The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Drugs Past Their Expiration Date
Subscribers: Log in to read full article.  Not a subscriber?  Subscribe or purchase article.

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.

Would you like to read the rest of this article?  Gain access below.

Subscriptions to The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics include:
  • Print version published and mailed biweekly (26 issues/year)
  • Unlimited online access to current and past issues (1988 - present)
  • Mobile App for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire
  • FREE online per issue CME/CE
Purchase this article:
Title: Drugs Past Their Expiration Date
Article code: 1327d
 Electronic, downloadable article - $45
Gain access through your organization
Ask your librarian to consider an Institutional Subscription to The Medical Letter.
Recommend to your librarian