Drug Expiration Dates — Do They Mean Anything?—The Family Health Guide


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** Drug Expiration Dates - Do They Mean Anything? **

With a splitting headache you reach into your medicine cabinet for some
aspirin only to find the stamped expiration date on the bottle has passed -
two years ago. So, do you take it or don't you? If you decide to take the
aspirin will it be a fatal mistake or will you simply continue to suffer
from the headache?

This is a dilemma many people face in some way or another. A column
published in /Pyschopharmacology Today /offers some advice.

It turns out that the expiration date on a drug does stand for something,
but probably not what you think it does. Since a law was passed in 1979,
drug manufacturers are required to stamp an expiration date on their
products. This is the date at which the manufacturer can still guarantee
the full potency and safety of the drug.

Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study
conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the
military. With a large and expensive stockpile of drugs, the military

Source: www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update1103a.shtml

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