Be Aware of the Expiration Date of Your Meds
Be Aware of Your Med’s Expiration Date
You should be aware of the expiration dates of medicine taken by your loved ones. The young and the elderly can be harmed by taking medicine that’s been sitting around your medicine cabinet for too long. But you should use common sense as well in deciding whether medicine is good or has lost all of its effectiveness.
The problem is that most pharmaceutical companies are too conservative when they print expiration dates on over-the-counter medicines. They don’t want to be subject to a lawsuit, so they err on the side of caution.
The expiration dates they print on medicines, in many cases, represent the date when they can no longer guarantee that the medicine will be at its full strength.
Expiration by Medicine Type
Aspirin, ibuprofen and paracetamol are perfectly good for up to five years. If you know the date you purchased the medicines, you can safely use them for several years from the purchase date before they should be discarded.
If you have a houseful of kids, you probably have cough syrup in your medicine cabinet. But you shouldn’t leave it too long. Use the cough syrup by the expiration on the package. If you need to prolong its effectiveness, store it in the refrigerator, but only for a few weeks or so. Cough syrup can get contaminated based on the number of times it’s opened and the length of time it’s kept. Always try to use syrup by its expiration date.
Most families have eyedrops. Any eyedrops in your home should be used by their expiration date to prevent eye infections and irritation.
Knowing which medicines are still safe to use is the responsibility of each parent. But other than eyedrops and cough syrups, most OTC medicines are safe to use after their expiration dates.