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Expiration Dates on meds

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Madmanmoonx

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Mar 28, 2018
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I have about 3 boxes of Activas Diazipam which are approaching their expiration date and was wondering what is the shelf life post expiration. I have had meds in the past that have passed their expiry date and didnt seem to loose potency or cause adverse effects. I have heard that expiry dates are very conservitive and that in most cases meds are good for well past their date. Can anyone shed any light on this?
 

Carter

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I have about 3 boxes of Activas Diazipam which are approaching their expiration date and was wondering what is the shelf life post expiration. I have had meds in the past that have passed their expiry date and didnt seem to loose potency or cause adverse effects. I have heard that expiry dates are very conservitive and that in most cases meds are good for well past their date. Can anyone shed any light on this?

If they are stored correctly (room temperature, low humidity, low or no light....think sock drawer) they will be fine for quite a few years. Vac sealed or zip lock bag with desiccant pack certainly won't hurt although I'm not sure if that would be needed since yours are probably blister packed. There have been a lot of discussions on this over the years on the forum. Some had links to actual studies which provided quantitative information. You could try using the search engine to find the threads that exist that discuss all this. Seems like one gets started about every year.
 

cherrybomb

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I have plenty of meds including Diaz that are more than three years old and work perfectly fine. As long as they are stored in a dark, dry place and sealed i don't see any issue. Obviously with something like antibiotics i would be more concerned and personally wouldn't gamble with--but in this case you can tell pretty quickly if they are still working/ viable.
 

Madmanmoonx

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Thanks guys. So pretty much as I thought. My meds have been stored in good conditions so should be fine then. I had Zops in the past that were at least 3 to 4 years passed their expiration date and had been fine. Just wanted to double check.

I did try to do a search but loads of threads came up but all except one were unrelated to what I was looking for. The one did come up was specific to one specific med. I wanted a more general overview.
 
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shizzle

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I have read that opiates almost never lose their potency as long as they are stored correctly. I don't really have much experience with other medication but from what I've been reading above I can imagine that could be the case with almost all meds.
 
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deephouse

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I’ve taken diazepam that was maybe a decade old, and it was fine.
@cherrybomb is correct that with a few meds, like antibiotics, the expiration date actually matters. But in general, those dates are both conservative and arbitrary.
 

tedh

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Meds stored in a sealed bottle, blister pack or ziplock bag at room temp or slightly cooler in a dark place (think amber colored bottle to block out light) and you should be good for at least five years. Heat, light and moisture will degrade your meds faster.
 

CrayonBox

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About 5 years ago(so around 2013) I found a bottle of 100 hydrocodone pills in my closet from 1994. They got pushed to back of a shelf in my closet so I never saw them. When I took the pills they seemed just a potent as usual. Another time I found a bottle of trazadone that was pretty old the previously white pill was now a dingy white color and the edges were starting to crumble. I used them anyways and they worked just fine. Give one a try and see where it takes ya.
 

jaders

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I'm old enough to remember when they didn't even have expiration dates on most meds. Personally, I think it's mostly a way for pharmaceutical companies to cash in more. I've taken many meds WAY past the due date without any problem. I agree that the antibiotics probably should be fresh, but even those I've taken when they were "old."

Not having health insurance when I was younger led to a whole lot of med sharing...:cool:
 

davidpaul

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@jaders

Well, some of us are probably past our 'expiration' date too yet we don't give up or give in, we just keep on going. LOL

- - - Updated - - -

As for medicine I think old medicine works just fine. But sometimes I look in the medicine chest and find some OTC meds from 2002 and I'm like "I think I need to toss these!!!!"

@jeopardyfan
And then if you are like me, you do go ahead and toss them, down the throat. LOL
 

Ellyn

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Most tablets are fine for years beyond the manufacturer's expiration date. I would not mess with most antibiotics or immunosuppressive medications - the ones that you count on to keep you alive, basically.

Medicines in liquid form do have a faster expiration than medicines in tablet form.

One important exception is antibiotics in the tetracycline class. Those can break down into toxic chemicals that can cause significant kidney damage. Don't take tetracyclines after their expiration date.
 

Uncle Rob

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An expiration date is the date given by the pharmaceutical company to where they guarantee 100% full potency of any given medicine. Stored in a cool dark place, especially if blistered sealed or foil sealed, meds will be good for many years past the provided expiration date. Older meds do not go "bad" but may lose some of their potency after long periods of time. I looked into this many years ago and there have been reports of only antibiotics in the tetracycline class posing danger for "old" meds. Even with the reports on these meds there are conflicting statements on how accurate the reports were.
 
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ethom

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I always thought the expiration date was put there so you had to buy more - just kidding, sort of. I've never worried about the date and have used antibiotics that are years old with great results.
 
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bluu

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i got the impression not to use mist types or inhalers when expired. anyone have experience?
 

Kon1er1986

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In my experience, as long as the meds aren't expired by like 5 years or some crazy out of date time, they are usually still pretty good. I remember finding a scripted bottle with about 10 clonazepam that I must have lost behind my dresser that was expired for about a year and some change, and when I took then I felt them just as much as I would feel a kpin that was not supposed to expire for a few years. That is just my experience though
 

Smithy1

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I've have took some medications that I've bought from vendors that have been out off date (they did notify me) Also I've had meds that i stopped using and where around 6-7 month out off date and needed them again for crippling anxiety and took them when needed it's was Lorezepam, They done the job alright, I think as long as they aren't years and years out off date they are good to go.
 

McChrystals_Pistol

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About 5 years ago(so around 2013) I found a bottle of 100 hydrocodone pills in my closet from 1994. They got pushed to back of a shelf in my closet so I never saw them. When I took the pills they seemed just a potent as usual. Another time I found a bottle of trazadone that was pretty old the previously white pill was now a dingy white color and the edges were starting to crumble. I used them anyways and they worked just fine. Give one a try and see where it takes ya.

That’s crazy about the hydro. I’ve found a couple bottle 5-6 years old of 10/500 and they always made me feel nauseous. Maybe it’s the acetaminophen content ? I was just about to throw
out an old bottle of perch from 2013, maybe I’ll hang onto them a bit longer.....
 

carib007

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Oct 31, 2011
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Medicine doesn’t exactly go bad as easily as you would think. I’ve taken pills that were 10 years out of date and store in a hot climate and they worked just fine. As long as you store them in a cool, dark and dry place they could easily last 10+ years past the exp. date!
 
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