Can you use cold medicine after the expiration date?

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Thora Lind asked a question: Can you use cold medicine after the expiration date?
Asked By: Thora Lind
Date created: Sat, May 1, 2021 4:43 AM
Date updated: Thu, Jun 23, 2022 4:59 PM

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Ask unmc - can i use medication after the expiration date?

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Expired medicines can be risky

Once the expiration date has passed there is no guarantee that the medicine will be safe and effective. If your medicine has expired, do not use it.

Video answer: Is it ok to use expired medicine?

Is it ok to use expired medicine?

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So, for these it's probably best not to use them past their manufacturer's expiration dates. Mefloquine, an antibiotic to prevent or treat malaria, and Epi-pens (injections of adrenaline for severe allergic reactions) also held up poorly past their expiration dates. The details matter.

Around 90 percent were proven to still be effective long past the expiration date -- some for more than 10 years. Drugs that are stored in cool, dark places have a better chance of lasting because the fillers used in the product will not separate or start to break down as they might in a warm, humid environment.

While medical professionals recommend that you only take medications that are unexpired, you can still safely take the following kind of medicines after their expiration date if you don't need them to be at full potency in order to make you feel better: pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen in tablet form; antihistamines, allergy, and sinus tablets; and cold medicines like Mucinex, Sudafed, Theraflu, in tablet or powder form.

Liquid antibiotics need to be reconstituted after the expiration date the pharmacist gives, so they should be used immediately. Use cough syrup by the expiration date on the package. As a liquid medication, cough syrup breaks down more quickly and doesn't stand up as well as dry medication to long-term storage.

Explains how Abreva, a cold sore medicine does not lose its effectiveness if used after the 1 year expiration date.

Once the expiration date has passed there is no guarantee that the medicine will be safe and effective. If your medicine has expired, do not use it. According to the DEA many people don’t know ...

The manufacturer states EpiPen autoinjectors should not be used after the expiration date as the epinephrine has been shown to lose its potency. 1 Epipens are used in life-threatening situations like anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, so there can be a major health threat or death linked with an expired EpiPen. 12,13

If your life does not depend on an expired drug -- such as you have headache, common cold, or constipation -- you may take the medication and see what happens. It can be: Pain or fever relievers, e.g. ibuprofen (Advil®), naproxen (Aleve®), acetaminophen (Tylenol®), tramadol (Ultram®).

After the expiry date medicines may not be safe or as effective. You should not take medicines after their expiry date. If you've had a medicine for a while, check the expiry date before using it. You should also make sure that you've stored the medicine properly, as described on the packaging or leaflet.

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Video answer: What are expiration dates on medications?

What are expiration dates on medications?