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Ltryptophan's avatar

Is it ok for me to use an old prescription I never filled?

Asked by Ltryptophan (9112 points ) January 4th, 2011

In 2009 I very seriously considered having my wisdom teeth out. This resulted in the necessary preparatory examinations, a date of removal, and an issuance of a prescription for amoxicillin. I never went.

The amoxicillin prescription is still in my possession.

Now, I have a respiratory illness that is producing a decent amount of green phlegm, and minor discomfort.

I believe the amoxicillin prescription would help get me past this. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television.

Can I use this prescription?

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13 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

If a pharmacist notices the date, they may not fill the scrip. Also, your respiratory thing is very likely a virus, and the amoxi will do nothing except slightly weaken your natural immune response. Antibiotics DO NOT TREAT VIRUSES! If you feel that ill, talk to a doctor, have it cultured and they can prescribe the right meds.

tranquilsea's avatar

I wouldn’t as what you have could very well be a virus and the antibiotic won’t help that.

We have a lot of problems in the world today because of the over prescribing of antibiotics. Don’t take them if you don’t need them.

Seelix's avatar

As far as I know, if a prescription is older than 6 months the pharmacist won’t fill it.

chyna's avatar

@Seelix is correct. They will not fill it when it is that old.

marinelife's avatar

It is probably only good for one year after the issue date.

Also, if what you have is viral (likely) an antibiotic will not do you any good, and is just helping to create super bugs.

Seelix's avatar

I want to add that even if you could get the prescription filled, you shouldn’t take it for this illness. Self-medicating is never a good idea. I mean, taking aspirin for a headache is one thing, but messing with antibiotics is something else entirely.

Get thee to a doctor, and get the proper meds!

MissAnthrope's avatar

The problem here is twofold and as people said. 1) most likely the scrip is past the 6— or 12-month time frame where it’s valid. I had a scrip for Metrogel that I couldn’t afford to fill for a while, but then time ran out. 2) the reason you go to a doctor is because doctors are aware of what causes certain illnesses (virus vs. bacteria), in addition to that, they also know which kinds of bacteria respond to the different kinds of antibiotics.

There are gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. If you use a gram-positive antibiotic on a gram-negative bacteria, it won’t work, and vice versa. So, taking the amoxicillin is really a shot in the dark, even if it were a bacterial infection.

Much better to go see a doc and have them tell you, than to try to medicate yourself with antibiotics. The only time I would do that is if I had a recurring infection and knew with a high degree of certainty that it was the same thing.

perspicacious's avatar

Yes it’s OK, but some drugs cannot be filled past a certain time after written.

JLeslie's avatar

@JilltheTooth Green is bacteria usually.

@Ltryptophan If it is over a year, they won’t fill it most likely. Also, amoxicillin is not what would be prescribed to you. It would be Amoxocillin Clauvanate, also known as the Brand Augmentin. Amoxicillin alone will likely not be enough medication, the spectrum is not broad enough. Also, if it was prescribed to be prophylactic for a procedure, probably there is not enough pills for a full course of medicine to treat an infection.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Regardless of the color of the mucus;
“You might have heard that yellow or green mucus is a clear sign that you have an infection, but despite that common misperception, the yellow or green hue isn’t due to bacteria.
When you have a cold, your immune system sends white blood cells called neutrophils rushing to the area. These cells contain a greenish-colored enzyme, and in large numbers they can turn the mucus the same color.” from this page of the WebMD site, it’s best to have a Dr check you out to prescribe the appropriate meds for your condition.

JLeslie's avatar

@JilltheTooth Have you ever had a doctor do a cultue for a sinus infection? Basically, if you are completely congested for 8+ days and in addition it is green, you will be given antibiotics. Most viruses, colds, last one week, no fever, and muscous is clear or white. Some people do overcome bacterial infections on their own, but again usually once symptoms are over a week, you get a script. I don’t know how long the OP has been sick.

JLeslie's avatar

Just a reminder though, I do not think the OP should take the drug. Again, a few days with a head cold is almost never worthy of antibitiotics, you need to give your body a chance to fight it whether it is bacterial or virus. Overuse of antibiotics is dangerous.

Also, even if you need antibiotics and even if that drug is the right one, which I don’t think it is, you have to take it in the right dosage for that specific infection, which I doubt it is the right dosage.

In the end, I am saying, self medicating is typically a bad idea. Just popping an antibiotic can make things much worse when it is the wrong one.

ziggityjiggity's avatar

depends on how old it is, also if you even need the stuff?

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