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primigravida's avatar

How bad is it to use expired medicine?

Asked by primigravida (826points) May 3rd, 2010

So, I have a cold that kept me up last night, and might also do tonight since I can’t breathe. I found an old bottle of flonase (2001!!! EEK!), how bad of an idea would it be to use it? Either I risk that, or I have another sleepless night. Ideas?

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12 Answers

thriftymaid's avatar

Use it. Did you read the results of the Army’s 20 year study?

Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military. With a large and expensive stockpile of drugs, the military faced tossing out and replacing its drugs every few years. What they found from the study is 90% of more than 100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, were perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration date.

YARNLADY's avatar

Depending on the kind of medication, it could lose potency, or become contaminated over time.

primigravida's avatar

@thriftymaid No… is it some sort of super med that can last a lot longer than the exp says?

thriftymaid's avatar

@primigravida I added the link to my answer.

primigravida's avatar

@thriftymaid Wow, that’s amazing! I’m so never throwing meds away again!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

It’s probably not that bad, it may just not be that effective.

Rarebear's avatar

Well, your flonase won’t work for your cold anyway. That’s a nasal steroid for long term management. It has no effect acutely.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Tetracycline shouldn’t be used past it’s use by date as it becomes toxic.

gemiwing's avatar

I also wouldn’t recommend using something that had been up your nose nine years ago. Mmm tasty!

Lightlyseared's avatar

Eye drops (and for that matter eye makeup) shouldn’t be used if they’ve been open for a long time.

primigravida's avatar

@papayalily Yup. Definitely not effective. At all.

@Lightlyseared No troubles so far, don’t think it’s toxic. ;) As for my makeup, I’m a total snob. Won’t use anything that’s too old!

@gemiwing No one used it. It was given by a doc as a sample and just sat in the medicine cabinet.

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