General Question

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

How long does prescription medicine keep its potency?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (25184points) October 10th, 2011

I have a prescription for Flexiril that I take very rarely. I had 3 refills on the bottle that expired a month ago, which I never filled, so I’m guessing it has been at least a year since I filled the bottle that I currently have.
I still have a ton of pills left in this bottle… I really barely touch them [I hate taking any sort of medicine], so are they still good? Should I be calling and asking for a new script?

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9 Answers

Buttonstc's avatar

Is Flexiril a muscle relaxant? If so, it should be fine for quite a while longer. The worst consequence is it might possibly lose a little potency (maybe)?

But all medications should be stored away from moisture and sometimes sunlight. The bathroom cabinet is the WORST place due to humidity from bath/shower.

Also the medications which present the most danger of expiring are some antiobiotics.

I would absolutely stick to the dates posted on the label and dump them if past it.

Ive read that some expired antibiotics can possibly cause liver/kidney damage. That’s a consequence I’m unwilling to risk.

Expired antibiotics can definitely lose a lot of their potency and will not knock out the infection as they’re supposed to. Dangerous.

This is why people were advised NOT TO stock up on Cipro following the Anthrax scare a while back.

Anything containing aspirin can go rancid in time. Not tremendously dangerous other than stomach upset but spoiled aspirin is pretty nasty. It happened to me once. Not something I care to repeat.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

It’s a muscle relaxer, yes. I keep our medication in a kitchen cabinet, although we don’t have a shower.

jrpowell's avatar

You should be fine. Pills tend to lose potency instead of becoming harmful. And if you don’t want them I will take them. I love a good muscle relaxer.

Buttonstc's avatar

Ha ha.

So Ryan is now the official Fluther dump site for all unwanted muscle relaxants. Cute :)

I would presume you’d also gladly accept any unwanted painkillers as well?


ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I figured the issue would be a loss of potency.
So, basically I don’t need to call my doctor unless they quit working.. right

Buttonstc's avatar

Yeah. No need to get more unless you notice they’re not working as well.

And as long as the cabinet isn’t directly above the stove, they should be ok. I keep mine in a bedroom dresser drawer myself.

Presumably you trust your guests not to go treasure hunting through your cabinets :)

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silky1's avatar

I also take Flexeril on occasion. I have lots of pills left over from a filled prescription and I take them as needed. The bottle I am still using is over a year old. I still feel the exact same effect when I use them so my guess is your pills are still good.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@silky1 well, the one I took last night knocked me out for 15 hours, so my guess is that they are still okay. I just figured I should check since it has been so long. Thanks!

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