Before treating any symptom with drugs, be careful that you are not going to take medication after the expiration date. Manufacturer’s date ensures effectiveness.
It will be safe taking medication out of date? It is important that you pay attention to the information we have to give you.
There are many boxes of medicines that we keep and accumulate in the closet at home. However, we do not always realize the expiry dates and when we really need to take some type of drug we are faced with expired drugs. That’s where the doubts arise.
So that the medicines you have at home do not exceed their expiry date, try to periodically check the expiry date on the carton or medicine bottle.
Taking medication after the expiration date: is it safe?
First of all, it is essential to understand how the expiry date of medicines is determined.
Each drug has a unique formulation, composed of active and inactive ingredients with the aim of treating specific diseases. For the same reason, from the moment the medicine is conceived and developed, each manufacturer will determine the period of time that this medicine will have without it deteriorating.
The date that the manufacturer can guarantee the consumer the safety and full effectiveness of the medicine, then corresponds to the expiry date of the product.
As we know, the greater the effectiveness of the medicine, the better the results you will be able to obtain. However, if taking medication out of date this effectiveness may not happen or be very low. What can happen in these cases is that the medicine fails to adequately treat the health problem.
When the medicines exceed the expiry date can pose a danger to your health and well-being. This is due to changes that can occur in their chemical and physical compounds, such as some medicines that change color when they exceed their expiry date or even when they fall apart when we pick them up.
According to Infarmed, you should never take medication after the deadline. There are medications such as eye drops or even syrups, which have a shelf life once opened. Which means that, from the moment you open them, you should take into account the information that is on the respective medicine box as well as the package leaflet.
There you will find not only the expiration date, but also the storage time after the drug is opened (which are usually two different deadlines).
In addition, Infarmed recommends that you deliver these medicines after the deadline to a pharmacy near you, so that you can contribute to a better environment and to the safety of your family.
What are the risks of taking out-of-date medication?
As we explained earlier, there are no guarantees that the medication is effective and safe. So you already know, You should never take medication after the expiration date.. However, it can happen and you only notice it after you have taken the medicine. If this happens, you may encounter two different types of situations:
1. The medicine will not have any kind of effect, at best. Of course, always paying attention to what kind of purpose it is being used. If it is a medicine for the heart, blood pressure control or even to control infections, it is important to be very aware of the expiry date, because when exceeded and taken in these conditions, medicines can make all the difference between life or death.
2. May cause side effects, apart from having no effect. That is, depending on the deterioration of the pill and its active ingredient, the medicine can cause some type of intoxication.
So what are the best practices in relation to taking medication?
Medicines serve to improve the quality of life and to prevent and treat diseases, and for this reason they are part of the lives of many of us.
It is common to have a cupboard or even a box at home where we put all the medicines so that when they are needed, they are ready to be used. However, many of us do not monitor the expiry date of medicines.
It is extremely important that you are careful and that you carry out this periodic review of the drugs you have in your possession, so that it is not possible, by mistake or carelessness, to take any that have expired.
Good practices to observe
Taking out-of-date medication it is something that depends on you, being a totally controllable situation as long as you are attentive. However, there are some good practices regarding medications.
- Store medicines in their boxes and in a place that is not exposed to temperature changes. If you usually keep your medicines in the kitchen or bathroom, know that these are not the ideal places to store them. This is due to the heat and humidity that remain in these two rooms, which can alter or reduce the shelf life of the medicines you have in storage.
- Always keep medicines away from children.
- Be responsible and never overuse medication.
- Use the medicines as instructed by the doctor or pharmacist.
- Always check the expiry dates of each of the medicines.
- Always comply with the treatment prescribed for you.
- Deliver overdue medications to a pharmacy.
- Never keep medications you don’t need.
- Never try to prescribe a colleague or family member without a doctor’s advice – remember that each person has different characteristics from the other and that the medications suitable for one may not be the same for the other.