Sure but why bother? Are there any long term effects from taking OTC allergy medicine on a regular basis? And if you think you can just take double the dosage of expired OTC pain relievers to reach the effectiveness you're used to with less, just don't, says Dr. Glatter. But when you add other ingredients to it such as hydrocortisone that attract moisture, it shortens its lifespan. You should never take a medication that has expired more than one year ago. The company that manufactures a particular drug works with the regulatory authority to confirm and guarantee that the medicine will still … It needs a long process. If an expired medication is for a minor health problem, for example, for a headache, hayfever, or mild pain, it may also be safe to take it, although drug potency might not be 100% and it may not work as well. Children need different doses of medication or different medications from adults. Think of your thyroid as a picky eater with a “Goldilocks syndrome”: It doesn’t like the porridge—or the medication dose— too high or too low. Big question: There are a lot of allergy medications & your time span is enormous. I worked overseas in a rural hospital, and we used expired medications by necessity on many occasions when the alternative was to not treat. As a consequence, inadequate relief from sickness could eventually lead to longer sick days, increased absences from work/school, and lost productivity at work/school. You're treating allergies in an older adult. If a person can truly not afford their meds, I can see using recently expired products, but otherwise, I don't like to do it or recommend it. But to be in the clear, next time you’re wondering about whether some old medication you have laying around is still good, ask your pharmacist. Frieda Wiley, PharmD, BCGP, RPh is a board-certified, clinical pharmacist, contract medical writer, and consultant. Here are just a few examples of situations where using expired medications might do more harm than good: 1. Drugs & Supplements. Never take medicine that seems suspicious in some other way. What allergy medicine can I take while breastfeeding? First, all drugs have unique formulations that outline both their active and inactive ingredients. Before you can really understand what happens when you take expired pills, you should know why these dates or warnings are put on both prescription and non-prescription medicines. Some allergy medicines are generally considered safe during pregnancy. It likes its medication dose just right—and every single time, at that. While you might not notice much of a difference in your health if your antibiotic were five percent weaker, a five percent difference in your thyroid medication might throw your thyroid—and your body—completely out of whack. In addition, it may take one to two weeks before the full effect of the medicine can be felt. To read more about Frieda, visit her website or follow her on Twitter. On occasion, you may want to keep an expired medicine only until you can obtain a replacement, to avoid a possible safety situation (e.g., an expired epinephrine injection device for severe allergic reactions should be kept for use if needed before an unexpired device can be obtained to replace it). I have bad allergies but whenever i take allergy medicine my sinus cavity hurts the entire day. Dr. Pamela Pappas and another doctor agree. Find out what they revealed about antioxidants and heart disease. The best way to dispose of most types* of unused or expired medicines (both prescription and over the counter) is to drop off the medicine at a drug take back site, location, or program immediately. The Oprah Magazine,Arthritis Today, US News & World Report, Everyday Health, and Costco Connection. In general, most drugs don’t lose potency very quickly. Some steroids include: Instead of making resolutions or goals, which have been proven to set us up for failure, think about focusing more on your priorities for 2021. I have an egg allergy. To be sure, go ahead and try taking the usual dosage, but be prepared for it to not work. Yes, but it might not work as well. Whether you should toss your medications after the expiration date or keep them remains a widely debated topic. 2) Will my allergy medication make me drowsy? The best way to dispose of your expired, unwanted, or unused medicines is through a drug take back program — or you can do it at home. The Answer: Take pause before just reaching into your medicine cabinet. Is expired Avelox safe to take? Drug Take Back Programs I take so many supplements that I have to take them 3X daily. By using our website, you consent to our use of cookies. Keeping medications after their medication dates can be extremely tempting—especially when they cost so much. The medicine should be safe to take, but I doubt it will work as well. Medications … However, if a medication is needed, and the patient is not able to replace the expired medication, there is no evidence that it is unsafe to take the medication in most cases.1 The patient should be aware that it may not produce the desired therapeutic effect. What is safe to take for your allergies while pregnant and what isn’t? It is advisable to discard all expired medications. Do you do the same? Safely dispose of them and consult your doctor for a new prescription. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires manufacturers to test their medications for stability and storage conditions. Companies use this information to figure out a date after which the medication may lose its potency. All rights reserved. But wait. Expiration dates are based on drug stability and toxicity. In its pure form, petroleum jelly is waterproof and has an almost indefinite shelf life. There are various types of allergy drugs. I worked overseas in a rural hospital, and we used expired medications by necessity on many occasions when the alternative was to not treat. Allergy medicine expires, but it may still be effective for up to two or more years after the expiration date. If it doesn't, try Zyrtec or some other over-the-counter med. It’s there! Expired medication may not adequately treat minor conditions (for example, minor headache, cold), or serious conditions (for example, diabetes or heart disease) because of reduced efficacy. If you have medicines that have passed their expiry date, take them to your pharmacist, who can dispose of them safely for you. Communicating changes in your symptoms to your doctor, instead of trying to tough things out, can go a long way in helping you zero in on a new course of action that can … NSAID or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can increase the risks of cardiovascular disease, and if you have a history of cardiac disease, you should avoid these drugs altogether. Expired lifesaving drugs should be replaced ASAP. Let’s look at petroleum jelly. If a person can truly not afford their meds, I can see using recently expired … You should never throw unused or expired medicines in the rubbish bin or flush them down the toilet. Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere. A: It's really not a good idea to take expired medication at all. Published: November, 2003. As for over-the-counter cold preparations or Tylenol—they're probably safe to use for a few years after the expiration date. 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