General Question

Luciensmom's avatar

Safe to take Pure Compounded Hydrocodone Bitartrate, which was filled on 10/08/12, and expired on 02/06/13? NO Preservatives!

Asked by Luciensmom (4 points ) 3 weeks ago

I just found a full bottle of a compounded prescription that I still currently take and pay $225 a month for. Don’t know how I managed to misplace it, but there was a few months I wasn’t getting it filled every month awhile ago. It is pure (no aceteminephen), 8.5 mg Hydrocodone Bitartrate, made at the compounding pharmacy, which means NO Preservatives, they normally put a 4–6 month expiration date on the bottle, if these are not still safe, it is $225 lost. UPDATE: I misread the label, not much difference. It was filled 10/08/12, and says discard after 02/06/13!!

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8 Answers

Katniss's avatar

I’m not a doctor, nor am I a pharmacist, but my first thought was NO! Do not take them. Meds have an expiration date for a reason. I’ve heard that the chemicals in medication change over time either making them less effective or making them toxic. If I were you, I would throw them away. Better safe than sorry. I know it sucks to waste money, but your health is more important.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Well if you don’t mind playing Russian roulette give it a whirl. I think I would ditch that ASAP.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I wouldn’t. More than a year old. If you really need hydrocodone that badly, go to a drug dealer.

dappled_leaves's avatar

From this paper:

Wallo et al. 1982. Simultaneous assay of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen in a tablet formulation. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 71(10), pp. 1115–1118,

Hydrocodone bitartrate breaks down over time, producing p-aminophenol as a degradation compound. p-aminophenol is toxic. I wouldn’t risk it.

talljasperman's avatar

Don’t take them, Give to a pharmacist for disposal.

kritiper's avatar

I wouldn’t balk at taking it. It might not be as potent as when fresh, but it wouldn’t kill you if you didn’t take more than prescribed.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’ve been told that the shelf life of narcotics is right up there with Twinkies.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I am not a doctor.

While it is true that most pharmaceuticals simply lose efficacy with time, there are a few that actually break down into toxic compounds. You need to be careful with certain types of medications, like opioids (which come from plants). Some pharmacists even warn against taking very old vitamin C, which has been shown to lead to kidney failure in some patients.

Keep in mind that expiry dates are determined in experiments which assume the worst kind of storage conditions – so if you are keeping your drugs in dark, cool environments, this may extend their shelf life. I have no problem taking Advil or Tylenol which is a few years past the expiry date – but again, I’d always do my homework first.

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