• sniklefritz sniklefritz
    December 22, 2008
    I have a prescription for acetamin, but it is 3 years old, is it still good?
    sniklefritz sniklefritz
    December 22, 2008

    I have had problems with back and neck pain for some time and it has really been giving me trouble for the last couple of weeks. I still have some Acetomin # 3 from before, but need to make sure it is still ok to take.

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FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • Cort
    Health Guide
    December 22, 2008
    Cort
    Health Guide
    December 22, 2008

    Its funny how these questions run in bunches as we just got a similar one. 

     

    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 Also, consider replacing any outdated medications that you're taking for a serious health problem, since its potency is more critical than that of an over-the-counter drug you take for a headache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."

    http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update1103a.shtml

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5712/drug_expiration_dates_how_they_benefit.html

     

    If you really want to make your pills (but not your liquid meds) last throw them in the freezer - they'll apparently last almost forever there. For more on freezing your drugs read: http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/5949/25644/medications


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