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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Louisiana-Bourbon Republican
    Posts
    508

    Default How long does medicine stay good for?

    Last night I woke up with a bad pain in my shoulder. I must have overworked myself this weekend and earlier this week. Anyhow, I took a ALeve and laid back down to sleep. This morning, after taking a long hot shower, I noticed the Aleve bottle. To my amazement the medicine went out of date over a year ago.
    I guess the Aleve worked, my shoulder doesn't hurt as much today and I got somewhat of a good nights sleep. Still, after reading the bottles expiration date, I have to wonder how long does medicine last before it does go out of date and becomes non-effective.
    Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Proshot
    Perfection is a powerful statement!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,913

    Default

    I think if pills are stored in a cool dry place, a long time. Less for liquids.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    1,159

    Default

    Depends on what medicine. Some merely lose effectiveness. Others like tetracycline antibiotics will hurt you if they go bad. Keep all meds in the fridge for long storage.

    Batteries too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,147

    Default

    According to my wife the nurse, different medications have different shelf lifes. Each will usually have a use by date on the label. After that date it is a crapshoot if it will be good and for how long. It will last longer, but how much longer is the thing you do not know.

    As noted, some will actually do harm if used after it "turns bad" so be careful with shelf lives.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,802

    Default

    I RECENTLY USED ANTACIDS 10 YEARS OLD STILL WORKED

    IVE USED IBUPROFEN 5+ YEARS PAST EXPIRATION i OFTEN

    BUY OVER THE COUNTER MEDS AT FLEA MARKETS FOR A

    FRACTION OF STORE PRICES. I FOUND THAT IT WORKS FOR

    YEARS AFTER EXP DATE

    ANTIBACTERIAL OINTMENT ALSO LASTS A LONG LONG TIME




    FIVESHOT
    Last edited by FIVESHOT; 08-19-2010 at 05:25 PM. Reason: STILL CANT SPELL

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    4,018

    Default

    STORAGE conditions ... Many are temperature and/or humidity sensitive. Some deteriorate and break down rapidly when stored outside their specified temperature range. Once a container is opened, it is no longer sealed air tight. Exposure to humidity or oxygen can cause rapid deterioration. That open half empty bottle that has been sitting in the medicine cabinet for several years needs to go ...
    On the other hand, many sealed containers can last far beyond the expiration date. Like old canned goods on the shelf, it can be a crap shoot.
    You may think that expiration date is just a marketing means to get you to continue to buy new but, as noted, some can become dangerous if stored outside specifications. You can always look up detailed information from the maker as the "fine print" about expiration and storage is usually listed in their MDS.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    North of the Great White North
    Posts
    6,151

    Default

    You can keep most medications a loooooong time after their expiration date.

    The FDA requires that a manufacturer list as the expiration date of a medication the date, assuming the medication is properly stored, when it is predicted to lose 5% of its effectiveness. That of course means that 95% is still good.

    There are a small number of exceptions, but this holds true for most meds.
    Geal ‘us dearg a suas!

    Member since Gunboards v1.0

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    The Arizona Territory
    Posts
    8,256

    Default

    +1 on refrigeration. I use one of the lower drawers in my fridge for Rx storage. Nothing really ever goes out of date if I rotate stock, but lower temperature delays chemical degradation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    /Free^State\
    Posts
    17,937

    Default I would go for it in shtf day

    Once read that the drug co. Help set the exp. Dates, not so much for law suits but profit potentials.
    Cool dry vacuumed pack who knows but sick or live death situation what do you got to lose?<><dk

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