Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Monday, November 22, 2010 darbar58, Community Member, asks

Q: How Long is the shelflife for Xanax?

I have had a bottle of Xanax since 2/2008. Is it still good or should I throw it out? Can it become toxic?

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Answers (1)
Cort, Health Guide
11/25/10 10:19pm

According to the Harvard Medical School most prescriptions are still potent long past their expiration date - which is typically 2 to 3 years. It may be somewhat less potent or it could just as potent as it ever was. The expiration date does not indicate that a drug is no longer good - it simply indicates a date at which a drug manufacturer guarantees that it is good. A large Air Force study in conjunction with the FDA concluded that most drugs are good long past their expiration dates and they use them past their expiration dates.


According to Johns Hopkins, "If your medications have been stored under good conditions, (ie. not in hot or humid conditions) they should retain all or much of their potency for at least one to two years following their expiration date, even after the container is opened. But you should discard any pills that have become discolored, turned powdery, or smell strong; any liquids that appear cloudy or filmy; or any tubes of cream that are hardened or cracked.


To help maintain potency, store your medications in a closet or cabinet located in a cool, dry room. Also, don't mix medications in one container: chemicals from different medications can interact to interfere with potency or cause harmful side effects. If two or more medications have been mingled for any period of time, discard them. A few medications, like insulin and some liquid antibiotics, do degrade quickly and should be used by the expiration date. Also, consider replacing any outdated medications that you're taking for a serious health problem, since its potency is more critical than that of an over-the-counter drug you take for a headache or hay fever. If in doubt, consult a pharmacist."




You can store medications that are in tablet or capsule form in the freezer, thereby extending their life indefinitely. For more information about freezing your meds, read: http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/5949/25644/medications


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By darbar58, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/23/14, First Published: 11/22/10