The effectiveness of a medicine may decrease over time, but studies have shown that much of the original potency still remains years after the expiration date.
Other drugs you should ensure are full strength include anticonvulsants, warfarin, digoxin and thyroid preparations.
Do now: Ask your pharmacist if the medication can be used safely beyond the "Discard by" date.
With drug costs already high and still rising, the cry for a change is growing louder.
The American Medical Association is among the organizations that have pressed for a new approach that can save waste as well as preserve inventories of precious medicines in short supply.
Actually, it's the date up until which the drug manufacturer can guarantee that the medicine is fully potent and safe to take based on product testing.
Expiration dates are typically conservative to make sure you get what you paid for—a fully potent and safe medicine. hospitals, nursing homes, and pharmacies—the latter by federal and state mandate—dump billions of dollars' worth of old medications every year; but much of that waste could be eliminated by changing the way expiration dates are established.Both government and private testing, however, have demonstrated that many "expired" drugs are indeed stable, potent, and viable long beyond their indicated shelf life.Ibuprofen and naproxen can also increase bleeding risk and bump up blood pressure, explains cardiologist Lawrence Phillips of the New York University Langone Medical Center.Studies show that acetaminophen can cause liver damage, especially when taken with alcohol.Since you last purchased the product, new dosing instructions or warnings may be advised; the strength may have changed to reduce the risk of errors; a new dosing device may be available to help measure doses more accurately; the product may be packaged in a new container more child-resistant than an older version of the drug; and so on.