Six Dangers of Using Medicines after their Expiry Date

vpaulose By vpaulose, 23rd Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Drugs & Medicines

Each and every medical package should contain the details about the expiry date of the medicine. If it not properly taken care of, it may lead to reverse effects.

Six Dangers of Using Medicines after their Expiry Date

The power of packed medicines expires after a certain period. One of the most important things a consumer must do is to look into the expiry date printed on the package and label of the product. Many times this is neglected while buying or using medicine. Many people do not know at all about the expiration date. But the fact is that medications may have reverse effects when they are used after their expiry date.

Expiry date
Expiry date indicates a date after which the medicine should not be used. The manufacturing company, based on various experiments, fixes this expiry date and it has to be printed on the container in which the medicine is packed and supplied. All medications, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, should have expiration dates and should be discarded after the expiry date.

Medicines used after their expiry dates are dangerous
Though using medications after their expiry dates may not always be dangerous, the medicines can become weak and possibly ineffective after the particular date. Medicines in the form of pill or liquid may often change in color and consistency. There are cases when the expiry dated medicines have given negative results. Hence it is always advisable to look for the expiry date and avoid using them.

Six dangers of the expiry dated medicines

1) Drug decomposition
Just like any other consumable things, medicine also starts degrading the moment it is manufactured. Heat (temperature), light and moisture are the main factors responsible for the degradation of the drug. It important to maintain the recommended storage condition printed on the package.

2) The medicine may turn toxic
Drug decomposition (retention of potency) is not the only reason for checking of the expiry date. The degraded product may also become toxic after the due date. A physical change may also affect the medicine. The medicine must be stable to be physically, chemically, therapeutically and toxicologically.

3) The medicine must be discarded after the shelf-period
The time period between the date of manufacturing and the expiry date is called the shelf-life period of a medicine. In order to maintain a good shelf-life, the manufacturing company, sometimes, adds excess quantity of active or medicinal ingredient. The purpose of adding excess quantity is to maintain the minimum standard of potency required till the expiry date. Usually, the medicines available in solid forms have more shelf-life than those in the liquid forms. Taking a medicine beyond this shelf-life period may affect the user adversely causing more problems.

4) Sometimes the medicine is dangerous even before the expiry date
Sometimes the medicine may expire well before the expiry date printed on the label if the retail drug outlets or drugstores are not well equipped for appropriate storage conditions. Hence avoid buying medicines nearing the expiry date.

5) Medicine has become a commercial commodity of globalization
Things have changed much and everything has become business in the modern world. Most of the times the ethical values are neglected even in the medical field causing fatal damages. Advertisements with attractive promises are misleading the consumers. Hence there should a vigilant watch over the norms of medical supply.

6) Discard the medicines after the expiry date
Keeping the medicines after their expiry date is always dangerous. Hence throw them away to avoid further negative effects.


Crucial, Dangerous To Use After Expiry Date, Expiry Date

Meet the author

author avatar vpaulose
I just want to write, write and write. I just want to contact the thirsty writers. Please give me your feedback.

Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Retired
24th Jul 2010 (#)

This is good to know. I know I've found outdated meds in our medicine cabinet many times. Good article:)

Reply to this comment

author avatar NICK
8th Oct 2010 (#)

what about ointments.
there may be variations of effects of medicn after expiry. Regular creams and Ointments are still safe to some extent which have just expired their self life.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Makarand
20th Apr 2011 (#)

This is very important to know their effects.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Ahmad Newaz
10th Jul 2011 (#)

Are you trying to say that the day after the expiry date a medication turns toxic?

Reply to this comment

author avatar HEAVEN
20th Jul 2012 (#)

great article.. wish evry pharmacy personnel could c thizz..!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Hamog S. Marcelo
1st Jul 2013 (#)

I thought a six-months extension is given after the expiry date of the medicine.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?