The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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1327
Drugs Past Their Expiration Date
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Healthcare providers are often asked if patients can use drugs after their expiration date. Pharmaceutical companies, because of legal restrictions and liability concerns, will not sanction such use and might not even comment on the safety or effectiveness of using their products beyond the date on the label. Since the last Medical Letter publication on this subject,1 more data have become available.

SAFETY — There are no published reports of human toxicity due to ingestion, injection or topical application of current drug formulations after their expiration date. Renal tubular damage has been reported after use of degraded tetracycline in a formulation that is no longer available.2

THE EXPIRATION DATE — The expiration date on the manufacturer’s package is based on the stability of the drug in its original sealed container. The date does ... more      

The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

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Title: Drugs Past Their Expiration Date
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