Okay so what's the deal with those expiration dates on medications??
Are they like milk — do they become bad for you once they hit the magic number??
That's nuts. It makes us think we're gettin' scammed.
Get this: the 8 drugs had 14 different active ingredients (including aspirin). In 86% of cases the amount of active ingredient present in the drugs was at least 90% of the amount indicated on the label.
Which means that 86% of the drugs are within the range deemed acceptable by the Food and Drug Administration. The agency requires that drugs contain between 90% and 110% of the stated active ingredient.
Here's what the researchers said:
"All [the expiration date] means from the manufacturers' standpoint is that they're willing to guarantee the potency and efficacy for the drug for that long. It has nothing to do with the actual shelf life."
Has it sunk in yet?
You're probably throwing away perfectly fine medication, and wasting money on more. Plus there are drug shortages.
Besides, in the medical literature there is only one example of an expired drug that became toxic — and that was an isolated incident. This doesn't mean you should run to your cabinet and take everything (that would probably kill you).
Instead, it should be pointed out that these drugs were unopened and still in their original containers.
[Image via AP Images.]