Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

How bad is taking old medication?


Recommended Posts

I mean it's current prescription and not like super old, the oldest might be a year or two, specifically it's Seroquel XR.

I just don't want to spend thousands on new medication to not even be able to use the insurance in March (when I turn 26, the cutoff age due to Obamacare); mostly because if I save my flex card money I can use it on 2 teeth implants instead (the final steps to completing my smile makeover which started with 2 years of braces, supposed to get them off in August)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Technically it is a bad idea to use old meds.  However, I figured out that even if the prescription is filled in ie 2015, the actual package has a 2-3 year expiration date on it.  So even though the meds have "expired," they really haven't.

Personally, I sometimes will take an old med if I am just trying something I have extras of (or a dose change or something), because like you said why waste a ton of money on something you don't even know if it will work or not.  I do have a stash of all my meds for an emergency, and just rotate those so it is out with the old, in with the new.

Otherwise I just take them as I fill them.

Edited by melissaw72
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might be interested in these if you haven't seen them:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1395800/#__sec7title

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/drug-expiration-dates-do-they-mean-anything

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/SpecialFeatures/ucm481139.htm

Personally, I've taken things like abilify that are expired by 1-2 years because it's expensive and I ended up with lots of "back stock" because I'm prescribed more than what I take. (I take half of the smallest dose it comes in.) I've taken slightly expired valium and xanax too. So far, I haven't noticed a difference. I would not personally, however, consider taking an expired antibiotic since I think the potency would be really important in that case. I do try to keep OTC drugs like naproxen sodium current since stuff like that is relatively cheap.

FWIW, my mom takes really old prescription strength ibuprofen. I think it must be ten years past expiration at least. It's never bothered her, still seems to work well enough, and I've even occasionally taken it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If anything, an expired med is more likely to become less potent, especially if it's been stored in the bathroom cabinet.

Bathroom medicine cabinets are actually considered the worst place to keep your meds:

 http://abcnews.go.com/Health/HealthyLife/medicine-cabinet-worse-place-store-medications-pharmacists/story?id=14316623

A med that's been expired for 1-2 years MIGHT be less potent, and that's about it, as far as I can tell, but being less potent doesn't mean it will harm you--you just may not get the full effect from it.....

However, some sources I've read say an expired med could become harmful if it's chemical properties change, but I've personally never experienced this, or known anyone that it's happened to, so can't really say if that's accurate.

I personally keep my meds in a shoebox in my bedroom, and throw away any leftovers after they officially expire, but that's just me......

Edited by CrazyRedhead
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on the medicine. Usually it is okay. Tetracycline (an antibiotic) degrades to a toxic product.

As far as I know seroquel has a shelf life of 3 years

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/2295#SHELF_LIFE

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use automatic refills so I always have backstock. I am careful to rotate through my meds so I do not take expired meds. Even with meds stored under ideal conditions (no light, dry, cool conditions that don't vary) I want to take the most potent meds I can. I want my full dose. Potency is the most likely thing that takes a hit when you take expired meds, generally. Sometimes expired meds are just as potent as unexpired meds. Benzos remain surprisingly potent for long time. Some times they are not. Some meds take a real hit in some way after the expire date. Some become toxic. I don't see this as a risk worth taking if all it takes is a little care to take the oldest meds first.

I realize sometimes your choice to take the expired med or take no meds. Then I use some simple rules to decide this question. If it is an antibiotic throw it away. If it is within a few years past the expire date take it. 

There is already some fudge factor when expire date is calculated. If a med really is OK at 3 years it will say 2 years, just to be safe. These are instructions distributed to the public telling them how to use this med. Nothing is more official and and needs to be correct for all cases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK I admit I keep old meds like benzos, pain meds, and sleeping meds "just in case", because they are hard to get. On rare occasions I take one, except I've never needed the percocet/pain meds. But I admit it's not a good idea. Things like other meds I keep current. I admit I'm a bit of a hoarder so maybe that's part of it. I don't recommend anyone hoard old meds, despite my habits. I'm always afraid of being labeled "drug seeking " if I ask for sleep or anxiety meds, or refused. Last time I was given only 5 tabs of meds for sleep thus my desire to save them in case I can't get more in a crisis, realistic or not. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...