprofen might still be 75% as strong as the new stuff.
     
  4. marvdmartian

    marvdmartian Diamond Member

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    If it's still working, then I'd have to say.......4+ years!! ;)
     
  5. BoomerD

    BoomerD Lifer

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    Yep...really depends on what the medication is and how it's stored, but ibuprofen should be fine unless it's stored laying on the window sill in the sun...or under water...:p

    MOST medication expiration dates merely refer to the potency...after that date, it may start losing strength. (as gag already said)

    I have pain meds in my emergency box that are over 10 years old...and the last time I needed one, it worked just like the day it was "new." (gawd I hate those fucking opiate based pain meds...)
     
  6. SarcasticDwarf

    SarcasticDwarf Diamond Member

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    That might hold true for solid medications, but I would be very, very wary of gel, time release, and particularly liquid medications.
     
  7. PottedMeat

    PottedMeat Lifer

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    Yeah, I've got hydrocodone/Vicodin about that old that works fine when I need it. I wish it didn't make me nauseous and want to vomit.
     
  8. spidey07

    spidey07 No Lifer

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    I guess more googling is saying of course it all depends on the drug, of course. I was having a hard time understanding why it would "go bad" but apparently it has to do with the stability of the compound/chemical and any impurities. I thought maybe it was halflife or decay but I guess not. It's reaction with air/humidity/light, etc - basically anything that can cause a chemical reaction.