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Why do medicines have expiry date?

The expiration date is printed on the label or stamped onto the bottle or carton, and it is sometimes found after the word “EXP.” It is critical to be aware of and adhere to the expiration date on your medication. It is dangerous and perhaps damaging to your health to use expired medical products.

The expiry date usually indicates that the medicine should not be used after the end of the month specified.

Medicines are given expiry dates by:

  • The pharmaceutical company that makes the drug.
  • The medicine’s supplier (pharmacist).
Due to a change in chemical composition or a drop in potency, expired medical items may be less effective or dangerous. 
Expired drugs may harbor bacteria, and sub-potent antibiotics may fail to treat infections, resulting in more serious illnesses and antibiotic resistance. 
There is no guarantee that the medicine will be safe and effective after the expiration date has gone. Do not utilize any drug that has beyond its expiration date.

Is it possible to utilize a medicine after it has passed its expiration date?

No, it’s preferable not to utilize a medicine that has passed its expiration date. A medicine’s shelf life, often known as its expiration date, refers to the amount of time it has been proven to be effective and safe when maintained appropriately.
Heat, air, light, and moisture can all have an impact on a medicine’s safety and effectiveness.
If you take a medicine after it’s expired, you can get a smaller dose of the active ingredient than what’s on the label (particularly relevant to antibiotics).
It could also raise the risk of contamination (for medicines containing preservatives, such as eye drops or creams).

What are the examples of medications that can be unsafe after expiration date?

Tablets and capsules, which are solid dose forms, tend to be the most stable past their expiration date. Drugs that are available in solution or as a reconstituted suspension that must be refrigerated (such as amoxicillin suspension) may lose their efficacy if used after their expiration date. Potency loss is a serious health hazard, especially when using antibiotics to treat an infection. Antibiotic resistance can also develop with sub-potent medicines.
If a precipitant forms or the result appears hazy or discoloured, medications in solution, especially injectable pharmaceuticals, should be discarded.
Solvent evaporation may occur in liquid medications such as eye or ear solutions, oral liquids, or topical solutions over time.
Preservative-containing expired drugs, such as ophthalmic (eye) drops, may be dangerous after their expiration date.
Bacterial growth may be allowed in the solution due to outdated preservatives.
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