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Are My Expired Medications Safe to Take?

Is it dangerous to take your expired prescription medications?

Should I  stock up on medications?

The answer is no. Your prescription medications remain safe and effective, and your pharmacy is overwhelmed right now with the high demand for medications during the cough and flu season compounded by the Coronavirus pandemic.

You old medications might be slightly less effective, but it’s unlikely they wouldn’t still be effective. 

Here’s a fascinating study in which eight prescription medications with 15 different active ingredients were discovered in a retail pharmacy in their original, unopened containers. 

All had expired 28 to 40 years prior to analysis. 

These medications had at least 85% of their original potency!

It is also important to know we’re not aware of any prescription medications on the market today that degrade into any dangerous compounds.

Some critical medications like injectables may lose effectiveness more quickly than tablets and capsules. If you think your prescription tablets or capsules are a few months, or a year past the expiration date, don’t sweat it. You can take them anyway. Just get a refill when you are out. It saves money and resources. And, they’re still safe and effective.

If you have any questions or concerns about your prescriptions, you can call our refill hotline at 608-227-7007 any time.

Side note: Dozens of other studies confirms the above information. Not just this one single cited study.

 

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/

Author
Frederic A. Melius, MD, FACOG Founding Partner, Melius, Schurr & Cardwell Physicians for Women

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