The last time I did this was 3 years ago about this time of the year. We remodeled our bathroom and got rid of our old cabinet so I had to clean it all out. I found stuff in there that was 3 and 4 years past the expiration date. So here is this good question. Are Medication expiration dates accurate?
As we’re watching the show Paul turns to me and says “see, I told you they were still good” because they were saying that most of the time they think stuff like this will still be good for many years after the expiration date and the main reason there isn’t a longer date is because there haven’t been any studies on it after that many years that they put on the bottles or tubes.
To which I responded, “would you really want to take that chance? When you’re really sick, do you want to take the change that the Dristan won’t make you feel better? Or the Cortaid won’t take your itch away if it’s 4 years old? Would you really want to risk it? This stuff isn’t really that expensive.”
So it brings me to the question, how often do you go in and clean out your medicine cabinet? Do you look at the dates on that stuff or do you let it go?
We don’t have a lot of medicine at our house. But I still would look at the date. And if its expired by alot I would throw it away.
The way it was explained to me, the expiration date is the date after which a certain small percentage (maybe 5%) of the time, the product does not perform the way it’s supposed to. So I look at the dates, but I don’t throw stuff out until a while after the expiration date. Pills, I would wait at least a year, especially for something ilke aspirin, unless someone could show me a good reason why it would be dangerous.
Recently, someone mentioned that there might be other issues besides reduced effectiveness. Some stuff might get stronger with time (grape juice, anyone?). So if it were a lotion designed for soothing the skin, I sure wouldn’t want to use it if something in it might have gotten stronger / more concentrated. For stuff like that, I won’t go too far past the expiration date – mainly because when my skin acts up, it’s really bad, so my risk tolerance is low.
Some months ago, I cleared out my cabinets and got rid of some really old stuff, then put the other stuff in order of due date and used them up over time. I don’t usually take medicines, but other stuff like body lotions have the same “expiration date” issue.
If it’s way past the expiration date and I haven’t used it in forever, it goes in the can. I just went through my bathroom cabinet not long ago and threw out a bunch of stuff mainly b/c I hadn’t used it in a long time so I was sick of looking at it!
I do it very frequently because I hate clutter.
We don’t have a lot of medicine actually. And the stuff we do have gets used, so we hardly ever have half empty bottles of anything. The ointments we have, Jason uses on a regular bases, so those don’t go bad either. I have all our stuff in 2 drawers so if I happen to be going through it to find something, and I come across something I know isn’t good (Tums/Rolaids would be the only things) or we won’t use, I just toss them. Like the those generic tubes of toothpaste, not sure where they even come from but they are nasty, so I toss those as soon as I see them.
Every few months I clean and reorganize my stuff.I do throw out stuff I have not used in a long time and it has expired.Usually I do use up tylenol and advil.So they do not go past the due date.
I’m pretty good at keeping after medicinal expiration dates… unless one of the bottles manages to migrate to the back of the cabinet and hide there. Cosmetics, I’m TERRIBLE with. I don’t wear makeup all that much to begin with, so with some of them, like mascara, that has a 3-month shelf life… well, I tend to stretch them out for a year or better, just because I rarely use them.
I do it whenever I happen to run across it’s “hiding place”. With all the people I had living here for a while, there were aspirin, tylenol and advil in several different spots, so I always check the date on things not in the regular spots. Other than that, things rarely expire.
We’re starting to get like that, too. Steve has lots of lingering and ongoing aches from his wreck, so he’s almost always dosed up with something… so there’s a stash in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the bedroom… And then there’s a whole separate stash for Josh’s meds, and another for the DOG!! Although it’s a tossup between The Boy and The Dog as to who is healthier… with them, it’s mostly vitamins I have to track.
That’s how it is here Laura. Our animals have their own “meds” container too.