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View Full Version : Medications passed their use-by-date


alisoncc
27th Apr 2012, 06:47
A few years ago the Oz Govt decided that over-the-counter pain-killers containing codeine were far too dangerous for the hoi polloi to self-administer and banned them. I get some pretty bad headaches which only a combination of paracetemol and codeine will alleviate, so stocked up before they disappeared off the shelves. Took a couple this morning and they still worked although I noticed that they had time-expired by a couple of years.

Remember reading that the US military reckoned that most medications were good for quite while after the date the manufacturer had stamped on them if they were stored in a fridge, as mine have been. Talk to the medical professions and they react like pre-pubescent schoolgirls, lots of heavy breathing and deep sighs at the thought of using anything passed it's expiry date. Sometimes wonder if the expiry date is just a ploy by pharmaceutical companies to sell more by getting people to throw away products that may still be quite usable. Paracetamol and codeine appear to be fairly stable drugs and sealed in blister packs there can't be much that can go wrong, other than the fill compound. Anyone here who uses medications passed their expiry date without getting unduly concerned?

Worrals in the wilds
27th Apr 2012, 06:50
My chemist in Qld sells codeine based painkillers over the counter, I have a packet at the moment.:confused::confused:
500mg paracetamol, 8mg codeine. I believe you can get a stronger variety on prescription.

alisoncc
27th Apr 2012, 07:00
You can still buy them but the chemist is required to give you a third degree interrogation before doing so, and down here in Vic they only stock the expensive branded varieties. All the cheap generics have gone. So it's $8 or $9 for a small pack of branded ones as opposed to $4 for 50 generics. It was April 2010 that the Govt made them Schedule 3 (Pharmacist Only) with restrictions on quantity and use for each customer.

mixture
27th Apr 2012, 09:06
were good for quite while after the date the manufacturer had stamped on them if they were stored in a fridge, as mine have been

How do you scientifically validate yours are fine ?

Does your fridge accurately hold temperature, do you measure and log it ?

Talk to the medical professions and they react like pre-pubescent schoolgirls, lots of heavy breathing and deep sighs at the thought of using anything passed it's expiry date.

If something goes wrong and you have a reaction to your off-date pills and you go to sue your doctor and/or the manufacturer .... the first thing the defence lawyer is going to ask you is about when and where you procured your tablets.... you can't lie under oath, and your case will probably get thrown out once they figure out you've been using off-date pills. :E

Worrals in the wilds
27th Apr 2012, 09:27
You can still buy them but the chemist is required to give you a third degree interrogation before doing so,I don't mind that. It's the same with pseudoephedrine, but if it means they keep it on the market then tell me what to put on the form and I'll happily list my star sign, address and bikie connections :}. It's a pity about the loss of generics, the same has happened with pseudo ephedrine and it's also gotten very expensive. :( I guess the hassle factor is no longer worth it for the generic manufacturers.

As for your original question, I chuck stuff out after it's expired, even if it's difficult to get. I read somewhere that apart from aspirin most pharamaceuticals lose effectiveness with age rather than turning into something nasty, but I'd rather not take a punt. It's not like you can sniff-check pills like you can with whiskery chicken. :yuk:

P.S. I just had a quick squizz at an online pharmacy (Australian and legit) and they offer a generic 6mg codeine product. If you're in a small place with only a couple of chemists you may want to let your mouse do the walking and look at buying online. :)

OFSO
27th Apr 2012, 11:53
Had a quote once from a very experienced and professional retired doctor that organic-based medicines were OK for up to three or four months after the expiry date, and inorganic up to a year. Of course how they have been stored enters into the equation.