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Expired antibiotics - any medical types around?

12 replies

CountessDracula · 30/11/2004 23:18

Hi I have a vile cold which I am pretty sure is going onto my chest. I have a history of bronchitis etc. I CANNOT get to the doctor before friday. I have some Cephalaxin, a full course, in my medicine cupboard but it expired a year ago. Has been kept in the dark and cool.

Will it still be effective?

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CountessDracula · 30/11/2004 23:20

Have found this

RUMOUR: Expired drugs are not safe or effective.

Patients are often advised to throw away expired drugs. The concern is that outdated drugs aren't as potent or safe to take.
But this isn't always true.
Drug makers assign many drugs a 2 to 3 year expiration date. This avoids the need for longer stability tests...and ensures faster drug sales.
But FDA tests show that many military drug stocks actually stay safe and effective for several years past their expiration.
Years ago, expired tetracycline was linked with kidney damage due to Fanconi Syndrome. Tetracyline has since been reformulated to EXTEND to life of the active ingredient...and reduce the risk of kidney damage.
Tell patients that many properly stored tablets and capsules may stay potent beyond their expiration...especially if kept in their original packaging.
Keep in mind that certain drugs SHOULD be replaced often.
For example, some drugs break down easily and require shorter expiration dates...nitroglycerin, insulin, mefloquine, antibiotic suspensions, topical ophthalmic agents, etc.
Drugs with a narrow therapeutic index should NOT be used after they expire.
Exact potency is important for warfarin, digoxin, carbamazepine, etc.
Advise patients that even if an expired drug is still potent, it might be inappropriate for them to take it...due to changes in their condition.

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bundle · 30/11/2004 23:22

i had some eyedrops for dd2 recently which although they weren't out of date, my pharmacist exchanged them (for free) because he said they wouldn't work properly (this is someone I'd trust, he doesn't try to flog you things, he's a little treasure). dunno if same for ab's.

romantick · 30/11/2004 23:25

well no real cure for colds.they naturally go.
donot drink any milk products eg milk yoghurt etc as this build up cattarr(spelling).fruit is good and honey is also good.
forget the medicine as just awaste of money for a cold.
best thing you can do is when you have a cold give it to someone
if you have history of breathing problems etc you qualify for flu jab normally so at least if you have flu jab it knocks out the flu virus

colinsmommy · 30/11/2004 23:26

While it is true the worst that can happen with most drugs is that they lose their potency, many antibiotics aren't safe to take after they expire. While I admittedly can't remember about cephalexin, and I have tossed my drug reference book after quitting work, I know that it is part of the penicillin/amoxicillin family and especially penicillin breaks down into something not very safe after the expiration date has passed.

bundle · 30/11/2004 23:26

cd do you have time to get to one of the nhs drop in centre thingy places? (can't remember exactly where you work)

colinsmommy · 30/11/2004 23:28

I didn't even read the part about you had a cold, silly me. Antibiotics are not effective for colds, just bacterial maladies, and the overuse of them is causing the rapid ineffectiveness of many of them and should be avoided. (sorry this is one of my pet peeves, and I wish there was more education of the public about this)

bundle · 30/11/2004 23:29

(if you can get to one at least they can have a listen to your chest and see if it's really rattling)

CountessDracula · 30/11/2004 23:30

it's difficult, I am organising my stepfather's funeral and trying to support my mum and family, very busy at work, doctors only open about 2 mins a day and of course while I am not around plus booked up til next july...

I really could do without having to go. It is defo upper resp. tract infection, just don't want it to get worse.

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CountessDracula · 30/11/2004 23:31

Don't worry I hardly ever take antibiotics, but I do know when I have an infection having had lots of experience of it in the past, and when I need them, and I do now.

The reason I have these is that I got them for a suspected infection a couple of years ago, I didn't take them as wanted to see if it would get better on it's own and it did. This is past that stage though.

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bundle · 30/11/2004 23:33

sorry about your stepfather, cd, you could really do without this awful cold, x

CountessDracula · 30/11/2004 23:35

thanks bundle and everyone else.

I know it's v bad timing.
Think I will go to bed and try and blag my way into the doc in the morning. I am just a bit worried that if I take these and they are no longer effective I will just get worse and end up in bloody hospital like I have in the past.

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CountessDracula · 01/12/2004 12:45

Doctors fitted me in!
Have as suspected URT infection and am on....cephalexin!

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