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Author Topic: Safety of expired meds?  (Read 1842 times)

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Offline markabz21

  • Member
  • Posts: 18
Safety of expired meds?
« on: September 12, 2012, 02:25:26 PM »
Hi there,

I have a little dilemma. I have been working abroad recently and have not been able to make an appointment with my doctor to get a new prescription. I am due back in London next week for one night before travelling to Belarus with work for 3 weeks. I only have 12 days of meds left before I run out however have three month of expired meds at home that I was thinking of using for this trip if it is safe.

My question relates to whether it is safe to take expired meds? The meds expired in May and June. I cant get a doctors appointment as I arrive back in the UK late and leave early the next morning so the pharmacy wont even be opened for my to pick up a pre-arranged prescription.

Will I be OK to take the expired meds for a couple of weeks? What are the risks in terms of drug failure or resistance?

Thanks and regards,


Offline Valmont

  • Member
  • Posts: 337
Re: Safety of expired meds?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 03:21:59 PM »
Can you tell us how these drugs have been kept? (in regard to sun exposition, temperature, humidity...), it is an important factor to consider in regard to their conservation and the active compounds.
Apr 2011: Diagnotized
Jun 2011: CD4: 504  VL: 176.000
Dic 2011: CD4: 714  VL: 95.000
May 2012: CD4: 395 VL: 67.000
Jun 2012: CD4: 367
Agu 2012: Starting Emtricitabine 200 mg / Tenofovir 300 mg and Efavirenz 600 mg (2 pills) different brands or VIRADAY/ATRIPLA/Mylan....
Sep 2012: VL: 138
Dic 2012: CD4: 708 VL: <34  %CD4: 32%
Jan 2013: CD4: 707 VL: <20
May 2013: CD4: 945 VL: <34 %CD4: 33%
Agu 2013: CD4: 636 VL: <34 %CD4: 50%
Dic 2013: Latent TB, started Isoniazid

Offline newt

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,896
  • the one and original newt
Re: Safety of expired meds?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 03:57:10 PM »
Which meds? - matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Gary S

  • Member
  • Posts: 60
Re: Safety of expired meds?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 10:42:08 AM »
Typically the pharmacy will put an expiration of 1 year from the date it was filled but if you peel off the pharmacy label the manufacturer's expiration will be somewhere on the bottle and it will most likely be much further out than 1 year.

On top of that, a few years ago the US military did a study of the efficacy of expired drugs. It seems they throw away millions of dollars of "expired" meds each year. They found with very few exceptions (insulin, nitroglycerin and liquid antibiotics) that meds were OK far past the manufacturers expiration date.

If it came down to taking an expired med or not taking one at all, I'd take the expired med.


Offline markabz21

  • Member
  • Posts: 18
Re: Safety of expired meds?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 12:29:23 PM »
Hi there,

The expired meds I have are prezista and norvir. I was prescribed these by my old doctor but moved onto truvada and isentress shortly afterwards and now have three months supply that has expired.

I keep all my meds in a dark small cupboard away from sunright and radiators so I dont think there is an issue with spoling.

Thanks and regards,



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