Drug expiration dating mixture
So, if you have a headache one night, and you reach for your bottle of ibuprofen and find that it expired last year, chances are high that the medicine still has retained most of its potency.
However, it is still advisable to replace medicines that have expired years ago with a new supply to be sure you are using the most up-to-date product with the most up-to-date instructions for use.
If your medicine is in its original packaging, look for the expiration date stamped on the side or bottom.
If the expiration date has passed, it's time to get rid of the drug.
If your physician has prescribed powerful opioid medications, such as Oxy Contin or Percocet, follow his or her orders strictly on dosage and frequency.
Do now: For chronic pain, try nondrug treatments like physical therapy, exercise, weight loss and cold therapy.
Drug manufacturers are required to stamp an expiration date on their products.
On over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, the expiration date is often printed on the label or carton under "EXP" (see photo) or stamped without ink into the bottom of a bottle, carton, or the crimp of a tube. Is a medicine still safe to take after its expiration date?
Expiration dates are typically conservative to make sure you get what you paid for—a fully potent and safe medicine.
Investigate disposal programs See the Drug Enforcement Administration website, dea.gov, or call 800-882-9539 to find a used-medication collector.
Some facilities also offer mail-back programs or drop boxes.
Other drugs you should ensure are full strength include anticonvulsants, warfarin, digoxin and thyroid preparations.
Do now: Ask your pharmacist if the medication can be used safely beyond the "Discard by" date.
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Store opioids in a locked box or small safe to avoid theft and exposing children to these potentially addictive drugs.