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Drug Expiration Dates - Are Expired Drugs Still Safe to Take? Medically reviewed by L. Anderson, PharmD Last updated on Jun 11, 2018.. Patients often have questions about drug expiration dates: Can I safely take a medication if it has reached the drug expiration date?


It turns out that the expiration date on a drug does stand for something, but probably not what you think it does. Since a law was passed in 1979, drug manufacturers are required to stamp an expiration date on their products. This is the date at which the manufacturer can still guarantee the full potency and safety of the drug.


Most Americans have a bottle or two of expired medication sitting around. You may be tempted to take this medicine, but concerned about the safety. The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide reported that 90 percent of drugs tested were found to be safe 15 years after their expiration dates. The obvious problem is that you don't want to take the 10 percent of medicines that are no longer ....


Medications may change their chemical and physical properties, as is evident when tablets disintegrate and liquids separate into layers, or even change color within the dispensed bottle. As can be seen, the big issues with expired medications are two-fold: drugs become weak and may potentially be unsafe.


How Dangerous is it to Take Expired Drugs? ... that many drugs are still good for a few years after their expiration date," White says, "but there are some very important caveats people need to ...


Expired drugs have not necessarily lost their potency and efficacy. The expiration date is only an assurance that the labeled potency will last at least until that date. Ongoing research shows that stored under optimal conditions, many drugs retain 90% of their potency for at least five years after the labeled expiration date, and sometimes longer.


Certain expired medications are at risk of bacterial growth and sub-potent antibiotics can fail to treat infections, leading to more serious illnesses and antibiotic resistance. “Once the ...


A notable problem with taking expired prescription drugs is that they may not deliver enough of their active ingredient to be effective. Some drugs are so unstable that they must be refrigerated ...


When people are wondering what happens when you take expired pills, one of the most common drugs they’re referring to is Xanax. With Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication, people will often give or sell their unused pills to friends or family members, and if they’re expired, it can be problematic.


What could happen to patients who use expired drugs? ... but some medications become toxic when used beyond the expiration date. Taking expired drugs can cause an unwanted visit to the emergency ...