OOD medication "safety"

Medical and Healthcare
User avatar
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:48 pm
Location: Midlands, UK

OOD medication "safety"

Postby peejay » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:02 pm

I had a good clearcut of the "first aid cupboard" today, quite apparently the first clearcut for some time, & found plenty of out of date medication, some of which is common (e.g. old 500mg paracetamol from when I had various chest ops over the years) & easily replaceable with over-the-counter shopping, but also some others that perhaps might not be so straightforward to get hold of if I wanted/needed to.

I've kept the uncommon ones on the basis that if SHTF then older meds are likely better than no meds at all but I'm not sure where the "safety" side of things comes in - i.e. is it because they lost potency after x years so therefore taking them isn't as beneficial as you might hope/expect, or is it that they go "off" and can actually cause other issues?

I'm guessing some of it depends on the meds in question & I haven't catalogued them to look them up but will do at some point. Just seemed daft rushing to throw them out just because of a date...

User avatar
Posts: 1196
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:53 am
Location: st.helens , area 9

Re: OOD medication "safety"

Postby unsure » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:38 pm

maybe this will answer some of your questions.


https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying- ... n-anything
YES i walked away mid sentence , you were boring me to death and my survival instincts kick in .

User avatar
Posts: 2421
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:11 pm
Location: Plymouth

Re: OOD medication "safety"

Postby Plymtom » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:57 pm

That does help me too, we have stuff which is long out of date, but if you can't replace it it could be better than nothing in most cases.
I have a strategy, it's not written in stone, nor can it be, this scenario has too many variables, everything about it depends on those variables, being specific is not possible.

User avatar
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:48 pm
Location: Midlands, UK

Re: OOD medication "safety"

Postby peejay » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:42 pm

Thanks for the link, most useful.

Indeed Plympton, my thoughts exactly. I'll hang onto all of it as it takes little space anyway...

Posts: 506
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:33 pm
Location: Area 3

Re: OOD medication "safety"

Postby preparedsurrey » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:45 pm

I think it will also depend on the conditions it's been stored in cool and dark would be better than fluctuating hot and cold I would assume.
If guns are outlawed then only the outlaws will have guns....

User avatar
Posts: 566
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:10 pm
Location: Surrey/Hampshire

Re: OOD medication "safety"

Postby PreppingPingu » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:34 pm

I have a box that I keep my stores of first aid stuff such as dressings, gauze, slings, tape etc and then I have a lockable box that I have kept things like a 2 week course of antibiotics that only one tablet was taken from due to a member of the family getting a reaction and having to change meds, and items like the 30ml tabs of codine that you get issued with from hospital after an op but for both ops, the family members concerned didn't need them and coped with paractemol so tablets wnet unused. I also keep my antihistamines, ibruprohen, paracetamol and 300ml asprin in there too. Better to keep meds under lock and key. Just in case.

This is dark, away from moisture, and in a cool place so generally speaking most of that sort of medication is fine post use by date. A thread on here viewtopic.php?f=19&t=10708&p=117926&hilit=medicine+shelf+life#p117827 I think talks about shelf life. I am sure there are other thread but I can't find the one I want atm! There are some meds that def loose potency out of date (think diabetic meds that also need to be refrigerated,) and a small number of medications that become dangerous. But generally speaking if stored correctly your main staples such paracetamol are fine post date.
"Today is the tomorrow that you worrried about yesterday"
(Area 3)

Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:01 pm
Location: Wiltshire Countryside

Re: OOD medication "safety"

Postby Drcamburn » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:28 am

I get asked this all the time at work.

Officially, after the expiry date you can't guarantee the drug in the medication has remained stable. So medications where you have to take a precise dose, like lithium, warfarin, insulin, might end in you taking a dose with contains too much or too little of the drug.

Things like creams, gels and liquid preparations are prone to being contaminated with bacteria where they are frequently opened, touched and not kept in a sterilized single use container.

However, excluding liquid meds, and medicines with precise doses as long as they've been stored correctly I'd personally use 99% of ood medications. Just keep them in a dark, dry (not in bathroom) and under 25°c and they should be ok for a few extra years.
If you work, you eat, it's as simple as that.

User avatar
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:48 pm
Location: Midlands, UK

Re: OOD medication "safety"

Postby peejay » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:42 pm

Thanks for the comment, all sounds perfectly reasonable to me. I might move my stash to under the stairs as it's likely the most temperature-stable location in our house...

User avatar
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:31 pm

Re: OOD medication "safety"

Postby Arwen Thebard » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:53 pm

Good thread and info, thanks.
Arwen The Bard

"What did you learn today?"

User avatar
Posts: 3136
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:36 pm

Re: OOD medication "safety"

Postby Deeps » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:02 pm

Drcamburn wrote:I get asked this all the time at work.

Officially, after the expiry date you can't guarantee the drug in the medication has remained stable. So medications where you have to take a precise dose, like lithium, warfarin, insulin, might end in you taking a dose with contains too much or too little of the drug.

Things like creams, gels and liquid preparations are prone to being contaminated with bacteria where they are frequently opened, touched and not kept in a sterilized single use container.

However, excluding liquid meds, and medicines with precise doses as long as they've been stored correctly I'd personally use 99% of ood medications. Just keep them in a dark, dry (not in bathroom) and under 25°c and they should be ok for a few extra years.


Always good to get a professionals opinion, cheers.

Return to Medical and Healthcare

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest