The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
Let's face it, this winter has been strange. The folks I know that are typically buried in snow for 9 months have been experiencing spring for a couple of weeks. BUT, the NE is living the dream (if your a snow man)
So let's think about spring and spend a little of that downtime getting our gear ready
First aid kit: discard any outdated medicines and check for any items that may need to be replenished.
Most over the counter medicines and even many prescription drugs are still good after that the expiration date, they just aren't as effective. However, if the drug is more than a year past its expiration date then its potency really starts to wain. Expiration dates are kept short by pharmaceutical companies for fear of law suits. (or if you're on the other side of the argument argument to jack up the cost to hospitals.) Either way, many are still quite effective until they are about a year past the expiration date.
I tend to agree Tobias, especially with aspirin. Anyone else have a time frame they are good with in regards to expanding an expiration date?
After 30 years in the pharmacy business, I feel I can comment on this-Yes, some drugs are effective years after their expiration dates, although they may have reduced effectiveness, There are a few ( speaking on both prescription and OTC) that might be potentially dangerous. Many drugs are safe well beyond their expiration dates, if kept in a controlled environment.. Time,heat or moisture from hot showers, etc. can affect their potency.Should you take an expired aspirin in an emergency situation like a heart attack??-Yes-- It won't hurt you, and might save your life-- Is it recommended to hang on to expired meds-- NO - Many links out there in web land weighing the pros and cons--Some drugs may be effective many years past their expiration date, others not so much-- Are you an expert on which ones??--IMHO, expiration dates should be followed unless you are in an emergency situation--Like I said, various opinions out there, but I will go with the FDA-
and then there is the Harvard study that says, sure take them years later you are good
Jan, I saw that study, too---Hence the pros and cons debate--I prefer going with the FDA--- Probably effective, IMHO, is not a guarantee-When I was in the pharmacy biz, we pulled OTC drugs a month before their expiration, and some things like baby formula or nutritional supplements, 3 months before their expiration.--- I would hazard a guess, there was a reason for that !!
your best is to use non-expired drugs. While I don't have direct experience, my information is based on the experience of my wife, who is is the buyer for a major Chicago Hospital Pharmacy with 30 years of experience, my sister, a Registered nurse, and my sister in law, a Nurse-anesthesiologist, and my 20+ years doing research in the Health Science field. John is correct, some expired drugs can be a deadly, especially ones that requires special handling/refrigeration. I was mainly referring to the things you see in the small first aid kits people tend to have in the house/car