Drugs Gone Bad
So last night I was in my medicine cabinet to grab a band aid and was left with only one band aid in the box after I used the one I needed. So naturally I decided to remove this one last band aid from the box and throw the box away to make more room…which led to me completely organize and clean the entire cabinet. You know what they say “When you give a mouse a cookie…” Anyways, I thought of a conversation I had with a coworker earlier this week about vitamins and medicine “not being good forever”, which prompted me to do something I’ve never really done before: check out the expiration dates on all my meds. I’m not sure if this is something that everyone else does on a regular basis, but I, for one, have never taken the time to do this before. Though I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was, I was shocked to see that 90% of my medications were expired. Some expired in late 2012, which isn’t that bad, but other expired in June of 2006 – That’s like almost 7 years ago! So I put them all in a bag and they are now sitting on my kitchen table waiting for me to bring them to the dumpster.
This morning, since I sit wondering how many times I’ve used those expired medications and what implications they will have on my body. I did some quick research online I found this interesting article on CNN.com called “Are we throwing away ‘expired’ medications too soon” which talked about the expiration dates on medications. It basically breaks down to this: An expiration date is merely the date that the pharmacy is willing to guarantee that the med will work to full potential. Apparently after the expiration date most medicines have over a 90% effective rate. That’s still pretty good in my book. I mean we’re talking about Tylenol here, not some cancer curing medicine that needs to work up to it’s 100% potential. Great! Problem solved. I’m fine. Then I noticed this article on U.S. Food and Drug Administration Website called “Don’t be tempted to use expired medications“. WTF, I just read this one article that says it’s completely fine, and now I find this – what’s a girl to believe. Anyways, this article says that after the expiration date, the chemicals in drugs can alter, which can be harmful to you. Interesting.
I’ll have to do some more research before deciding if this bag of Aleve, Chest Decongestants, Allergy Relievers, etc will make the final cut, or even what out of this bag will make the final cut. I don’t want to toss out $100 worth of medicines if I don’t have to, these things are expensive! Do you ever consider your med’s expiration date? Would you use an expired product?