Why do medicines have expiry dates?

The expiration date is the last day that the manufacturer guarantees the potency and safety of medicines. The expiry dates on medicines lets people know till when they can consume them. After expiry, people must not take medicines as they may not be safe or effective enough. Consuming expired medicines can cause discomfort or have side effects that may need immediate treatment by a doctor. However, many researchers have contemplated whether medicines remain effective even after the expiration date. The same has been discussed in an article by Harvard Health Publishing that has found prescription and over-the-counter medications can remain perfectly good even after 15 years of the expiry date.

The use of medicines after expiry is a topic of contemplation among researchers because unused medicines cause excessive wastage. As medicines are expensive, researchers are exploring if medicines can be used beyond expiry in countries where affordability and storage are pressing issues.

That being the case, a study has shown that the 2015 commentary Mayo Clinic Proceedings claimed, “Extending Shelf Life Just Makes Sense,” and further suggested ‘drug makers to set a preliminary expiration date and then update it after long-term testing” with an aim to reduce the burden of medicine wastage due to expiry date.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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