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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 431-434

Efficacy and disposal of drugs after the expiry date

Department of General Surgery, Military Hospital Devlali, Nasik, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Gurmeet S Sarla
Military Hospital Devlali, Devlali, Nasik, Maharashtra 422401
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejim.ejim_110_19

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Every drug manufacturer is legally bound to display the date of expiry on all pharmaceutical products. Excluding certain medicines such as nitroglycerin, insulin, epinephrine, and tetracycline, most medicines stored under reasonable conditions retain at least 70–80% of their original potency for at least 1–2 years after the expiration date, even after the container has been opened. The drug is likely to lose some potency after the expiration date, but it is not clear how much potency is lost over a certain period of time past expiration dates. Placing medication in a cool place, such as a refrigerator, will help it remain potent for many years. Even though both the American Medical Association and the Food and Drug Administration do not recommend the dosing of expired pharmaceuticals at this time, discussion of the issue is warranted in order to understand the potential behind some expired drugs. This review article studies the financial implications and reason for stock piling of unused and expired pharmaceuticals, health hazards, common and ideal ways of disposal of unused and expiry medications and the way forward.

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