How Long before Medications Expire?

3 years ago  •  Add Comment  •  by Donna Bliss

Manufacturers are required by law to stamp an expiration date on medication; it’s the date beyond which they can no longer guarantee the drug’s potency and as a result, the safety of the medication.

In general, the healthcare experts say you can keep most medications for up to 12 months past the expiration date, but there are two exceptions. Tetracycline should never be taken beyond the expiration date because it becomes toxic and can cause damage to the kidneys. All liquid medications that have expired especially nitroglycerin, insulin, and injectable drugs, an epi-pen for example, should be discarded because it can lose potency.

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